Sunday, July 8: Surely you don't mean me, Lord?
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 26:17-25
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?"
He replied, "Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, 'The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.'" So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me."
They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely you don't mean me, Lord?"
Jesus replied, "The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."
Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, "Surely you don't mean me, Rabbi?"
Jesus answered, "You have said so."
As the disciples share a meal together, Jesus drops a bombshell: Someone there at the table would betray him. Can you just imagine the looks they give each other, the murmurs, the side-eyes, the quick whispers and hurried conversations? And each of them telling Jesus that it couldn't possibly be me, Lord… could it?
When questions are raised about our integrity, actions, or motives, how quick are we to point at every outside source? It had to be the other guy, someone else's fault, point this way and look that way so no one looks at you. But what if our faith demands that we first look inside, that we become self-aware enough to realize it's very possible that we could be responsible, that we have the capacity to betray, to lie, to cheat, just as much as anyone else we can point a finger at. Spend some time today asking God to help you become more self-aware and always take responsibility for your actions.