A Different Perspective on Spiritual Growth.
Another devotional take on today’s reading from the Gospels
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover? 18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? 23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. 25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
One thing that stood out to me in today’s reading was the response of the eleven innocent disciples to the prediction of betrayal that Jesus had made. We know that he was talking about Judas but the eleven didn’t.
And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
It is hard to believe but each of these men looked within themselves and saw the capacity to betray the one they loved. The Bible says every one, even overconfident Peter asked the question, “Is it I?” Peter who pridefully said that he would never deny him then only a few hours later proved himself unfaithful saw himself as a possible traitor. Is that bad? Is it not troubling that the closest people to Jesus considered themselves capable of such an awful act of deceit and unfaithfulness? I don’t believe so. I believe for these disciples this showed how truly close to him they had grown. The closer you get to him in his greatness the more aware you become of your inadequacies. Like a dingy, dirty white cloth beside a clean one, the closeness reveals the difference. You might think the dirty cloth is clean until you are able to truly compare it. I find that as I grow closer to Jesus I find more dirty things in my life that I want him to clean. Things that dissatisfy me about myself now didn’t even register as a problem a short while back. During seasons of spiritual decline I am more prone to overconfidence and in seasons of closeness I am more dependent. Are you feeling frustrated with yourself? Good, Jesus helps the humble. Rather than be frustrated that you have not yet arrived I encourage you to recognize the growth and keep going and growing in his grace. Sincerely asking him, “is it I?”, as you read the Scriptures, listen to sermons and pray is a wonderful way to enjoy spiritual results.