John 13:18-20 NIV
18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
In the above verses Jesus is addressing His twelve disciples after washing their feet at the Last Supper. In 13:18 He is preparing them for what He will share shortly in verse 21, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.” Such a thought would be abhorrent to all but one of them, so they did not truly understand. When we read 13:18, 18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me’; it is natural to wonder what scripture He is referring to in this verse. Many believe it was Psalm 41:9, 9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned [or lifted up his heel] against me. Further, to share a meal with someone who then betrays you was considered a matter of terrible unfaithfulness and treachery.
Why did Jesus say this to His disciples next, 19 I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. He does not want doubt to enter their hearts, so He wants them to know it is okay, He knew it all along and He wants them to remain doubt free about who He is. Thus, He ends this statement with you will believe that I am who I am.I am who I am, a direct statement about His deity. He and the Father, the one who sent Him, are one. When they accept (and anyone of us accepts) Jesus they are (and we are) also accepting God the Father who sent Him and that they are One.
Then He charges His disciples with continuing His message, 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me. Ever wonder why we take the teaching of the Apostles so seriously? Here it is, Jesus says accepting those He sends is just like accepting Him and accepting Father God as well. No Saul, later Paul, was not there then, but later He was without question sent by Jesus to take His message to the Gentile world. It is of interest to note that this parallels what He said in Matthew 10:40 when again addressing His disciples, 40 “Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.
Bottom Line: Here we find the reason why sometimes when reading the words or letters of His disciples we can hear the voice of Jesus through them. To follow them is to follow Jesus is to follow His Father. As it says in Psalm 25:1, In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I trust You and I trust Jesus whom You sent, and I trust those He sent as well. Thank You for sending them through Your Son. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton