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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


"Surely Not I?"

Jan. 19, 2014

When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me — one who is eating with me.” They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely not I?” (Mark 14:17-19, NIV)

Betrayal! What a strong word!

It’s a far deeper term than neglect or denial. Betrayal is an intentional act to turn against someone. It always damages and inflicts pain.

We see this word playing out all the time in our culture. A business owner defrauds his partner. A wife commits adultery against her husband. The victim is always left wounded — emotionally, spiritually and economically.

Jesus knew who would betray Him that night. He always knows which of His followers will betray Him, because He sees past all of our pretenses of spirituality and performance of religious duties. He sees our hearts. He observes our spiritual coldness. He knows that even though we have “shared in this ministry” (Acts 1:17), we may be far from Him in our spirit.

But on that fateful night of His betrayal, Jesus nevertheless invited Judas to the table. I would have kept Judas far away. So would you. But, then, neither of us is Jesus. His love keeps reaching to Judas even though He knows Judas has set his path unalterably away from Him.

There were two responses from the disciples to Jesus’ announcement that one of them would betray Him: (1) sadness, and (2) concern on the part of each disciple that Jesus might be referring to him.

These two reactions are best explained when we open John’s Gospel and read of something that happened just prior to Jesus’ saying that one of the disciples would betray Him. As the Last Supper was being served, Jesus got up from the meal and washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17). This act must have stunned the disciples because it nonverbally pointed out their own lack of willingness to serve one another. No one had even offered to wash Jesus’ feet!

We can only imagine their chagrin and shame about their own lack of hospitality when Jesus added to their discomfort the announcement that one of them would betray Him. No wonder they asked, “Is it I?” If they neglected to even wash His feet, would that be followed by an overt and intentional act to betray Him?

Every honest believer has had the same reaction, “Is it I?” We ask ourselves introspectively if we could betray Jesus. Only the proud and super-spiritual would never ask that question. It’s the tender and honest heart that asks, “Is it I?” When faced with temptation or the severe pressure of discrimination or persecution, could our own hearts possibly fail Him?

The disciples not only are sad for not having washed Jesus’ feet and one another’s; that sadness is compounded when each realizes what he is capable of — betrayal.

Other than Judas, we know that ultimately the answer for the other Eleven is “No.” After Jesus’ resurrection, not a one would deny Him throughout their entire lifetime. They would all remain faithful to the end.

There’s sadness in our hearts when we realize we might not be as loyal to Jesus as we profess, that we really haven’t served our fellow believers, or even our family, as we ought. Honest self-examination forces us to ask the question of ourselves, “Is it I?”

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, when I say “Is it I?” I’m so grateful Your answer to me is “No. You will be faithful to me.”

DR. GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

On Your Mark

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2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

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