Text: John 13: 18-30
Text verse: John 13:19
When we read verse 20, it’s almost as if it does not fit here. Jesus says that everyone who receives His messenger also receives Him and the Father. Jesus makes the same statement in Matthew 10:40. There Jesus sends his disciples out into the world to preach the gospel, while here He says goodbye to them.
So, at first it seems as if this context does not fit well. What gives us direction is the statement in verse 19, when Jesus says: “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.” (John 13:19).
“I am who I am” are the same words that God used when He called Moses into the burning bush before leading the Israelites out of Egypt. To lead the people out of Egypt, Moses first had to negotiate with the hardened Pharaoh. It was not easy and in the process the Israelites became discouraged and rebellious, yet Moses had no doubt. He had to remember that the God who is who He is, is within him.
Whoever rejects Moses also rejects the One who sent him, and we see in the story what the result was of that betrayal. The consequence was God’s wrath over Egypt.
Now the disciples also face an immense challenge and the temptation is great that they will be discouraged by the betrayal of the people around them. Even betrayal amongst their own ranks. Yet they should not become discouraged.
For us as believers, this is a great comfort. In carrying out our calling, we may also face betrayal – even from those closest to us. Perhaps even friends and family may speak out against us. It may feel as if the whole world is turning against us.
What we learn here is that Jesus was rightly upset about Judas’ betrayal because it led to Jesus being crucified and crying out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
God who “is who He is” has forsaken Him because of our sin. He had to pay for us so that we would never have to be alone. So that we can always know that our God is with us.
It may be easy to become discouraged about all the betrayal around us. People will let us down, but God never will. The crucifixion of Christ reminds us of God’s faithfulness to us. The God who is who He is, will always be with us!