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John’s gospel post 60: Judas

January 23, 2014

“Last time we met was a low lit room
We were as close together as a bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world” U2 – Until the end of the world ( from the album “Achtung Baby”)

John 13:18 – 30

So the seminar continues. After the initially awkward (for Peter) foot washing ice breaker, Jesus continues to talk. About the betrayer he has just hinted at.

He is not accusing everyone. His disciples have been chosen. But there is one who, fulfilling prophecy again, is ‘sharing bread’ with the teacher.

Jesus is sharing these things so that when they happen the disciples will remember and believe.

There is a reminder that those who accept Jesus, accept God who sent him. And those who accept Jesus’ followers accept Jesus. That’s quite an authority that we have as Christians if we are faithful to our calling. We take Jesus to the world again. They do not accept or reject us, but him.

Jesus is troubled.

And he spells it out – “one of you is going to betray me”.

The disciples are stunned and look at each other.

We have been introduced to a remarkably small number of Jesus’ disciples. We now meet another, who doesn’t even have a name. He is just referred to as “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. So did Jesus have a favourite? A teacher’s pet? Surely not.

Most people conclude that this was John the biographer’s way of referring modestly to himself. So we’ll call him John.

John is sitting by Jesus. Peter bravely asks John to obtain more details.

John dutifully asks the question and is given a plain answer “the one I am about to give the bread to”. He is going to show them.

He gives the bread to Judas and Judas’ work starts.

So there it is. All the disciples know. They will overpower Judas and all will be well?

What happens is odd. They have asked a direct question and been given a very clear sign. And yet we are told they still did not know!

Was is too dark? Did they not look?

In that intimate setting Jesus even speaks to Judas ” what you’re going to do, get on with it”.

But while it seems the disciples hear the words, they still have no idea.

Perhaps Judas had some shopping to do?

As Judas slips out to do his dark worst, John emphasises “it was dark”.


From → Christianity

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