Read John 13.21-32

                After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.”  The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking.  One of his disciples–the one whom Jesus loved–was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.  

                So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”  Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.  After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.”

                 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.  Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor.  So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out.  And it was night.

                 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.  If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

 

From Rev. Kevin M. Snow,

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Huntington,

and Associate Regional Minister for Youth and Young Adults

                Reading the Gospels with a careful eye reminds us that the disciples, as well intentioned as they were, frequently just didn’t “get it.”  In chapter 13 alone, Simon Peter doesn’t understand why Jesus must wash his feet or where Jesus is going, and the disciples don’t comprehend Jesus impending betrayal by Judas.   We are often just as confused as the disciples, although they were closest to Jesus.   We still struggle with the same questions:  What is our calling?  How do we follow Christ more fully?   Where is the Holy Spirit leading in the midst of our own confusion and betrayal?   But the new commandment comes from Christ loud and clear: love.  Love as Christ loved all people.  Unconditionally.  Faithfully.  Eternally.  Passionately.  Without ceasing. 

God of grace and glory,

we give thanks for your abundant love and peace.

As they draw us nearer to you and one another in discipleship,

may we follow Christ’s example,

despite our doubts, insecurities, and shortcomings.

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