Maundy Thursday, March 29, 2018
©The Rev. Eileen Gebbie
The details of this story do not make sense.
It starts out coherently enough with Jesus washing everyone’s feet, then explaining that no one is better than anyone else and that they must be servant leaders.
Then Jesus becomes vague in his teaching.
Jesus tells the disciples that the person who takes bread from him will betray him. This is a reference to Psalm 41.9:
Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted,
who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.
The disciples are confused because they don’t know who that will be. Fair enough. Jesus makes a startling statement that someone will do an unspeakable act yet withholds the most vital piece of information: who.
So, Simon Peter asks the beloved disciple to ask Jesus who it will be. Maybe we should take this as a sign of just how rattled Peter is that he does not ask for himself.
The beloved disciple says, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus then gives the bread to Judas and tells Judas “Do quickly what you are going to do.”
Here’s where the details don’t add up: The scripture says no one understood what Jesus meant by that. Was he telling Judas to go do some shopping? How is it that no one understood what Jesus meant when, having said he would be betrayed by the person who took bread, he then gave bread to Judas and told him to go do it?
Were they not listening?