Prepare to listen (about 5 minutes). Conclude the silence with a request that the Spirit open the ears of your heart to hear God’s Word for you today.
Read John 13:21-32 (read slowly 2 or 3 times as you wonder about the details in the text).
21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ 26Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. 27After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ 28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.’
Some background information
This story takes place at Jesus’ last Passover meal with his disciples and immediately after Jesus had washed their feet (the lesson for Thursday).
‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The atmosphere in that room was very tense even before Jesus dropped this bombshell. The disciples all must have felt guilty and unsure of their devotion to Jesus. Peter urged the disciple next to Jesus to ask, ‘Lord, who is it?’ According to Matthew (27:22), they all began anxiously asking, ‘Surely not I, Lord?’ If Jesus’ response wasn’t exactly reassuring, his attitude and acceptance of his anxious disciples was. After the betrayer left, Jesus announced his own end, in words charged with the glory of God and of himself. Christ’s death is near and God is glorified in him.
How might you feel if you heard Jesus ask this same question? What response might you give? Do Jesus’ words reassure you or not?
Respond to Jesus in prayer. Write your prayer response or pray the following prayer:
When the situation is tense, when emotions are heightened, Lord I pray for strength to stay true to you. When my mind is racing and I feel insecure, may your accepting presence be real and may I trust in you even if I feel nothing. I pray in your name so that glory may pour up to you in all I do. Amen.
Be silent and still (for as long as you want). Simply be in the presence of Jesus, who loves you, regardless.