Thursday, March 24, 2016

Maundy Thursday Musing


Who was Jesus' most loyal disciple?

Matthew 26, verses 20 thru 25:

20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.

21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

John 13, verses 21 thru 28:

21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

Try reading those two sections absent the supernatural overtones it's tempting to read into them or to buy as built into the narrative -- possession by Satan, prophecy by Jesus, etc. What remains is a leader assigning a really, really dirty job, but one that had to be done, to one of his followers. And he did it, even knowing that as a result he'd go down in his sect's history as the definitive traitor.

The rest of the disciples weren't even sufficiently dedicated to stay awake and keep watch at Gethsemane.

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