Chapter 13:11-30 (ESV) - When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
Question to consider: How do other religions portray their gods compared with how scripture has revealed Christ?
If you look at the different religions throughout the world, their various gods tend to be revealed as cruel or indifferent beings who must be appeased in order to provide the basic necessities of life. Many are capricious or fickle and would rather enslave people than express love toward them depending on their mood. Most were created by men to control people or excuse licentious behavior disguised as worship.
Often, God is either presented by people as a grandfather type who rewards people like Santa Claus or as a cruel taskmaster who creates rules people can’t follow and makes life miserable and boring. However, the God of scripture is revealed as perfect and holy as well as loving and merciful to those who would humbly ask for it. The most shocking and unique revelation of God was in the person and work of Jesus who came not as a judge but as a servant who washed the feet of His disciples and wanted people to be reconciled to the Father.
He continually emphasized to the disciples that His kingdom was not going to be one where people sought power and glory but one where the greatest would become a servant to all. While eleven of the disciples would eventually understand this and submit to it after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, there was one who would betray Jesus into the hands of those who were plotting to kill Him. In today’s passage, Jesus made sure the disciples knew that this was not coming to Him as a surprise.
The disciples didn’t know who it could be since all had partaken of the cup and the bread and all had been washed. All of them had seen the miracles and dreamed of the new kingdom so it was hard to accept even though the one had already made plans for the betrayal. Jesus gave him one more opportunity to repent and change course when he offered the bread, but Judas refused, and Satan was at that point allowed to enter him and begin to usher in that hour. It was done in such a way that nobody noticed he had left or suspected anything if they had.
All of the disciples would fall away that night in fear and doubt, but Judas wanted no part of a kingdom like Jesus had described and therefore set in his heart that Jesus could not possibly have been the one they were expecting.
Dear heavenly Father, please stir up in us a desire to humble ourselves and set aside those things that have no eternal value. Thank You for revealing Yourself to us in love and with a desire that we would be restored to a right relationship with You. Amen.