Surely not I Lord!

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Mark 14:17 When it was evening, (Jesus) came with the twelve. 18 And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, “Surely, not I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.” 22 While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. 24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”

This passage describes what has been called the “Last Supper”. Before breaking the bread Jesus revealed that one of the 12 disciples would betray him. As you might expect the disciples became “distressed” (v.19) and wondered which of them it might be. Jesus only said it is “one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me” (v.20). They’d all been dipping bread with Jesus so that didn’t tell them much.

What I find interesting is that they didn’t press the matter more than they did. If I were at the table I expect I would be like a dog on a bone – not letting go of the question until Jesus revealed the betrayer. Unless, of course, I didn’t want to know the answer. Unless I feared I might be the one who would betray Jesus and just didn’t know it. In that case I might let the question pass – which is what they did. In v.26 of this chapter Jesus revealed that all of the disciples would desert him in the end. Ugh.

When I was a younger man I would often think, “Well, I’d never do (fill in the blank)!” But the truth is, when we’re under intense pressure, we are liable to do any number of things we would not do under normal circumstances. I’ve disappointed myself many times, so I’m grateful for the grace Jesus also extends in this passage. It ends with Jesus breaking bread with his betrayers/deserters, loving them even in their weakness.

Thank you for your grace Lord Jesus. Strengthen us in our times of trial and deliver us from evil. Amen.

 

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