John 13:21-35



Today’s Reading is John 13:21-35.

During this joyous meal Jesus drops the bomb: “I am telling you the truth: one of you is going to betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. In the other gospels they don’t learn who he is talking about, but ask helplessly: “Is it I, Lord?” without Jesus giving an answer.The gospel of John has a super-special disciple: “One of the disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, was sitting next to Jesus.”

Now it gets weird: Simon Peter motioned to him and said, “Ask him whom he is talking about.” So that disciple moved closer to Jesus’ side and asked, “Who is it, Lord?” Jesus answered, “I will dip some bread in the sauce and give it to him; he is the man.” So he took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

Why all that ado? Why not straight-talk? Peter is the Head Apostle at the time. John is what seems to be Jesus’ lover. The ultimate result is the same as in the other gospels: None of the others at the table understood why Jesus said this to him.

Even being the first of all Christians, even being super close to Jesus, does not prevent us from betraying him. When the Lord cleansed us disciples through his foot-washing that didn’t last too long: Tonight’s supper reminds us of our need for forgiveness over and over again.


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