Luke 22 verses 21 – 22
“But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.” They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
We are now faced with a very great mystery and that is the betrayal of our Lord by Judas Iscariot. Satan had entered into Judas and now this agent of the devil, was in the upper room with all the other disciples, hearing the exact same truths they heard, yet with a heart as hard as stone.
There is indeed a great mystery in the words in verse 22. On the one hand God seems to decree all that happens in regard to Judas, yet on the other hand he is held responsible for his actions. We need to remember that in all cases where people’s activities are puzzling, God’s sovereignty has to be taken into account, and notwithstanding whatever God decrees, people are still held morally responsible for what they do. So we see for instance in the Exodus story that on the one hand Pharaoh hardens his heart against God, yet on the other hand God hardens Pharaohs heart. We leave the mystery of it to God but we must remember that the way God’s judgement on our rebellion often works out, is that God simply leaves us to ourselves to follow the dictates of our hearts, with the consequences and misery that often brings
The disciples were shocked at what Jesus said. It was unthinkable that one of them could be the betrayer. And adding to the shock was the cultural fact that eating someone’s food, then injuring him in some way was utterly unheard of and considered despicable behaviour in that place and at that time.
But what we should remember is that this is not primarily a story about Judas, or Peter, or Pilate. No. It is the story of Jesus our Saviour, the Lord of glory, being handed over to his enemies. It is the story of his humiliation, his suffering. It all centres on him and we should always see him at the centre of the picture.
And so this present paragraph shows us again that Jesus was in control of the whole situation. He was not taken by surprise. He knew exactly what was happening and what was going to happen – down to the very details. The fact that he says what he says to his disciples, disclosing that he knows what is happening, will be a comfort to his disciples when they eventually discover that everything develops exactly as Jesus had foreseen.
He is a wonderful Saviour. Let us praise him and adore him.