The Whole Bag
Jesus Foretells His Betrayal
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.”
The Example of Jesus
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
John, in writing this narrative is going for dramatic effect as opposed to detailed accuracy. Jesus knew He was going to be betrayed, and he knew that Judas would turn Him over to the authorities. What He did not say here, according to John, was the rest of the story – that every single one of them would abandon Him. Peter would rise to defend Jesus once, and then deny He ever knew Him later than evening. John, would be there at the foot of the cross with the two Mary’s, but would not speak a word to defend Him before the cross. After the crucifixion, every last one of them would be hiding. All those around Jesus would disappoint Him in His hour of need.
Jesus could have spent more time talking about His disappointments here. Instead, He chose to invite them all into the new kingdom once again. Instead of being stuck on the present problems, He saw the future of hope in them that went beyond their earthly relationships with Him. He chose to see what the Holy Spirit would do with them once he left.
Hebrews tells us that we can expect to endure disappointments like this as well. That is probably not a surprise to you. What may be surprising is that Jesus, in this moment faced with disappointment, re-invited all of them into His kingdom, called them friends instead of just servants, and then proceeded to wash their feet. Imagine how powerful that memory would become after their betrayals, denials, and abandonment of Him! Imagine how formative that moment would become later when they faced their own betrayers! Jesus taught true servant leadership that focused beyond the present moment and into a future full of hope that He was creating.
When Jesus chose those disciples…when Jesus chose us, He was not getting just the good parts of us. He chose the whole bag and everything that came with it and went to work to transform it all.
When have you faced betrayal, either as the one betraying or the victim of betrayal?
How does that affect your view of the future?
How does the response of Jesus change the effect of that betrayal?