So That You Will Believe

“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’ “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.”  (John 13:18-19)

In our verses for today our Lord is referring to the prophecy given in David’s Messianic Psalm 41:

Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9)

Jesus’ selection of Judas as a disciple had been no accident or kink in God’s plans. Our Lord had known Judas’ heart from the beginning and took one into His family whom He foresaw to be a traitor. This was to fulfill Scripture and He now intimates to His disciples that their hearts are not all right with Him. Jesus had spoken of this to the disciples earlier in John:

Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) (John 6:70-71)

Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. (John 13:10-11)

Judas was an apostle who was admitted into the highest privilege of eating and conversing with Jesus, not to mention being an eyewitness to His great miracles and teachings. Wherever Jesus went, Judas was welcome: sitting at the table with the Master, eating the miraculous bread when the loaves and fishes were multiplied, sharing the Passover meal with Jesus. And yet, Judas was guilty of the vilest treachery. He forsook the Lord, despising Him as his enemy for his love of money. However, it is extremely interesting that Christ appeared to treat Judas no differently than the others. Our Lord continuously loved him to the end–showing compassion, kindness, gentleness, humility, and patience. The other disciples had no idea who would be the one to betray Him.

As His followers we are called to the same high road of love and compassion through the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul tells us in Colossians:

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)

There is a great message in this for us as well on how we are to treat our enemies. I am reminded of Paul’s words:

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:17-21)

“But there’s a decision that I find God is asking us to make: whether we are going to choose to interpret our circumstances based on what we hold to be true about God, or whether we’re going to judge what we hold to be true about God based on our circumstances. People ask how we’re doing, and I like to say: ‘We have a faithful God.’ Every promise he’s kept, every need he’s met.” -Laura Story

We can only control our own actions and reactions. We are to be good, noble, and honorable in our interactions–living in harmony whenever possible. We must leave the poor behavior of others in God’s hands. We are each accountable before God for our own lives.

Ever like the Good Shepherd to lovingly take care of His sheep by preparing them for what lay ahead. What He spoke to the disciples must have danced around in their minds. Certainly His Words brought them as much comfort, peace, and joy as they did understanding. He wanted them to know. His desire was for them to obtain a fresh reason for believing that He was Whom He said He was: the Messiah, the “I AM”.

Take It to Heart

All of Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for us. All prophecy and all of the promises contained in God’s Word will one day come to pass–we can count on it.

“You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the LORD your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. (Joshua 23:14)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:7-8)