After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in His spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” John 13:21
Pay attention here! Pay attention here! “Truly, truly.” Betrayal is a serious thing. And what if I treat this as though You are speaking to me here. After all, I am listening to You right now through Your Word. It’s like I’m at the supper. I’d love to be in John’s place leaning up against You and listening and speaking with You. And I guess I am right now. Anyone can be. I just need to take the time.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” What was the response. John’s account says that Peter asked him to ask You, “Who is it?” But Matthew and Mark’s accounts both say that the immediate response was, “Is it me?” One by one they sorrowfully asked, “Is it I?” Isn’t that something that every one searched his own heart? Could you really not know if you would betray someone? Obviously not. And that was the right response.
I think You confirmed that response by offering this confirmation. “It is the one of the twelve, that dips with me in the dish.” Now, the only thing is that each one of the disciples would have dipped with You. It was part of the ceremony that you all partook of together. But let’s say that Judas was the first to partake, then the others. Let’s say Judas was the first to partake, then me. Maybe I’m still supposed to wonder about my own motives and capabilities. Now, John says You had Judas partake, then told him to go do what he must do, but that the disciples didn’t understand why. They were all still searching their own hearts.
Now, I found out something interesting as I looked into the word for “betray” here. The Greek word for “betray” is “paradidomi.” Strong’s Concordance says it means to surrender, that is, yield up, intrust, transmit.” It’s especially used of delivering or handing someone over to be put in prison. But if I listen to this further analysis of the word, I start to see why it is so important that we all examine our hearts concerning Your statement here.
According to http://www.TheScriptureAlone.com, the root “didomi” means ”to give of one’s own accord and with good will.” The prefix “para” adds the idea of alongside or over to,
providing the full meaning ‘to deliver over to the power of someone.'” It was the legal term used in Classical Greek of delivering someone to court. Delivering someone over to death and judgment incorporates the New Testament idea. And it’s used numerous times of You. It’s why You came. It was God’s will to hand You over. You handed Yourself over, into the hands of sinful men that You might set them free from sin and death. And yes, Judas’ heart was so twisted that He was used of Satan to deliver you of his own accord and with good will. But in a different sense, haven’t we all?
Judas knew what he was doing. He chose it. But what of me and the other disciples. Didn’t I hand You over of my own accord because I scattered with them. I didn’t fight it. I gave in to the crucifixion. I betrayed You by default. But You had to die or I would still be lost. There was no good will in my intent. And it really wasn’t by my own accord. Just by my own weakness. But I, like Peter, had to search that out and find that out for myself. You knew that.
Now, Judas is gone doing what Judas was going to do, what You knew he would do. But Peter and the others are still listening to You. And now You say, “All of you are going to stumble, you are going to fall into sin, because of Me tonight.” “Every one of you will be tested. You are going to be like grain, winnowed and thrown up into the air, so it can be separated from the chaff. You are going to have to decide and learn what you are in accord with and what is is your good will. Tonight’s the night you learn about yourselves.”
“No, not me, Lord, I’m firm. Even if everyone else stumbles, I won’t ever stumble. I won’t ever get confused about my priorities. I won’t get trapped by sin. My attitude will always be right. My intentions will always be good.” Oh, Peter, isn’t that easy to think. I appreciate your fervor and honesty. It’s hard to take an honest look at myself at first. It hurts to see how dissappointing I can be. But Jesus warned you and He warns me, “Pay attention! Pay attention! You aren’t as strong as you think you are. You don’t have my Holy Spirit yet. It’s still easy for you to deny me. It’s still easy for you to not want my way. It’s tough stuff and you haven’t been made tough enough yet. But I am working on you.
Now, I want to jump back to this “paradidomi,” this handing over of ones own accord and with good will. Because it’s used elsewhere in Scripture. It’s used in Acts 15:25-26 to speak of “chosen men…that have hazarded their lives for our Lord Jesus Christ.” Am I willing to do that? Am I willing to hand myself over to and for You, Lord, no matter the cost? Am I willing to “suffer” the same to become intimate with Your Word? In Jude 1:3 Paul appeals to us to “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered (paradidomi) to the saints.” It’s not easy. It’s worth the struggle. You thought we were worth the struggle. I ought to find You worth the struggle.
Lord, I am so grateful, that even thought Judas handed You over of his own accord, You handed Yourself over for me of Your own accord and of Your good will because You could see my reunion with You beyond the cross. I am so glad that I was worth the struggle and the winnowing. Now, I’m just like Peter, John, and the rest of Your disciples. I’m one of Your disciples too. And I’m prone to respond just like they were. But, Lord, You already showed me what I could expect of myself and how I could expect You to use it in my life to strengthen me and draw me closer to You, to strengthen me and make me a contender. You call for diligence so I will give diligence of my own accord, what little I have. You make more of it in me. You call for me to earnestly contend for You, I will earnestly contend to the best of my ability. You make more of it in me. You call for me to hand all of myself over to You just as You handed all of Yourself over to the Father for me, I will hand all of me over to You. You make more of it in me. Will I lay down my life for Your sake, Lord? Oh, that the answer would be emphatically, “Yes!” Do the work in me that is necessary and may I be fully handed over to You no matter the cost because You alone are worth it all.