Have you ever been accused
of something that you did not do?
I don’t know about you,
but when it has happened to me,
I just want to scream!
All I want to do,
is open my mouth to defend myself!
I want to prove my innocence,
at any cost!
But typically when I have done this,
too many words come out,
and instead of justifying myself,
I look guilty as hell!
This is what I felt
when reading the communication exchanged
between Jesus and the 12 disciples
during their Last Supper.
After passing two cups of wine,
one before dinner and the other after,
Jesus looked at His men and said,
“Here at this table,
sitting among us as a friend,
is the man who will betray me.
For it has been determined
that the Son of Man must die.
But what sorrow awaits
the one who betrays him.”
At first, the disciples were stunned.
They looked around and wondered
who was the wolf among them.
The disciples began to ask each other
which of them would ever do such a thing.
Then they began to argue among themselves
about who would be the greatest among them.
I’m sure they had many thoughts
and many feelings,
they had given up everything to follow Jesus,
and now He would be leaving?
He is the risen king -
if He dies,
how would they be redeemed?
And who is the wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Who among my friends
would betray Jesus,
and do such a horrible thing?
From the outside,
you can see the yeast of sin
begin to grow in them;
you can see the pride set in
as their chests begin to puff out.
The calm discussion became an argument,
as they focused on who was the greatest -
who was the most righteous disciple among them.
I wonder what would have happened
if Jesus wasn’t there to redirect them,
and remind them of who He is is.
I wonder if the argument would have grown
into something much worse?
Could a fist fight have broken out?
Could a sword be drawn or a knife brought out?
Jesus broke them by saying,
“In this world the kings and great men
lord it over their people,
yet they are called ‘friends of men’
But among you it will be different.”
Those who are the greatest among you,
should take the lowest rank,
and the leader should be like a servant.
Who is more important,
the one who sits at the table
or the one who serves?
The one who sits at the table, of course.
BUT NOT HERE!
For I am among you as one who serves.
‘You have stayed with me
in my time of trial.
And just as my Father has granted me
I now grant you the right
to eat and drink at my table
in my Kingdom.
And you will sit on thrones,
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Luke 22:21-30 NLT
I love how Jesus responded -
He deflated their proud hearts
by puncturing them with humility words.
Instead of focusing on who is best,
He reminded them
they are foreigners in this world,
and because of this,
they should do the opposite.
He emphasized that discipleship
is about suffering servants,
just like Him.
He spoke about the true meaning of friendship,
which is about enduring the trial together.
He did not get angry or condemn,
He did not blame or belittle or shame.
He merely said that his death was predicted,
and it would happen through
the betrayal of a friend
who sat among them.
Then, at the end of their conversation,
Jesus promised each of them
a seat on a throne in His Kingdom.
My question is, what about Judas?
Did he repent? Did he return?
I can only imagine how stupid
and stupendous they must have felt;
the combined feeling of deflated pride
and the inhalation of wonderment
must have been overwhelming.
As I step back and look
at the communication exchanged between the disciples,
I realize they responded no different than most humans.
We all are bent to defend ourselves,
especially when a false accusation is done.
A calm conversation can quickly become
a heated debate when pride sets in.
Instead of offering a gentle approach to sin,
self-righteous thoughts typically creep in;
and they are usually accompanied
by mixed feelings of fear and pride.
I wonder what would have happened,
if the disciples acted out of love
and instead of focusing on
their own perspectives or comparisons,
they offered a safe place for the truth to be exposed.
Since the betrayal was predestined,
I am positive the conversation happened
exactly as expected;
but for just a moment,
imagine what could have happened
if Judas was provided a safe place
to think about what he done,
perhaps the dark in his heart
would have come out,
and the light of God would have come in.
What if the disciples had faith?
What if they had sat quietly,
that they did not betray Jesus.
Maybe they would have shut their mouths
to prevent the stones of judgment
from coming out?
Is it possible that Judas’s heart could have softened?
Is it possible that his own guilt
could have caused remorse,
leading to an act of repentance?
Human beings are very good at blaming others,
because it takes the judgement off ourselves.
I suppose this is why
Jesus tells us to take the log out of own eye
before pointing out the sins of someone else.
There is a message
behind every word in the Bible!
This is where truth and wisdom unfolds.
I am so thankful for the lesson I learned,
by reading Chapter 22 in the Book of Luke.