Wednesday, April 20, 2011

John 13:21-32

Lent - Last Week - Wednesday - Year A

John 13:21-32

Betrayal is upsetting, no matter who is dealing with it. With a whiff of betrayal scented we are aroused to resolve it - is the betrayer you? is it me? can it be avoided?

Here it is the action of Jesus to stimulate the fears around betrayal and to initiate not only its recognition, but its engagement.

Jesus will be betrayed by the person to whom he gives the bread of sustenance. Jesus gives it to Judas. Then this interesting line, “After he (Judas) received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him (Satan?), ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’”

Of course the disciples heard nothing (the equivalent of thunder in place of a voice announcing belovedness or glory) and made up a story of where Judas went. If they had known, they would have had to do something about it, intervened between Judas and the Pharisees.

If we extend this passage to Hebrews 12, we might also find Judas among the cloud of witnesses. We learn not only from saints, but sinners.

One of the things we learn is that Jesus enters his next round of tempations with his eyes wide open. There is no plea here to be delivered or turn back. May you enter your next time of temptation with your eyes wide open. In this way you will glimpse a glory worth following.

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For a perspective that the conflictual information about Judas in the Gospels and the lack of reference in the Epistles might suggest that Judas is a fictional necessity for the Jesus story, you can check this short review.

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