In my last post, Kefa Had His Feet Washed. We continue in our chronological journey of Kefa; in this post, Kefa Asks a Question Again. This time he wants to know what Yeshua meant by “but not all of you” in verse 10 in our last post when He repeats the accusation here in verse 21.
21 After saying this, Yeshua, in deep anguish of spirit, declared, “Yes, indeed! I tell you that one of you will betray Me.” 22 The talmidim stared at one another, totally mystified – whom could He mean?
Betrayal by one’s talmid would be a cause of embarrassment and blame in the ancient system of honor and shame. Although the Yochanan’s Gospel stresses Yeshua’s deity, it also stresses and frequently illustrates his humanity (John 1:14).
23 One of his talmidim, the one Yeshua particularly loved (Yochanan), was reclining close beside him. 24 So Shim ‘on Kefa motioned to him and said, “Ask which one he’s talking about.” 25 Leaning against Yeshua’s chest, he asked Yeshua, “Lord, who is it?”
Once again, Kefa asks the Lord for an explanation, this time through an intermediary. To set the staging, Kefa was sitting on Yochanan’s right, who was sitting on Yeshua‘s right, and Y’hudah was sitting on Yeshua‘s left.
26 Yeshua answered, “It’s the one to whom I give this piece of matzah after I dip it in the dish.” So he dipped the piece of matzah and gave it to Y’hudah Ben-Shim ‘on from K’riot. 27 As soon as Y’hudah took the piece of matzah, the Adversary went into him. “What you are doing, do quickly!” Yeshua said to him. ~ John 13:21-27 (CJB)
The Lord’s reply to Yochanan was undoubtedly not heard by all the men; in fact, they were carrying on discussions among themselves about who the traitor might be (see Luke 22:23). When Yeshua gave the bread to Y’hudah, it was interpreted as an act of love and honor.
For the host to dip a piece of bread in the shared bowl and hand it to someone was usually a sign of honor to the person who received it. Y’hudah took the bread, but he rejected the offer of friendship.
The remarkable thing is that the others at the table with Yeshua did not know that Y’hudah was an unbeliever and a traitor. Up to the very hour of his betrayal, Y’hudah was protected by the Savior whom he betrayed. Had Yeshua openly revealed what He knew about Y’hudah, it is likely that the men would have turned on him.
In my next post, Kefa Asks Where Yeshua Is Going.