20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table[c] 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?”
Jesus is sitting at the table with his twelve people who have followed right next to him for a while. These people knew Jesus very well. They knew how he acted, they knew what he enjoyed, they knew everything he stood for. These people knew each other, too.
And here in chapter 26, we read the famous story of the Last Supper where Jesus so tenderly announces that someone at the table was going to betray him. In shock, the disciple’s response tells us everything we need to know about Jesus, and tells us everything we need to learn to be like Jesus.
Hearing that someone who was sitting at the table was going to betray Jesus, all twelve sat up straight in utter shock asking one another,
“Is it me?”
“Is it you?”
“No, this can’t be.”
“I don’t believe this.”
Reading this story and the response of the twelve, we can learn three vital points to build our life on:
1) NO ONE ELSE SHOULD KNOW THAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS HURT US
Jesus walked with these people. He did life with them, and spent quality time with them. They spent time in groups and they spent time altogether. Jesus knew all things. He knew since the beginning that Judas would be the one to turn his back on him. And when he announced that one was going to betray him, they all sat in shock. Which shows that Jesus never treated Judas any differently than the rest of the twelve. Even John, the one whom Jesus loved.
The thing I love about Jesus is, he already knew that Judas was going to do him wrong and Jesus still chose to love him as he would anyone else. It was his understanding that he was approved by his Father in Heaven, therefore even when a human intentionally hurt him, he could rest in the truth that his Father loved him. And the truth that his Father called him to love in every circumstance, every situation, and every trial. Jesus lived a life of honor and love. His responses never changed based on who he was around or who he was with. He remained consistent in love and consistent in honor because he knew who is Father was.
2) HURT IS NOT AN EXCUSE TO SHAME
Jesus was three in one with the Holy Spirit and God, but he was still a human on this Earth. He still felt emotion, and he still had feelings. Jesus knowing that one of his own disciples were going to betray him had to hurt his heart. That night at the table when he informed everyone that someone was going to turn away, he could have announced who it was out of hurt. Jesus could have thrown Judas under the bus. Jesus could have shared with everyone how wrong Judas was and go into detail with the wrongdoing he was going to act upon.
Jesus could have told everybody that Judas was the traitor. But instead, Jesus loved him and protected the hearts of those Judas would encounter by not saying anything ill of Judas. Because Jesus knew it wasn’t his job to inform others of someone’s fallout. Jesus knew it wasn’t in Father’s character to exploit or put to shame. Jesus knew that his Father was a Father of peace and holiness. Jesus knew that it was his job to love, not his job to condemn.
3) RETALIATION IS THE ENEMY OF LOVE
In the same chapter, it says that Judas directly asks Jesus in front of everyone if he was the one who was going to betray him. Jesus knew what was coming. He knew that he would be the one to sell him out and bring him one step closer to the cross. He could have gone wild. Jesus could have fought back and got in the face of Judas. Jesus could have started a fight with Judas and Jesus could have won, too. But he remained in love. The opposite of love is hate. And retaliation is the cousin of hate. Jesus kept his peace. He set a standard for us when we are done wrong. To remain in His love. To not fight back. To not yell. To not get angry. To not get bitter. To not disown or bully. But to love and to keep loving.
We are humans living in a world full of humans. Some way or another, every single one of us will experience hurt. Every single one of us will experience false accusation. Every single one of us will experience a stab in the back. Every single one of us will experience people speaking poorly of us. Every single one of us will experience people trying to expose us. Every single one of us will experience humans being humans.
But our job is none of those things. Our job is to love. Our job is to understand who we are in Christ, and understand that He knows us. Our job is to trust that when Jesus says love is the answer, then to trust that love is the answer.
Bottom line, we will never owe anybody anything other than love.