17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me." 19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, "Surely not I?"
20 "It is one of the Twelve," he replied, "one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born."
Thoughts: There is some silly scholarship based on old gnostic texts written at least 200 years after Jesus died that indicate Judas as a hero for releasing Jesus' power. That would be like lifting up John Wilkes Booth for making Lincoln a martyr. Jesus words recorded by eyewitnesses is that Judas, the betrayer, would be a person of woe. This gnostic attitude toward Judas is a sign of our times- in which evil is lifted up as good (after all if tolerance is our god, then evil disappears and what we call evil is much better than we thought). Betrayal is evil, especially if it is betrayal of the best, the innocent to undeserved torture. Let us not be afraid to humbly call evil wrong; in so doing we will cast ourselves on God's help. Judas is not an example of good to follow, but an example of evil to avoid.
Prayer: Lord, may I never betray you, but may my heart be true and innocent to you.
John Calvin abridged: To render the treachery of Judas more detestable, he points out the aggravated baseness of it as Judas was planning the betrayal while he was eating the holy supper with him. If a stranger had done this, it would have been easier; but as one of his close friends should design the betrayal for a fee while he was present at the sacred banquet was incredibly monstrous.
Each one of the disciples sought to declare their own innocense. Our Lord sought to encourage his followers of all ages not to be discouraged or depressed over close friends who betray them.