Jesus washes his disciples’ feet

Before the Passover festival began, Jesus knew that it was now the time when he was to leave this world and return to God. He loved the people who had been sent to him and stayed with them to the end.

The Devil put the thought to betray Jesus into the heart of Simon Iscariot’s son Judas before the Passover meal began.

Jesus knew that he had received everything he had from God, that God had sent him, and that he was going to return to God. Therefore, he got up from the table, put his robe aside, and tied a towel around himself. He then put water into a basin and started to wash his disciple’s feet and dry them with the towel that was tied around him

When he got to Simon Peter, he was asked “Lord, why do you want to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but you will later.”

“You shouldn’t ever be the one to wash my feet!” Peter exclaimed.

“If I don’t wash you, then you have no right to say you are my disciple.” Jesus countered.

“Then wash my hands and head too!” Peter said.

Jesus replied “If you’ve bathed, you only have to wash your feet to become clean. You are clean, but not everyone is.” Jesus said that not everyone was clean because he knew who was going to betray him.

JN 13:1-11

Many disciples desert Jesus

Many of Jesus’ disciples said “This is a difficult teaching! Who can understand it?” after they heard this.

Jesus knew that his disciples were complaining about this teaching, so he asked them “Are you offended by this? What would you think if you saw the Son of Man returning to heaven? The Holy Spirit gives life. There is nothing to be gained from the flesh. What I have spoken to you is spirit, and is life. But some of you don’t believe.”

Jesus knew from the start who would believe and which one would betray him.

He said “This is what I meant when I told you that only those who the Father calls can come to me.”

Many of his disciples left at this point and no longer followed him. Jesus then said to the Twelve “Are you going to leave too?”

Simon Peter answered “Who would we go to, Lord? Your words contain the way of eternal life. We now believe in our hearts and know that you are the Messiah, the Holy One of God!”

Jesus replied “I chose you Twelve, yet one of you is full of darkness.” He was speaking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, because he was going to betray Jesus.

JN 6:60-71

Judas hangs himself

Judas was filled with remorse at what he had done when he learned that Jesus had been sentenced to death. He returned the 30 silver pieces to the chief priests and elders.

“I have sinned by betraying an innocent man,” he said.

“So? How does that concern us? That is your problem!” they retorted.

He threw the silver into the Temple sanctuary and left. He hung himself that very hour.

The chief priests gathered up the coins and said “It is against the Law to put this money with the Temple offerings because it is blood money.” After some discussion, they decided to buy a potter’s field to turn it into a burial place for foreigners who died in the city. It is because of this that this cemetery is called “The Field of Blood” to this day.

This fulfilled the words of the prophet Jeremiah when he said -“They took the thirty silver pieces, the price the sons of Israel set for Him, and they gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord ordered me.”

MT 27:3-10

The Judas kiss.

A crowd suddenly arrived while Jesus was speaking. Jesus’ disciple Judas was leading them. He knew where Jesus would be because Jesus often met there with his disciples. Judas lead priests, scribes, and elders from the Temple along with soldiers carrying lanterns, torches, swords and clubs.

Judas had given them a sign, saying “The one I kiss is the one you want to arrest.” Judas immediately went up to Jesus and said “Teacher!” and kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, are you here to betray me with a kiss? Do what you have come to do.”

Jesus, knowing what was about to happen, said to the crowd “Who are you looking for?”

“Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.

“I am.” Jesus responded.

Judas was standing with the accusers at this point. When Jesus admitted he was the one they were looking for, they all fell to the ground.

Again he asked them “Who are you looking for?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.

“I’ve already told you I am. Since you are looking for just me, let these others go.” This fulfilled Jesus’ words “I have not lost a single person that God has given me.”

Then the Temple authorities and soldiers seized him to arrest him.

One of the disciples asked “Lord, should we attack them with their swords?” Without waiting for an answer, Simon Peter drew his sword and cut off the right ear of the high priest’s slave, whose name was Malchus.

Jesus said “No more violence! Put your sword away! Everyone who takes up the sword will die in the same way. Do you not think that I can call on my Father who will immediately provide me with more than a dozen legions of angels? The Scriptures must be fulfilled that say it has to happen this way. I must drink the cup which my Father has given me.”

Jesus then touched the slave’s ear and healed him.

Speaking to the crowd, Jesus said “Have you come with weapons to arrest me like I’m a criminal? I used to teach every day in the Temple – you could have arrested me there. Yet all of this happened so that the words of the prophets would be fulfilled. But this is your time, and a time when darkness reigns.”

Then all of his disciples ran away.

A young man who was following Jesus was there, wearing just a linen cloth. The crowd tried to grab him as he ran away, but he slipped away naked, leaving his cloth behind.

MT 26:47-56, MK 14:43-52, LK 22:47-53, JN 17:1-11

Betrayal at the Passover

Jesus arrived in the evening with his 12 disciples at the place where they were going to celebrate the Passover. While they were reclining at the table to eat, Jesus’ spirit was troubled and he said, “Mark my words, one of you who is eating with me right now will betray me!”

