Wednesday, March 28, 2007
III. Jesus is “Troubled” and “Disturbed” a Third Time
Now read Chapter 13, up to Judas’ leaving the Last Supper in v30.
Jesus washes his disciples’ feet as a sign of his love for them, while also feeling “troubled in spirit…” for a reason he will shortly tell them. (Remember he has felt “disturbed in spirit” in chapter 11, his “soul is troubled” in chapter 12, and in chapter 13 he is about to announce a similar feeling.)
Then, “Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me” (v21).
So, not only will “the Jews” betray him, but a friend will too!
Do you know the fear of realizing that someone you trust will betray you?
-- a co-worker who has become jealous of your gifts or “success”
-- a new supervisor who feels you’re one of the “old guard,” not to be trusted.
Do you know the fear that something will betray you?
-- your body that ages and declines in health, even turning ill unexpectedly
-- a storm approaching your home, your vacation site, the place where your children are camping.
Then, Judas leaves, and the author tells us that “…it was night.” In the Gospel of John night and darkness always symbolize a misunderstanding about Jesus or a failure to understand who he is. Nicodemus, for example, who couldn’t understand who Jesus was, came to Jesus by night in Chapter 3.
In Chapter 13 “night” takes on the additional sense of betrayal, evil, hatred, jealousy, and so on. “And it was night” signals us that with Judas’ departure from the Last Supper, the worst of human sin is now aroused against Jesus and will attempt to destroy him.
How must he feel?
In your prayer and reflection feel yourself at the Last Supper watching Jesus as he announces his betrayal by one seated at the table.
Jesus has begun his Passion.
Be his friend. Pray for him.
Ask him to be with you as you experience moments of your own passion.