I Start With Myself

Jesus became troubled in spirit and testified, “Truly, truly, I tell you, one of you will betray Me.” The disciples began to look at one another, perplexed as to which of them He meant. John 13:21-22

The atmosphere at the Lord’s Supper grew tense. Jesus announced that one of the twelve would betray Him. In that pregnant moment, I do not believe that each wondered which of his brothers had done such a thing. I believe a dark cloud came over each of them personally as they feared it might be them.  I believe they knew some of their own weaknesses.  After all, they had been with Jesus for three years to see the stark contrast between holiness and sinfulness.

Three years is a long time to travel with someone. Their relationship with Him was intimate. What they expected Him to do, He rarely did. What they anticipated He might say, He rarely said.  Whom they didn’t expected Him to heal, He did.  When they expected Him to honor sacred Jewish traditions, He surprised them by doing the opposite.  They had had plenty of time to understand their own sinfulness in light of the contrast.  They knew pretty quickly that they fell short of God’s glory – resident in Christ.

For Judas, the bait was money. His love for riches challenged fidelity. But for any one of the disciples, there might have been another temptation to hit home and cause them to walk away.

It is imperative that I know my own weaknesses well. Self-indulgent introspection doesn’t reveal them. Only the mirror of the Word of God does. I must let the Word judge my heart. I must accept what God shows me, and then I must allow God to start changing what I love too much that could threaten our relationship. Yes, I could easily be a Judas. I have had Judas moments.

I have known the bitter gall of failure. I have drunk the wine of self-hatred. I have questioned God’s radical forgiveness. But grace won. Failure, repentance, and forgiveness are great teachers. I remember from where I’ve fallen and, because of the grace of God, He will empower me to finish the race well and avoid a Judas kind of detour.

I don’t love others unconditionally without Your help. I can only love YOU unconditionally by Your grace, too. Challenge me and my affections. Amen

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