He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover. (Matthew 26:18-19 NIV)
Jesus tells them to go to a certain man – a specific man – to make the Passover preparations. Right before we are told “From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.” (26:16) Both Judas and Jesus seem to have a plan for the days ahead.
Similarly – “appointed time” suggests a set time, a time toward which events are moving. Judas thinks he is in control of things but really Jesus is the one with the plan. Judas may have a plan but it doesn’t trump the plans of God in Christ.
I love to plan, to think about events and the future unfolding. But am I planning my own thing – maybe not a betrayal of Jesus on the scale of Judas’ betrayal. Or is it? Am I trying to work a plan that is not God’s? that is not what Christ is guiding me to do? After all Jesus said “Follow me” not “follow your own path and let me bless it ok?”
Judas betrays Jesus but perhaps I do as well. I have known Jesus longer than Judas did yet sometimes I do not follow him any more faithfully or completely. As the moment of Judas’ betrayal looms, I do well to consider my own acts of betrayal and abandonment of the Master.
Lord, I cannot follow you while following my own plans and purposes. I cannot be faithful to you if my first loyalty is to my interests however I conceive of them. May I be sensitive today to the ways I betray you for my own gain and my own purposes. May I, unlike Judas, seek your grace and know your mercy even in those moments and from them and your grace and power move beyond them in the future as I follow you. Amen.