Lesson 78

The Gospel According to Mark

World English Bible translation

14:17 When it was evening he came with the twelve. 14:18 As they sat and were eating, Jesus said, "Most assuredly I tell you, one of you will betray me - he who eats with me."

14:19 They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, "Surely not I?" And another said, "Surely not I?"

14:20 He answered them, "It is one of the twelve, he who dips with me in the dish. 14:21 For the Son of Man goes, even as it is written about him, but woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born."  

Today's Lesson

Jesus came to the upper room to eat the Passover with His disciples. They had come to Jerusalem to observe the Passover in the Holy City. There had been confrontations with the religious leaders in the city. Then Judas Iscariot had met with the chief priests and had agreed to betray Jesus.


As Jesus ate the supper with His disciples, He told them that one of them would betray Him. They could not believe what He told them. Each of them wanted to know if he was the one who would betray Jesus. Jesus tells them again that it will be one of the Twelve. "Woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he has not been born."


When Jesus told them that one of the Twelve would betray Him it was not obvious to them who the betrayer would be. Judas did not stand out as the type that would do it. He was an accepted member of the Twelve. They all trusted Him. They trusted each other. It came as a shock that one of them would betray Him. They still did not believe that Jesus would even be arrested. Now He was telling them that one of them would be the one that turned Him over to the authorities.


Many people are troubled with the spiritual implications of the betrayal of Judas. Should Judas be condemned? If Jesus had come to die for our sins, did Judas do anything that was not within the will of God? These questions have troubled people for as long as this story has been told. There are no easy answers to all of the questions. What is clear is that even though God used what Judas did to fulfill His plans, God still holds Judas responsible for his own actions.


We are all responsible for what we do. There may be tendencies that each one of us inherits. Each of us had a propensity toward certain things. But God also gives each one of us the capacity to resist evil. We choose to give into the evil that is a part of us, just as Judas did. We must learn to rely on the Spirit of God to guide us into the ways of God. But first, we must learn to accept responsibility for the evil that we do. When we accept our own nature and accept our responsibility to God, then we are capable of turning to God and receiving His grace and mercy.


Do you accept responsibility for your own sin before God? How many times have you betrayed Jesus?


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