Wednesday 1 April, 2015
John 13:21-32LIGHT AT THE BREAK OF NIGHT
As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly.’ … As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.(vss 27&30)
I’ve been in a couple of ‘revolutionary circles’. They start with something that is unbearably wrong; then there rises a vision of a much better way, followed by a suspicion that we might just be able to pull it off, and before you know it, you’re an insider. Betrayals happen, but the motive is never money. The sin isn’t greed, but fear or arrogance. The betrayer either feared for his own life or thought he knew better.
Maybe Judas turned because he feared they were all about to be arrested, so he cut a deal. Maybe he thought the arrest would force Jesus to get over himself and get back to the cause. Whatever his reasons, Judas comes to the meal with the plans in place, but he hasn’t pulled the trigger. Knowing this, Jesus gives Judas the seat of honour at the dinner. It wasn’t enough that Jesus washed his feet, now Judas must share a bowl of food with the man. Jesus is blitzing him with light in an all-out effort to win the brother back. It’s a risk. My professor said, ‘The same fire which hardens steel, melts wax.’ Judas’ heart did not melt.
‘It was night’ (verse 30). Darkness in the ancient world was total. There was no way to sneak up on Jesus without someone to lead them to him. The kiss at the end is cold. It’s not going to sit well with his soul. Sometimes you can’t love someone out of making a mistake. Betrayal is the unkindest cut because the wound goes deep, and the threat of infection is everywhere.
Prayer † Lord Jesus, You drank the poison and stayed the course. Help me to move forward in love. Amen.
The World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) is a fellowship of 75 million Reformed Christians in 214 churches in 107 countries. Its member churches are Congregational, Presbyterian, Reformed and United churches with roots in the 16th-century Reformation led by John Calvin, John Knox and others. WARC has a small secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.