20 Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples. 21 As they were eating, He said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me. 24 “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” 25 And Judas, who was betraying Him, said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself.”
Our piety gets challenged in this passage. We can gauge how righteous and holy we think we are by how we respond to Judas’ lie to Jesus. Do we shake our heads and think he is a fool or do we stop and reflect how many times we have already done this very thing in our lives? Maybe we haven’t done it so much to other people we know, but we have certainly done it to Jesus. Psalm 139 reflects the omniscience of God and how we cannot hide the truth from Him because He is the truth!
1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And are intimately acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all. 5 You have enclosed me behind and before, And laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. 7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. 9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” 12 Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
How often do we try to hide from God? How often do we try to hide our thoughts or actions from God? Sometimes we think that God only exists in church buildings, or when we are talking to a pastor/priest, or maybe even just Sunday mornings. We think God only pays attention when we are there and refrain from cursing during those times to appear holy but inside we are wretched and sinful. As my grandfather used to say, “I pity your God!” We tend to diminish how great God really is in our minds. Later in this chapter we will see Peter’s denial of Christ and he was Jesus’ biggest ally! Yet Jesus reveals the grip Satan has on him through fear and zeal.
We must be careful not to think ourselves impervious to this type of behavior and instead realize how prone we are to it. Maybe we didn’t betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. No, we betray Him for things much lesser: pride, control, fear, god-likeness, and many other things. Instead of worrying about hiding our iniquities, we should spend that time and energy evaluating them so we can actually love God the way we say we do.