10 Judas Iscariot was one of the 12 disciples. He went to the chief priests to hand Jesus over to them. 11 They were delighted to hear that he would do this. They promised to give Judas money. So he watched for the right time to hand Jesus over to them. 12 It was the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. That was the time to sacrifice the Passover lamb. Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?” 13 So he sent out two of his disciples. He told them, “Go into the city. A man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 He will enter a house. Say to its owner, ‘The Teacher asks, “Where is my guest room? Where can I eat the Passover meal with my disciples?” ’ 15 He will show you a large upstairs room. It will have furniture and will be ready. Prepare for us to eat there.” 16 The disciples left and went into the city. They found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover meal. 17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the 12 disciples. 18 While they were at the table eating, Jesus said, “What I’m about to tell you is true. One of you who is eating with me will hand me over to my enemies.” 19 The disciples became sad. One by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?” 20 “It is one of you,” Jesus replied. “It is the one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But how terrible it will be for the one who hands over the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
This is a confronting passage of scripture. Jesus sits with His disciples to share the Passover meal, only to reveal to them that one of them will betray Him. Their responses (other than Judas) reveals something of their character – they don’t turn to pride, declaring it could never be them. Rather, they are greatly distressed, with each of them asking, “Am I the one?”
This question, “Am I the one?”, is a tough one to ask, but I think has great merit. We obviously live in a context far removed from actually being able to betray Jesus to His enemies, however we are quite capable of actions which betray Him. Whenever you hear stories of good Christian men and women ‘betraying’ God and turning away from Him, it’s so easy to declare “That would never be me!” But perhaps the more humble response is, “Could that be me? Am I the one?” Taking care to guard our hearts is essential to living a life of integrity and faithfulness towards our loving King.
Jesus, may I never become conceited and think I am beyond the clutches of sin. Help me to always remain humble and honest before You, keeping short accounts and drawing nearer each day, so that on the day You return You are able to say “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Written by Matt Samperi