September 16

Text: Matthew 26:20-22

Now when evening had come, He was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.  And as they were eating, He said, "Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me."  And being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, "Surely not I, Lord?"   (NASB)

This event occurred at that last meal Jesus shared with the 12.  Jesus was reclining around the table with the 12.  It was an occasion of remembering and bonding.  They were remembering the wonderful ways God had blessed their nation in the past—had it not been for God acting on their behalf, there would not be a nation of Israel.  They were deepening their bonds with each other by recalling they were those people—they existed to advance God’s purposes.

On that occasion of remembering and bonding, Jesus made a shocking statement.  The statement was so unbelievable that the majority of the 12 said, “Surely, you cannot be talking about me—are you?”  The reaction provoked by Jesus’ statement was not a curious response, an unemotional, “What are you talking about?”  It produced an immediate deep grief—what Jesus said was unthinkable!  Yet, he said it!

Betrayal of Jesus?  By one of the 12?  A betrayer among the men who followed him daily, who knew what kind of man he was 100% of the time?  Who witnessed his power?  Who saw his compassion?  Who heard his teachings?  Certainly, they might argue among themselves about who was the most significant, or compete with each other, or vie for advantage—but betrayal of Jesus?  They might seek an advantage for self, but no one questioned the other 11’s loyalty to Jesus!

Note the reaction to the statement.  No one said, “I know who it is.”  No one pointed an accusing finger.  No one said, “If you would do that to Jesus, just get out of here!”  Instead, the author wrote that “each” asked, “Is it me?”  This was not a multiple confession that “I” would do that.  The idea of betrayal of Jesus among the 12 was so unthinkable that maybe it is “me”—the other 11 certainly would not do that!

Would anyone question your loyalty to Jesus?  Would you?

Suggestion for reflection: People can be deceived, but God cannot be.  (Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-15.)

David's Home Page Previous Day Index Next Day

 Copyright 2011 David Chadwell