He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?”
He said to him, “You have said it.” — Matthew 26:23-25
“Lord, is it I?” The disciples have asked in turn, and Jesus now answers. “He who dipped his hand with me will betray Me.” Consider the callousness of a heart that could betray a man to death and then sit and eat a meal alongside Him, with no one else being suspicious. Jesus confirms the path He is on to death, but says “Woe to the man by whom the Son of God is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he’d not been born.”
The betrayal of Jesus will not go unmet. Judas, perhaps like a child, unsure if he’d truly been discovered, and faced with the shame which comes with the expressions of disbelief and disgust from his peers, asks: “Rabbi, is it I?” Judas didn’t have to ask, he’d already been paid. He had already collected. Judas calls Him “Rabbi”, or Teacher. No room has been made in the heart of Judas for Christ Jesus as Lord. Jesus, where Judas is concerned, remains Rabbi. Jesus responds to Judas’s question, “You have said it.”
At this point, Judas has only asked a question, but Judas did say it as he negotiated with the chief priests. What Judas thought had been accomplished in secret was known to Jesus. He had been discovered in the very act.
Who is Jesus to you? Is He an ancient teacher? A novelty of your church experience? Part of your family traditions and customs? Is He Lord? What betrayal of His precepts and trust do we still find ourselves guilty today? Will the Lord God fail to interpret our misdeeds and motives?
Move forward men. Stop eating with Jesus while violating His Lordship. Prepare your heart to receive Christ in truth, as a betrayer in need of His saving. Will we ask, “Is it I Rabbi?” Or will we cry out to Him— “Lord, it has been me, but cleanse me!”?