MT 26:20-21, MK 14:17-18, LK 22:21, JN 13:21

“This doesn’t apply to all of you, I know well everyone I have chosen. But the Scripture must be fulfilled which says ‘The one who eats bread with me has raised his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now in advance so that when it does happen you will believe in me.”

JN 13:18-19

“The Son of Man will be betrayed as it has been foretold, but woe to the one who betrays him! It would have been easier for him if he had not been born!”

LK 22:22, MK 14:21, MT 26:24

The disciples were distressed and began to argue among themselves as to who it would be and saying to Jesus “Surely it isn’t me Lord?

MT 26:22, LK 22:23, JN 13:22

The disciple that Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus. Simon Peter gestured to him to ask Jesus who he meant. He leaned in close and asked him “Lord, who is it?”

JN 13:23-25

Judas, the one who was to betray him, asked “Surely it isn’t me, Teacher?” Jesus answered him “You have said it.”

MT 26:25

“The one who will betray me is the one who dipped his bread in the bowl with me.”

MT 26:23, MK 14:20

“He is the one that I give the bread to after I have dipped it.” After he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Satan entered Judas after he ate the piece of bread. Then Jesus told him “What you are about to do, do quickly.” Judas went out immediately after receiving the piece of bread from Jesus. It was nighttime by this point.

No one at the table knew why Jesus had said this to Judas. They thought that since Judas kept up with all of their money that Jesus was telling him to go buy what they required for the festival or to give money to the poor.

JN 13:26-30

Judas talks with the authorities

Then Satan entered Judas’ heart to make him betray Jesus.

JN 13:2, LK 22:3

Judas left and went to speak with the chief priests and Temple police, asking them “How much are you willing to pay me if I turn Jesus over to you?” Delighted by this, the offered him 30 pieces of silver. He accepted their offer and began looking for a time to hand Jesus over to them when nobody was around.

MT 26:14-16, MK 14:10-11, LK 22:4-6

Addiction and trusting in God

I wrestle with addiction. Thankfully I’m no longer enslaved to pot. I also used to smoke clove cigarettes. But addiction can take many forms. Addiction is any time that we feel helpless to control our actions. It’s as if we are puppets being controlled by an outside source.

There are a few things that you can do to defeat addiction. One is just do something. Wash the dishes. Sort your sock drawer. Write a letter. Go for a walk. Doodle. Make sure it is something where you are being active, even a little. Watching TV and reading don’t count. Those are passive activities and won’t help in this situation.

There is a method of education called the Waldorf method. One of the things that they hold to be true is that the environment reflects the inner nature of the child. If the child is being disorganized and chaotic in play, then the way to fix that is to tidy up the area around the child. Sometimes we have to re-parent ourselves. So in this instance, if you are feeling scattered or sluggish, then what you need to do is start picking up your area. Start moving and tidying up. You don’t have to do your whole house, and in fact I suggest that you not even try all it right then. Balance is important. But rather thanbeing afraid of doing too much it’s also bad to not do anything at all. Get started. Have small goals. That way you can see progress.

I like to think about Judas. He didn’t want to betray Jesus. He was one of Jesus’ followers, disciples, and friends. When Judas realized what he had done, he hung himself. But earlier on in the text we read that Judas didn’t even do it. It wasn’t intentional. An evil spirit entered him and made him do what had to be done. I’ve written about this extensively in a previous post so I’m not going into all of that here. But where I’m going with this is that sometimes despite our best efforts things don’t go the way we want or plan or expect. Sometimes we mean to do well and yet we do the exact opposite. It’s entirely possible that we are being controlled by God, and there is another part of the plan we aren’t aware of.

Now that may sound backwards in light of what I just said about Judas. Remember how I said that he was controlled by evil spirit? If we truly believe that there is only one God and that God made everything, we also then have to understand that there is no such thing as an evil spirit. It is simply an agent of the Lord acting in a way that to our eyes seems backwards and not correct.

How did this does not mean that we are off the hook from trying to do our best? We should always try to do everything we can in our power to do the right thing and to improve ourselves and the world. But part of what I’m saying is if you have tried your best and yet you still fail don’t beat yourself up. Don’t be Judas and kill yourself. We kill ourselves all the time by making fun of ourselves or attacking ourselves with disparaging words.

Think of Balaam and the donkey. Balaam wanted to go forward and yet the donkey he was riding on saw an angel standing in the path in front of them. The angel meant to kill Balaam if he went any further. The donkey stopped and Balaam got really angry with the donkey and started to beat him. Then the donkey talked to him and said “Why are you beating me?” Balaam then saw the angel who was going to kill him if he had continued on that road.

Maybe if we keep trying to go forward and we are blocked perhaps it is best to trust that God is in charge. That maybe there is an angel standing in our way preventing us from getting hurt or doing something wrong.