March 28: Unanswered Question

by Ann and Phil Smith

The first three scriptures appear to have conflict as the common thread. Isaiah 50:8 sums it up with an aggressive tone of confrontation (“Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me”), while Psalm 70 asserts that those who seek my life will be shamed and dishonored.

But in John 13:21-32 Jesus takes a different approach. He is unusually passive and accepting of what he knows will happen. Some disciples think Jesus was instructing Judas to “buy what we need for the festival” — as Judas was the group’s treasurer. We can all relate to that; who’s going to run down to the deli for more (fill in the blank)? Not so. Jesus had just identified Judas as his betrayer, and no one in the room seemed to realize it.

This is a big unanswered question: Why didn’t they see what was happening? Was it only Simon Peter who heard Jesus say that the person to whom he would give a piece of bread dipped in the dish would be his betrayer? Jesus had clearly fingered Judas. Or is it a case of our not speaking up when we sense danger, hoping it will go away?