Deserters, Betrayers, Deniers- Holy Week – Tuesday- John 13:21-33, 36-38
I admit, to a certain extent, I would be flummoxed as to what I was to do, if I was told that tonight would be the last night of my life. Eating a meal would be the last thing on my mind and even if I did, who would I share that with?
Meals were an integral part of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus practically ate His way through the gospels. Today’s reading consists of extracts from the last supper with a deliberate intent to focus on Judas. But before we really go harsh on Judas don’t forget that Jesus sat down for His last meal with all sorts.
Peter would deny the Lord not once but three times. James and John, along with Peter, were singled out ‘remain with Him and stay awake’ in Gethsemane; they failed Him thrice. The gospel of Mark 14:51, tells us that a ‘certain young man was following Him wearing nothing but a linen cloth but when they caught hold of him he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.’ By the time they reach the foot of the cross all the men, barring John, have gone into hiding.
So am I waving a flag for Judas? Certainly not! But here is the Lord, eating His last meal, with all sorts and kind. But it’s not who He is eating with, that most important, but rather what’s He feeding them with, at this meal. To betrayers, deniers and deserters, Jesus offers His body and blood; all this, while scripture tells us that Jesus was deeply troubled and said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, one of your will betray me.”
And yet, it is to Judas, that He gives His body and blood. The Lord never stopped giving and the Lord never stopped loving. That’s why He came, for sinners and the lost! Scripture tells us that Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners. Today we add a few more to that list of table guests; betrayers, deniers and deserters. Even at His last meal on earth, Jesus is ministering to the lost.