Summary: Imagine the shock of the disciples when Jesus declared that one of them would betray Him into the hands of sinful men. With that, they began to question - Lord, is it I? Could I possibly do such a thing? We often boast of our faith, but I fear we are unaware of what the flesh is capable of.
The Last Supper (Part 2)
Mark 14: 12-26
In our last study we began to look at this beautiful passage dealing with the Last Supper in the Upper Room. Jesus had met with His disciples as they prepared to eat the Passover meal. This was a feast the Jews had celebrated for centuries as they commemorated the deliverance of Israel from Egyptian bondage, through God’s mighty hand.
The central focus of the Passover was the offering of the lamb and partaking of the Passover meal. We discussed the significance of the meal in our last study. Sadly, the Lamb of God had come to deliver humanity from their sin, and yet, most of those who knew Jesus did not embrace Him as their Lord and Savior. He had come to earth with purpose – to die for our sin. Apart from salvation in Christ, there is no means of forgiveness and reconciliation to God.
As we continue to discuss the details in the text, I want to conclude our study of: The Last Supper. As a reminder, last time we discussed:
I. The Preparation for the Meal (12-16)
A. The Occasion (12)
B. The Instruction (13-15)
C. The Devotion (16)
II. The Proclamation at the Meal (17-21) – In these verses, Jesus makes a statement that stuns the disciples. Consider:
A. The Announcement (17-18) – And in the evening he cometh with the twelve.  And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. At this moment the meal had been prepared; Jesus and the twelve disciples were there eating. We cannot know what the disciples were thinking at that moment, but it would seem likely that it was a mood of celebration. No doubt the men had been talking among themselves about various things. I can imagine possibly a time of silence as they are eating, and then Jesus breaking the silence as He spoke these words. Can you imagine how they felt as they heard these words? These men had walked away from the lives they had known to follow Him. They had been with Jesus through the good times and the bad. At an event to celebrate God’s faithfulness, Jesus declared that one of the twelve would betray Him!
B. The Anguish (19) – And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? As the disciples heard the heartbreaking words of Jesus, one by one they began to question – Lord, is it I? These men were grieved in the heart, greatly afflicted with sorrow. We all know that Judas Iscariot was the betrayer, but they all began to search their hearts and question whether they would betray their Lord. No doubt the other eleven could not imagine doing such and horrendous deed, but they questioned whether they would be capable of such an act of betrayal. Clearly, these men were not expecting betrayal from within.
The disciples literally questioning their own loyalty to Jesus has convicted me many times over the years. As close as these men were to Jesus, they also knew the depravity of the human heart. While they did not think they were capable of such betrayal, they wanted to be sure. I don’t think any of us truly know what we are capable of in a moment of weakness in the flesh. We boast of our faith, and yet we don’t even know the depths of our own heart. Jer.17:9 – The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? That is why it is so important to walk closely with the Lord, striving to deny the flesh and conform to His image!
C. The Answer (20) – And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. Jesus revealed they would not have to wonder about the betrayer – he would share a dish with the Lord. Mark doesn’t reveal the betrayer in this passage, but we know it was Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, the one who served as treasurer for the group. John revealed an interesting aspect of the Upper Room. John 13:26 – Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. In that culture, the host would often give a “sop” to a distinguished guest among the group, as a form of respect and love. We know that John was close enough to Jesus to literally lean upon His breast. Clearly, Judas must have been beside Jesus as well because they were sharing a dish with which to dip their bread.