John 13:21-32 NLT
21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled,
and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” 22 The
disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple
Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table.24 Simon Peter motioned to
him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus
and asked, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give
the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas,
son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into
him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” 28 None of
the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their
treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to
give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the
night. 31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for
the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of
him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own
glory to the Son, and he will do so at once.
The phrase “hindsight is 20/20” means that,
when an event happens, we look back and see all the evidence lining up such that
we should have foreseen what was about to happen. In our passage from John
today, Jesus directly laid out what was about to happen, and yet it was a
mystery to those closest to him. Although Jesus directly told the disciples
that Judas would betray him, all the disciples were shocked and dismayed when
Jesus was suddenly taken away from the garden of Gethsemane to be tried.
I try to imagine what the disciples must
have felt that night. They must have asked how things could have been
different. They must have said to one another that, if only they had paid
attention to Jesus’ words, they could have found a place in the countryside to
hide. Or, if Jesus was determined to die, at least they could have stayed awake
and comforted him. I imagine some of them wept lamenting that they could not
even stay awake one hour.
In our lives, times like these come and go.
We pass up opportunities that should have been no-brainers, or we make grave
mistakes that we were warned about well ahead of time. When it is revealed to
us how badly we screwed up, we can suddenly feel stupid or unworthy of peace.
We tell ourselves that we made our own bed; we should lie in it. After Jesus’
death, the disciples also believed that the story was over. They accepted their
fate of living in guilt and went back to fishing, but Jesus had other plans.
The gospels tell us that Jesus went to the
disciples and gave them the responsibility of going out into the world and
making disciples of all nations. In the end, the disciples were not only
forgiven but charged with more responsibility. Jesus showed the disciples that
the crucifixion and resurrection had to happen and that their mistakes were not
to define them or their capabilities.
Hindsight may be 20/20, but part of God’s
saving work is freeing us from the despair and shame of hindsight.
May the grace of Christ comfort us in our
mistakes, and may the fellowship of the Holy Spirit guide and restore us on our
life journeys. AMEN.