Thursday, April 13, 2017


He sat back at the table after washing our feet.  Everything He did had purpose.

"Do you understand what I have just done?" He asked.

A few of us nodded as if we understood.  None of us really did.  He was always teaching us things about the way we should conduct ourselves as believers.  He was our teacher and our Lord.  I still felt a little strange about Him washing my soiled feet.  I shrugged my shoulders in response to His question.  I saw John turn toward Him with a questioning expression on His face.  If John did not understand, how could any of us.

"You are right to call me your teacher and your Lord, because I am.  You have walked beside me for three years now.  I have shared much with you.  I have given you an example of how you should treat each other.  No servant is greater than his master.  No messenger is greater than the one whose message he delivers.  I have served you, as you will serve each other."

A troubled look took a grip on the features of His face.  I have found myself mesmerized by the wrinkles of His countenance as He expressed His deepest thoughts.  Since the days on the shore when He told Peter and Andrew to cast out their nets again, I have been drawn to the intensity of His eyes.

But this expression was troubling.  His eyes darkened.  He looked at each of us, as if studying the core of our beings.

"One of you here... at this table... one of you who I have called friend, will betray me."

We all cast our glances at our brothers.  Who would do such a thing?  Surely not I.  My thought was put to words by most of our party.  Peter looked extremely perplexed.  His eyes met mine and in unison we shook our heads.  I watched Peter wait for John's gaze to move in his direction.  He communicated to the youngest of our group without words.  In the past few years we have all become close enough to read each other's expressions.  We knew the weaknesses and strengths possessed by each of our brothers.  John, in his youth, was the most innocent.  He would not hesitate to question the master about the assertion He had just made.

John leaned close to Jesus and spoke softly.  I could not hear the teacher's response and I don't believe Peter did either.  John sat back upright, away from Jesus and watched as the master's hand picked up a piece of broken bread from the table.  Seconds passed before He dipped the bread into the bowl containing the sauce.  Rather than take a bite from the bread he passed it to Judas.

And Judas bit into the piece of unleavened bread.

Confusion rose inside me.  The teacher and Judas shared a brief word.  Judas finished the morsel in his hand and left the table, stepping out into the night.

I quickly glanced around the room, catching returned stares from each of my friends.  Had we just witnessed the cusp of betrayal?

Jesus spoke about glory, His glory.  Once again those words are flowing from His mouth and I am more frightened than ever before.

copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

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