Wednesday in Holy Week – John 13:21-32
Here’s my question. In what ways have you been the betrayer? Whom have you betrayed? And how did that happen?
“Very truly, I tell you,” Jesus said, “one of you will betray me.” Everyone at the table looked around wondering who it was. I wonder if they looked at themselves or just each other. I wonder if they looked at their own lives; their thoughts, words, and deeds; things done and left undone.
I wonder if eleven of them were relieved when Jesus dipped the bread in the dish and gave it to Judas. Are you? And does that mean we haven’t betrayed or we just haven’t yet been called out, faced up to it?
Judas makes it easier to not look at ourselves. He’s the traitor. He’s the one to blame. Today it is Judas. At the cross it will be Peter. A different time, different place, different circumstances it will be someone else. Maybe one of us. Haven’t we all been given the bread of Jesus’ life?
Judas is not so much the culprit as he is the mirror of our betrayals. What do you see when you look in that mirror? Whom have you betrayed? Picture their faces, recall their names. What was it like to go out into the night of betrayal? Regardless of how it comes about every betrayal is ultimately a betrayal of Jesus.
I don’t know what happened to Judas or how he got to that point but I’ve been there and I’ll bet you have too. They were moments when my soul was troubled and I wanted an easy way out, a shortcut. And it usually meant betraying the people I most loved and cared about.
But here’s the thing, and I think it’s true for Judas as well, before we ever betray Jesus or another we always betray ourselves first. And Jesus is again “troubled in spirit.” But what if this time Jesus is “troubled in spirit” not for himself, but for us, for Judas? Maybe his troubled spirit is the hope for every one of us who have gone out into the night of betrayal.