v 21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”
The whole length and breadth and depth of our Master’s troubles during His earthly ministry are far beyond the conception of most people. His death and suffering on the cross were only the heading up and completion of His sorrows. All through His life – partly from the general unbelief of the Jews – partly from the special hatred of Pharisees and Sadducees, – partly from the weakness and infirmity of His few followers – He must have been in a peculiar degree ‘A Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief.’ (Isaiah 53:3)
But the trouble before us was a singular and exceptional one. It was the bitter sorrow of seeing a chosen Apostle deliberately becoming an apostate, a backslider, and an ungrateful traitor. That it was a foreseen sorrow from the beginning we need not doubt; but sorrow is not less acute because long foreseen. That it was a peculiarly cutting sorrow is very evident. Nothing is found so hard for flesh and blood to bear as ingratitude. Even a poet of our own has said, that ‘ sharper than a serpents tooth is a thankless child.’ Absalom’s rebellion seems to have been David’s heaviest trouble, and Judas Iscariot’s treachery seems to have been one of the heaviest trials of the Son of David. When He saw it drawing near, He was troubled in spirit.
Passages like these should make us see the amazing love of Christ to sinners. How many cups of sorrow He drained to the dregs in working out our salvation, beside the mighty cup of bearing our sins! They show us how little reason we have for complaining when friends fail us , and men disappoint us. If we share our Master’s lot we have no cause to be surprised.
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