Summary: The ultimate powers of love and evil were at work in Jesus' ministry.
The Ultimate Powers of Love and Evil
Series: A Journey with Jesus (through the Gospel of John)
Brad Bailey – January 30, 2011
If you have been following this season of professional football… then you feel the moment that last Sunday led to… at the conclusion of the day… everything was brought down to the two final teams that will now square off in the final Super Bowl showdown next Sunday. As the time gets shorter before the climatic showdown… the tension intensifies... coaches are letting their players know that this is it… when the game is over there is no going back.
Today we engage this very point in the grand drama that we are a part of.
As we continue in our series, A Journey with Jesus through the Gospel of John… that is the moment we arrive at today… a moment in which the powers that surround human life become clear… and each will line up to strike the other.
Jesus has come for the final time to Jerusalem… as John described at the start of chapter 13…
John 13:1-2 (NIV)
1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
It’s the Passover Feast… that which looks for hope y remembering another intense moment between the power of evil and the power of God… Jesus ‘Shown them his love’… will call them to love… but in the midst…. there is evil at work…betrayal.
Jesus goes on to begin washing their feet… capturing what the cross will represent…he has to explain to Peter the symbol of being cleansed… and then explains that not all of them are clean… and we are told that he knew who was going to betray him.
He then says that they must do as he has done in loving and serving others… for he has set the example and the servant is not greater than the master.
Now we reach the point in which two powers come into clearer play.
John 13:18-30 (NIV)
18 "I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.' 19 "I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. 20 I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." 21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" 26 Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, 28 but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
So much at hand for us to engage.
At the center is the most profound and personal acts of betrayal. [NOTE 2]
Consider the relationship… and what was being done….Jesus had called him… given him the privilege of being called as one of his 12 disciples… the group who the Messaih from God would train… he gave him his last three years of life.
And now… he had just washed his feet … to capture the heart of preparing to suffer for them. When they sat down… who do you suppose was given the most honorable place… it was Judas that Jesus placed at his right side… it was Judas who he would offer the honor of personally serving the special bread dipped in oil to. But it was Judas that had just gone to the rulers who sought to get rid of Jesus…. and agreed to turn him over for twenty pieces of silver. It is the ultimate betrayal.