When we were young parents of very young children, going out to eat with my parents or others was more work than it was worth. On our best days, there seemed to be “that one” among the three who would be the challenge of the moment. “I don’t like that, I only want ice cream.” “I need to go the bathroom”, (for the 3rd time). “Stop breathing on me—he’s leaning on me!” “Ouch, that hurts, (with a slap back under the table).” Yeah, eating out with an obstinate one, not with “the program”, is not pleasant. And let’s not even talk about the activity of toddlers leaving the table without permission to explore what is under the table while you’re not looking. Out of the three children in our family, we could count on at least one of them misbehaving. We had many teachable moments, to put it mildly.
Jesus had “the one” at His Table, the last Passover meal He would have with his beloved disciples. Jesus knew “the one” who would betray Him in the middle of the meal. Jesus loved him anyway. Did you get that? Jesus bent down to wash his feet along with the other eleven in a act of service that surprised them all. (See John 13) Jesus served Judas at the table of tradition, honoring God while thanking God for their rescue from death, centuries before, as they fled Egyptian captivity. God provided a way out for His Chosen People then; God was providing a way back to Him in relationship through the sacrifice Jesus would make in a few hours.
But there was “the one” who had sold Jesus out to the enemy a few hours earlier and now sat at the table with him as if nothing was wrong. Scripture foretold the betrayal. Jesus knew what Judas had done for He knows his heart. Jesus, The Master Teacher has watched over Judas, has been living with his and the others on the road, experienced his attitude about money and power, but most of all Jesus, Son of God, saw right through him to the heart of Judas, “the one” who would betray Him.
Jesus says in a loud enough voice so those around him at the table hear Him, “One of you will betray me.”
“Is it me?” Confused, each disciples takes a turn to examine their motives—except “the one”. Judas knows it is him, but innocently responds like the rest, “Is it me?”. Jesus knows it is him and tells him to leave The Table to go do what Judas has decided to do. Judas had a choice. But God knew what choice he would make.
Matthew—God’s Word Fulfilled
Matthew 26:17-30, NLT
The Last Supper
17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?”
18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there.
20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”
22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?”
23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!”
25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”
And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”
26 As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”
27 And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, 28 for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. 29 Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.”
30 Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.
AFTER JUDAS LEFT THE TABLE…
The Eleven with Jesus are now taught that Jesus will be The Lamb of sacrifice, replacing the animal lamb of sacrifice. “My blood, My body” confirms the New Covenant between God and His people. Sin will be forgiven forever, once and for all, for all who believe and call on the Name of Jesus.
Those who believe will join Jesus and live in God’s Kingdom forever.
Do you know Him? God knows this answer. Do you? You have a choice. Choose wisely and don’t wait. Jesus IS coming back, you know. Jesus is with all who believe right now through His Holy Spirit who takes up residence in our minds, hearts and souls! Restore or begin a new relationship with the God who loves you more than you can imagine, so much so, He went to hell and back again for you. Jesus is the victor over evil and death. Jesus is the One and Only who shows the Way to Truth of Life forever. Come.
Abba, Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you. Even on our most obstinate days, you still love us. You teach us. You saved us from our sins. Thank you. Thank you for inviting us to The Table of grace, hope, peace and eternal joy. Your blood, your body saved my soul. I need your grace and mercy daily. Continue to transform me to be all you created me to be before doing anything. And whatever is done, may it be for your glory, honor and praise.
In Jesus Name, Amen