Predicting Betrayal: Day 8 of Lent
18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread a into the bowl b with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.”
22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23 One of his disciples–the one whom Jesus loved–was reclining next to him; 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 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. 27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 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. 30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
Also Matthew 26:20-25; Luke 22:21-23.
PASSOVER SEATING. No table and chairs! They recline (possibly on cushions) around a low “table,” and at angles to it, supported on their left elbows, eating with their right hands.
This meant the most trusted and privileged seat was on one 5 left-to whom one’s back was exposed and onto whose breast one could lean back (as the beloved disciple on Jesus’ right could lean back and speak confidentially to him-John 13:25). Most significantly, Jesus had Judas on his left-in that special, trusted place.
Is it I, Lord?
Is it I who betrays, who denies, who sleeps when you say “stay awake,”
who flees when there is danger?
Is it I
who calls you Lord
and then doesn’t do what you say; who builds on sand?
Is it I, Lord?
Lord, have mercy.
There’s Judas on your left, in the specially trusted, specially honored place, receiving the privileged sandwich…
Doesn’t make any difference though, does it, Lord?
Deliver me from being so determined, so sure I’m right, so set in my ways,
that when I’m wrong you cannot change my mind.
Help me to open my mind, as well as my heart, to you.