Holy Wednesday Devotion for April 17, 2019

John 13:21–32 (NRSV)

21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23 One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus 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. 27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some 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. 30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

The Gospel writers often refer to and foreshadow Judas as the “one who betrayed” Jesus. And yet, here we have John’s account in the Upper Room that Jesus was then troubled in his spirit. God the Father was making it apparent to Jesus in a “just-in -time” manner that Judas would be his betrayer. Now, perhaps he had an idea before then, but the text states at this point he was “troubled” which I take to mean it was a new understanding and reality that Jesus experienced.

I have often said how I wish God would let me know what was coming only to take those words back quickly. I don’t handle the present very well much less knowledge of the future. That would crush me under a weight that I could not handle. God knows that and gives grace to handle today which includes freedom from tomorrow’s worries. God operates in a “just-in-time” manner because it is the best.

At the top of my 2019 resolutions is to live more urgently and less anxiously. I desire to handle today fervently and leave tomorrow in God’s capable hands trusting that what I do today will prepare me and those around me for whatever tomorrow holds.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I give you tomorrow. It will arrive with enough grace for me to thrive. And so allow me to be present today. Allow me to always look for your hands at work and rush to join you.

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