Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
"A Piece of Bread"
Mar. 10, 2018
Read John 13:21-30
So when He had dipped the morsel, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
~ John 13:26b-27 (ESV)
It was one of those little courtesies -- if you wanted to honor someone, you would dip a piece of bread into the sauce and offer it to him. As Jesus was the head of this feast, Judas was doubly honored -- singled out in front of the rest of the disciples to receive this gift in front of them all. But then Jesus spoke: "What you are going to do, do quickly."
It looks like a last chance. Judas has already taken money to betray Jesus into the hands of His enemies. Jesus knows that. And Judas knows that Jesus knows that -- Jesus has just told him so (see Matthew 26:25). And still, even now, Jesus says to him: "What you are going to do, do quickly."
It is as if He said to him: What are you going to do, Judas? You still have a choice. Even now, with the bread in your hands, you have a choice. You could make the mistaken assumptions of the other disciples true -- go out and give something to the poor, or buy something else for the feast. You could even stay in your place and finish dinner with us, a forgiven, restored disciple. You still have a choice.
Jesus loved Judas. But Jesus would not take his free will from him -- his own personal choice, to remain or betray. Neither will Jesus take our freedom from us. He calls us to Him in love, offering us the gifts of love, bread and wine, His own body and blood. And He says to us: "The time is short. Will you stay with Me, trust in Me, belong to Me, receive My forgiveness? What you are going to do, do quickly."
THE PRAYER: Lord, turn my heart to You and make me steadfast in Your love. Keep me from going astray. Amen.
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What do you do to honor guests in your home?