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Matthew 26:22 – Lord is it I?

And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.

Matthew 26:22

As the evening sun begins to dip below the horizon, casting a warm glow through the windows, Jesus and his disciples gather in the upper room for the Last Supper. There is a sense of both anticipation and trepidation among the disciples, as they are aware of the gravity of the moment and the events that are about to unfold.

While they partake in the symbolic meal, Jesus speaks with a calm and gentle authority, sharing words of wisdom and love. As the conversation progresses, he suddenly pauses and looks into the eyes of each disciple, one by one. His gaze is penetrating, seeing into the depths of their souls.

“Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me,” Jesus says softly, his voice carrying a mixture of sadness and compassion. He wasn’t mad.

The disciples exchange glances, their hearts heavy with sorrow. But rather than seeking to find the guilty party, their minds are focused on the broader implications of Jesus’ words. They are not concerned about unmasking the traitor; instead, they are deeply concerned about humanity as a whole and the potential for darkness within each of them.

Peter, known for his impulsive nature, breaks the heavy silence, “Lord, is it I?” His question is not one of denial or evasion, but rather a heartfelt acknowledgment of his own fallibility as a human being.

Another disciple, John, known for his devotion and love, echoes Peter’s sentiment, “And is it I, Lord?”

One by one, each disciple, humbled by the realization of their shared humanity, asks the same question, “Lord, is it I?”

Recognition that we are all human

In this understanding, “Lord, is it I?” becomes a powerful expression of humility and an acknowledgment of the fragility of human goodness. It is a recognition that under certain circumstances, even well-intentioned individuals are capable of committing terrible acts. This interpretation underscores the importance of not becoming complacent or overly confident in our virtue, for we are all susceptible to the darker aspects of our nature.

Furthermore, this awareness encourages us to be mindful of the choices we make and the impact they can have on others. It prompts us to be vigilant in our actions and decisions, ensuring that we do not inadvertently contribute to harm or perpetuate negativity in the world.

Additionally, this interpretation invites us to cultivate empathy and understanding for those who have acted in harmful ways. Instead of immediately condemning them, we are encouraged to consider the circumstances, the pressures they might have faced, and the human complexities that led to their actions. This does not excuse wrongdoing, but it fosters a more nuanced and compassionate approach to addressing and preventing harm in society.

“He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish”

The act of dipping one’s hand in the dish was a gesture of friendship and camaraderie. It symbolized a deep sense of intimacy and trust among those partaking in the meal together.

With this extension of his previous statement, Jesus highlights that the betrayer will be someone who is close to him, someone who shares in the same communal bond and has been part of the inner circle of disciples. The act of dipping the hand in the dish alongside Jesus implies a degree of familiarity and closeness, making the betrayal all the more poignant and heartbreaking.