“He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me.” (Matthew 26:23)
That is some cryptic thing to say! Was Jesus actually trying to reveal the sole identity of His betrayer? Or was it His way of suggesting that all of the apostles in their own way were all going to betray Him? After all in a way, they all do. Each of them dipped their hands into the dish with Jesus at some time during the meal. It was only because Judas spoke up that he was finally singled out.
Just like the 12 apostles, we all have “dipped into the dish” with Jesus, any time we eat His Body and drink His Blood in Communion. And just like the apostles, each and every one of us have at some time or another in our lives betrayed Him. And sad to say the chances are we will do it again. Why is that? Well, simply because we are human.
Sure this sounds pretty depressing, however, there is great news that comes with it: we ARE forgiven! By the blood and suffering of Jesus Christ, each of us is forgiven. It doesn’t matter if it is a great sin or a small sin, it simply doesn’t matter to Jesus. The Pharisees tried hard but had become way too inflexible and they needed forgiveness just as much as notorious sinners such as prostitutes and tax collectors. And you know what? So do we. Whether we have committed murder or it is as simple as holding onto a small grudge against someone we know, we still need Jesus so He can set us free!
Understand, that this is a message that is filled with immeasurable hope, not just for you an me but for everyone around us! Each person who goes to the table of the Lord is a forgiven sinner. Each and every one! So, the next time you are at church, take time and look around and begin to recognize the people who are gathered there and know that they are part of your family. All of us are “dipping into the dish” with our Lord Jesus. Thank the Lord too for the glorious fact that we are all covered by His mercy and His love.
When we come to realize this, it will help bring us into unity with each other as well as with Jesus. Jesus’ biggest desire is that all of His children will eventually become as one, just as He and His Father are one. So, let’s stop and ask Him right now to teach us how to be as merciful as He is, so that this long yearning of His might be fulfilled!
“Thank You, Lord, for Your sacrifice on the cross. Please make us one in You as You and the Father are one. Give us true humility and compassion for one another as we strive together to live for You!
Psalm 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
Lord, we thank You now for Your sacrifice of shedding Your Holy Blood for us and forgiving all of us.
Please teach us to be filled with more compassion, more mercy and more love for all people.
Help us to see more clearly what You see.
Help us to stop holding grudges, stop judging, stop turning our backs on those we have ignored.
Show us how to grow closer to those we know and don’t know.
Give us the humility we need to be able to strive together so that we all can live as one for You.