Today's Gospel: Matthew 26:14-25
A certain man. That expression jumped out at me as I read. Our Lord knew the name of the man, of course, and so did the apostles. But it isn’t mentioned in the Gospels. Was it just some guy, you know, one of Jesus’ friends, and Matthew is wracking his brains, it’s on the tip of his tongue, but he’s writing on deadline and just throws in “a certain man” as a placeholder and keeps going?
I doubt it. The location of the upper room is marked, even today. You can go visit the site. The certain man who hosted that Passover was not forgotten so easily.
But here’s a story of betrayal. Deadly betrayal. Remember that when Saul, whom we know as St. Paul, first converted, the disciples were afraid of him, for good reason: He had been on his way to Damascus to hunt them down and see them killed. “No, really, I’ve seen the light! Open up!” Sure thing, Saul. I’ll be slipping out the back window now.
We bloggers tend to leave names off, or use pseudonyms, when we tell stories. Innocent stories, even. We respect our friends’ and even our enemies’ privacy: We tell the tale, but we leave the man out of it. We instinctively know that you don’t just splash someone’s name around. That personal stories leave the person exposed. Vulnerable.
Judas could betray Jesus because there were men who were threatened by Jesus.
Does my Christian life threaten anyone? Do I tempt anyone to betray me? Not by my sins and my bad habits, but by my overwhelming goodness? How good is my good? So good it makes evil people want to kill me?
I’m not that good. But God is.
The sin of “respect” is the sin of being more afraid of man than of God. How are you doing on that? Do you worry too much about pleasing other people, even if it means doing something you know is wrong? Or not doing something you know is right?
Lord, I don’t want to be that annoying Christian. I do want to be that good person. Good like you are good: Holy, Perfect, ready for Heaven. Help me to be just a little bit more truly good today. Thank you. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Jennifer Fitz
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