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John44 – with whom shall I dwell?

Having said these things, Jesus was disturbed in spirit and testified and said, “Amen, amen I state to you that one from you will give me away.” (John 13: 21)
The incident we’re reading about here took place on the evening which led into the day of crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth around AD 30 in Jerusalem. John, the first century eye-witness biographer of Jesus (who saw him die and knew him well after he rose again), is recalling it all.

There are several strange things which John recorded. The first one is that John described Jesus as “testifying” (as if he were in court) when he said the words in italics above. That means that Jesus was making clear that he knew what had been planned by one of his 12 closest followers.

The disciples were seeing into one another, being themselves perplexed concerning of whom he states. One from his disciples – the one Jesus was loving - was resting-down in the bosom of Jesus. 

Only one of the twelve actually knew to whom Jesus was referring: Judas.

The second strange thing is the placing “in the bosom of Jesus” of another of his disciples. John had used this phrase earlier in his biography. He wrote: - “No one has discerned God at any time; the one and only, God, he being into the bosom of the Father—that one has made him known. “

It seems that, just as the Son (Jesus) was "in the bosom" of the Father above, so this disciple was "in the bosom" of Jesus. Blessing indeed. The complete opposite of that other disciple, there present, who planned to “give him away”.

So Simon Peter gestures to this one to inquire who it may be concerning whom he states. That one, lying down in this way upon Jesus’ chest, states to him, “Lord, who is it?” 

The third strange thing is that the spokesman for the other ten disciples, Simon Peter, a man with an outspoken (if not brash) track record, does not ask Jesus directly. Unusually he asks the loved disciple to be an intermediary.  

Jesus answers, “It is that one to whom I myself will dip the fragment and will give to him.” So having dipped the fragment, he gives to Judas of Simon Iscariot. And, with the fragment, then the adversary came in into that one. 

The fourth strange thing is this business of “the morsel”. Used four times in recording this incident, the Greek word is psomion, which is itself a diminutive of the Greek word psomos. Maybe the four uses of mini-morsel suggest the insignificance of what Judas obtained in return for giving-away Jesus.

The fifth strange thing is that, at one crucial moment, two opposites took place instantly. As Judas ate the morsel, the much-loved disciple of Jesus became one with Jesus in knowledge of what was ahead. As Judas ate the morsel, he too became one with “the adversary” in high places, the opposer of all good. The adversary was, at that very moment, within him. The other disciple whom Jesus loved was in a similar position with Jesus but on the good spectrum. 

So Jesus states to him, “What you do, do quickly!” In fact no one of those resting-down knew towards what he said this to him, because some were assuming, since Judas had the wallet, that Jesus states to him, “Buy what things we have need of into the festival,” or in order that he may give something to the poor. 

The sixth strange thing is that Jesus not only knew what was about to take place shortly but also gave instructions, well understood only by the one about to “give him away” that he should get on with it.

That is really strange because it discloses that the greatest betrayal (“giving away”) in history was not only the will of an evil man but also the will of the very best human being the world has ever known.  

So having laid hold of the fragment, that one came out immediately. It was in fact night.  

Jesus received the mini-morsel. 

It isn’t strange that Judas exited immediately. Darkness can have nothing to do with light. But night had to win that day if the true light was to shine – in the darkness of this world - for at least the next two thousand years. With whom and where shall I dwell? An individual choice. For now and for always.

Sinner Syvret

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