After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. – John 13
As I write this, it’s quiet in my house. It’s raining outside. I’m listening to my daughter strum on her ukulele down the hall. It’s a somber day as our governor has just issued us a shelter in place for the next few weeks. We have already been choosing to self quarantine for a week now but there is something about the reality of it when it is a mandate from your local government. I received a message from our church that we won’t be gathering again until at least May 8. Today I sent an email to my entire small group planning to meet via zoom until at least May 1. Under the circumstances we are putting our actual Bible study aside in order for us to gather for support. I want to make sure that we can see each other’s faces, support each other’s mental wellness, and pray for each other. I miss seeing their faces, hearing their voices, and laughing with them on the regular.
Just this afternoon I was talking with my mom on the phone who is sheltering in a state thousands of miles away from me. I sadly had a conversation with her about the planning for what could come her way. What it would be like if one of them got sick and the other would have to quarantine at home. What it would be like not to be with the other who is in the hospital. I finally asked her the horrible question on if her and my dad had discussed their DNR wishes with each other. That the reality was that decision may have to be made over the phone instead of in person. That if any of us really got sick and were dying, none of us would be able to say goodbye to each other in person.
Sadness in our theme today which is pretty ironic. Never in a million years did I ever think doing a Lent Journey of John with you all would end up being so relevant. One of my personal goals for this journey was to help you see how reading the Bible isn’t at all about ancient times. It’s about current times. It’s about seeing how the things that happened that long ago stood the test of time and can help us through whatever good or bad might hit us.
I’m sitting here in a bit of sadness over our reality. We all are experiencing a little bit of grief over what is, what should’ve been, and what may be in the future for us. I’m not going to say much today about our story called The One Who Ate Bread at My Table. I’m going to let you sit with the words on your own. Jesus knew from the start who would betray him. But when the time actually came I’m sure he was so very sad. I’m sure there was a part of him that wished it would be different. Sadness going into that evening meal and sadness during.
I experience sadness reading this because I know it’s just a matter of time before Jesus makes it on the cross.
“I’m not including all of you in this. I know precisely whom I’ve selected, so as not to interfere with the fulfillment of Scripture:
The one who ate bread at my table
Turned on his heel against me.
“I’m telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am. Make sure you get this right: Receiving someone I send is the same as receiving me, just as receiving me is the same as receiving the One who sent me.”
After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. “One of you is going to betray me.”
The disciples looked around at one another, wondering who on earth he was talking about. One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder. Peter motioned to him to ask who Jesus might be talking about. So, being the closest, he said, “Master, who?”
Jesus said, “The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I’ve dipped it.” Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. As soon as the bread was in his hand, Satan entered him.
“What you must do,” said Jesus, “do. Do it and get it over with.”
No one around the supper table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that since Judas was their treasurer, Jesus was telling him to buy what they needed for the Feast, or that he should give something to the poor.
Judas, with the piece of bread, left. It was night.