Jesus experienced so many things during his time here: joy, a following, fellowship; temptation, rejection, grief. They’re things that lots of people can relate to at some time or another. In Luke 22, he is betrayed by someone in his inner circle.
3 Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, 4 and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. 5 They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. 6 So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around. Luke 22:3-6, NLT (emphasis mine).
Inner circles. One of the twelve in this case. It looks like close friendships, family or community in other circumstances. Judas looked for opportunity to betray (to lead astray; to deliver to an enemy by treachery; to fail or desert in time of need; to disclose in violation of confidence; to prove false). He sat at the table with Jesus.
21 “But here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me.” Luke 22:21, NLT.
Yesterday I was thinking about Gideon and his army of three hundred, and Jesus, solitary man who would conquer death–when an unexpected sucker punch showed up on my screen. The message was not random, and I knew it. It was intentional and targeted. It shook me to instant defeat.
“I can’t do this anymore, Lord,” I cried.
Jesus sat at the table with the man who would betray him. Passed him the bread. Passed him the wine.
I was preparing a table as well. (Tables are incredibly rich in meaning to me.)
“Lord, I want to cancel. I can’t do this,” my heart has ached too long.
24 Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.” Luke 22:24-27, NLT.
The reading ends with the disciples falling asleep when Jesus asks them to stay awake and pray; Judas’s betrayal with a kiss; Peter’s denial of knowing Jesus–all these people were part of his inner circle. Jesus knew betrayal.
Sometimes there’s no getting around it but through it. Lord, please help me through it.