This morning, I read this question from the disciples. What an interesting way for them to respond to the Lord’s announcement that one of them would betray Him. Each one individually was so sensitive to Jesus and to their own short-comings that they thought immediately, “could it be me?” What a dreaded thought that must have been to eleven of them. I also thought how wonderful it would be if we had that level of conviction from any of the Lord’s words to us from the Scriptures. Oh, for the tenderness and closeness exhibited here! Especially, may we take the Scriptures personally, not relegating them to others. The old song said, “not my brother nor my sister, but it’s me oh, Lord standing in the need of prayer.”
Might I quote my source, Charles Spurgeon? “He who had been deserted by his friend and betrayed by a beloved companion will best be able to sympathize with the Lord.” Has a friend or even a mate left you? You are exactly the one to whom this is written, for you can best understand the Lord’s heart in this occasion.
“If a traitor was found ‘midst the privileged few,
If in Jesus’ own presence a Judas was nigh;
Let my poor startled conscience this moment renew,
The anxious enquiry of “Lord, is it I?”
Peter asks John to ask the Lord who it is, then John in modest remembrance quotes his question to the Lord, “Lord, who is it?”
“With true modesty John conceals his name but with fond remembrance of his Master’s favour, he uses a title dearer to him than the name his father gave him. To be “that disciple whom Jesus loved” was greater honour than to be an emperor.”
The Lord answers with a clue, “whom I shall give the sop.” Now Judas had not yet revealed his own heart to the disciples but the Lord knew. It was at this moment that Judas is exposed and as far as he knew, all the disciples would then know his intentions. They did not. The sop was given. The traitor was revealed primarily to himself. “And yet the hardened sinner was not moved to repentance. Son of perdition, indeed, he was. Yet Jesus gave him a sop from his own dish. Outward gifts from the Lord’s hand are not always proofs of his love. There was but one traitor at the table, and he alone had a sop given him from Christ’s own hand; let us not envy those ungodly ones to whom the dainty morsels fall, they are only eating to their own condemnation.” Then Satan entered into Judas. “His irritation was great at being discovered, and as he was already a devil in covetousness, so Satan came to him and filled him with malice.” Jesus commanded him kindly but firmly to get on with his business quickly, but there was no anger there. “Oh, the admirable meekness of the Lamb of God! Not one angry word fell from his lips. Why are we so full of wrath when we are ill-used?” “He spake so calmly that the disciples thought that he referred to some ordinary business.”
The last statement is revealing, “then it was night.”
Have you been betrayed by a friend or mate? This is your pattern of response. Would to God we all could do as Jesus?