Today’s Gospel reading provides an account from the Farwell Discourse of Jesus (John 13-17). Jesus tells aloud of His betrayal. There is something deeply sinister about what would otherwise be a serene, even joyful, environment. As the Lord tells Cain in Genesis 4, “…sin lies in wait at the door: its urge is for you, yet you can rule over it.” The specter of evil lurks. Even among the closest friends, the temptation to sin and betray is near. Such is the state of the post-Fall world we inhabit.
What is especially vivid about this scene is how viscerally we know the pain of betrayal. All of us at some point have experienced it. Perhaps not to the extent that Jesus did, but we can still remember the taste it left in our mouths. It is bitter and rancid. The flavor of sin. How much more should we be horrified of our betraying the Lord when we sin? Have we not acted just like Judas when we choose money over God? Have we not done the same as Simon Peter when we had the opportunity to openly claim Jesus as our Lord? Woe to us if we place ourselves in a morally superior position to the disciples. Don’t buy into the fallacy that surely you would not have scattered and fled at Jesus’ arrest. Surely you would not have given in to the bribe. Without the grace and protection of God, Satan starts sifting us like wheat.
Despite knowing what was in store for Him, in the face of nearly unspeakable treachery, the Lord Jesus continues to dine with the disciples. He reveals a great deal to them about the Father. He institutes the Holy Eucharist. He offers the High Priestly Prayer. All of this is done out of an incomprehensible purity of love. Jesus seeks only the will of the Father; He is undeterred by the distractions and roadblocks that are thrown down by the enemy. Nothing will stop the divine plan of redemption. When sin launched its attack upon Jesus, He pressed forward to the end so that we might come into communion with God.