[Jesus said] "But behold, the hand of him who betrays Me is with Me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this. (Luke 22:21-23)
Have you ever looked at Renaissance pictures of the Last Supper? Not Leonardo's, the most famous one. I mean all the other ones out there—the ones where you can always tell who Judas is, because he's sitting on one side of the table, all by himself.
Of course, it wasn't really like that. It wasn't obvious at all who the betrayer was going to be. As Luke says, "And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this."
As far as they could tell, Judas was just like the rest of them. He had been hand-picked by Jesus, just as they were; he had worked hard in the ministry; he had even gone out as all the apostles did, to preach and heal and cast out demons. Only John seemed to realize there was a problem (see John 12:6).
It's a sobering thing to think about—because that means that any of us, too, could betray Jesus. Judas was not someone bent on evil from the very beginning. He was like us—a human being flawed by sin, with strengths and weaknesses, good and bad mingled.
What separates us from him, then? Only Jesus. As believers, we are what Judas could have been. Jesus died for all of us, even Judas. And Jesus gives His everlasting life to everyone who trusts in Him, no matter who we are or what we have been like.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, keep me always with You. Amen.
* What kind of emotional reaction do you have to Judas?
* Why do you think you have that reaction?
* When have you looked at a bad situation and thought, "There but for the grace of God go I"?
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo.
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"