“What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Judas leaves in John’s gospel. I couldn’t tear myself away from this detail. Judas leaves the intimacy and friendship of Jesus to betray Him.
Then there is John, the beloved disciple, who leans against Jesus’ chest and remains in the intimacy and friendship of Jesus. I love to position myself near Jesus’ heart in prayer. I long to stay close to the Lord, to choose intimacy with Him, but as I reflect on this passage I am overwhelmed by all of the times I left Jesus.
I want to hate Judas for betraying Jesus, for leaving Him, for making the wrong choice, but how often do I play the part of Judas in my own life?
How often am I the cause of Jesus being “deeply troubled?” How often do I betray the friendship of Jesus by sinning?
Part of me hears encouragement in the words of Jesus, “do quickly,” but that isn’t right. He simply knows how He is to be handed over to death. If Judas had not betrayed Jesus by handing Him over to the Pharisees, Jesus would not have been able to fulfill His mission. It was heartbreaking, but it was necessary, and Jesus knew this.
There is another part of me that hears a plea in Jesus’ words. What you are going to do, do quickly… and then come back to me. I forgive you. I love you. I know it isn’t scripturally sound and I shouldn’t put words in Jesus’ mouth, but if I know the Heart of Jesus, isn’t this what He desires? For us to come back to Him after we sin so we can receive His love and mercy?
I am Judas that desires to be John. I want to take up my place by Jesus and lean into His chest. I want to remain in His Love. But first, I have to return.
Jesus, I desire to remain close to you. I desire to choose intimacy and friendship with you. I desire to be like John who leans into your embrace. But for the times I am like Judas, when I forget that I am loved by you and betray you, I ask for the grace to humbly return to you.