By: Sarah Bishop

Posted: April 5, 2023

Category: Daily Devotional

John 13:12-30

12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. 14So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfil the scripture, “The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.” 19I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. 20Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.

21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ 26Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. 27After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ 28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

And so, it begins in the Gospel of John, the week in the Christian church we refer to as Holy Week. A week where we walk with Jesus to the cross, as his disciples never truly comprehend what is to occur. In the Gospel of John, the night of Passover is not one of feasting and meal around a table where we hear the words of the Eucharist and command to do this in remembrance of me, but of being a servant. Jesus washes his disciples’ feet, and they have a meal, though John assumes you already know what occurred. Instead, the small mention of food, the small morsel of bread that Judas dips into… we aren’t sure what though, is a larger sign that Jesus knows his heart. That small bit of bread, one we want to snatch away and shout, ‘no,’ is passed between those who, at the time, were thought to be friends but instead it sets in motion so much more.


God of Redemption, in small morsels that mean something more, in few words that we see only darkness, your redeeming work has begun. In sitting at table with Christ, we are assured of his love, may we hold tightly to that promise. Amen.