READING: Deuteronomy 22-24, Mark 14:1-26
“He said to them, ‘It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me.’”
“Lord, is it I?”
This question must have echoed around the room the day Jesus warned His disciples that one of them would betray Him. One of His friends – one who ate bread with Him – would turn on Him. They all grieved when they heard the words of their Master, and they then began to question themselves: ““They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, ‘Is it I?’” (Mark 14:19). I can hear in my mind the voices of those common men who had chosen to leave all to follow Him. One by one, they questioned themselves: “Lord, I’m not the one, am I?” “It’s not me, is it?” “It can’t be me, can it?” “Surely I’m not the betrayer, am I?” “Lord, I’m not that man, am I?”
The thought must have been foreign to most of them, but Jesus made it clear: somebody in that room would indeed betray Him. Other than Judas, nobody wanted to be that man – but their question shows that every one knew he could be that man. Nobody was immune from the possibility of being that one. In fact, they so considered that possibility that seemingly no one expected Judas to be that man. Eleven of the disciples knew they were vulnerable even if each one desperately wanted it not to be he.
We are wise to recognize that we, too, are vulnerable apart from the power of God in our lives. We may betray Jesus differently than Judas did, but we still turn against Him when we choose sin over His will. We betray His love when we follow the world rather than obey Him. All of us are but one foolish decision away from betraying Jesus – and sometimes we put ourselves as close to foolishness as we can get in our temptations. If we think it can’t happen to us, our naiveté and pride will lead to our fall. Should that happen, we then could say only, “Lord, I’m the one.”
I don’t want to say with my thoughts, my actions, or my words, “Lord, I’m the one.” Pray for me.
- Prayerfully consider the truth that you are one step away from betraying Jesus.
- In Mark’s Gospel, the story of the cross awaits. Spend some time just thinking about the death of Jesus – and let that story call you to a deeper level of commitment to Him.
PRAYER: “God, I don’t ever want to deny or betray You. Help me.”
TOMORROW'S READING: Deuteronomy 25-27, Mark 14:27-53