Today’s reading is from the scene in the Upper Room where Jesus announces that one of them will betray him — John 13:21-32. It is a perplexing story and full of perplexed people. All of them, with the possible exception of Judas, find it difficult to follow what Jesus is saying.
The most perplexing part of the story is this section near the end:
So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified,
and God has been glorified in him.” (John 13:30-31 NRSV)
How does Judas’ leaving to betray Jesus glorify the “Son of Man” (Jesus himself) or God? Huh?
I wonder if it is because Jesus has given himself into God’s hands… because he will not intervene to stop Judas or to direct events otherwise… because Jesus is willing to accept what happens because he knows in whose keeping he is?
I realize how often I am trying to direct events, to shift the course of things, to engineer the outcome of a meeting, a discussion, a plan to suit me and my needs. Or to accomplish what I want.
Am I willing to ask God “What is your will?” Not a defeatist mindset. Nor a listless passivity. But to throw myself again and again into the hands of God. To trust that God’s purposes are greater and deeper than mine. Even when they end at a cross.