Surely it is not I, Rabbi?
The passage in the next post is another example of how Matthew pays close attention to words. He notices subtle parallels, and these become part of the artistry of his portrait.
The disciples, one by one, ask Jesus, Surely it is not I, Lord? But when Judas asks, he says, Surely it is not I, Rabbi?
Earlier in Matthews Gospel Jesus had told his disciples not to use the title rabbi (which means my master). The other disciples had just addressed Jesus with the title, used by those who believe in him: Lord.
Judas uses rabbi. Matthew subtly shows how Judas had already begun to move farther and farther from Jesus.
Ash Wednesday was a week ago. Its time to go back and review the Lenten plans on February 18.
Jesus said in reply, He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born. Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, Surely it is not I, Rabbi? He answered, You have said so. (Mt 26:23-25)
One gets the impression that Judas stayed quiet when the other disciples asked one after the other. Surely it is not I, Lord? It was only after Jesus responded to them that Judas asks if he is the one.
Jesus phrases his response in a way that is ambiguous. Though betrayed by Judas, Jesus doesnt betray Judas in front of the others. This is just between the two of them. Jesus knows what Judas is up to. Still, he loves him.
Some people think worse of me than I am, others better. But Jesus knows what Im up to good and bad. And he loves me.
If maligned for doing right, I can take courage. The Lord knows the truth.
If I get credit for things I dont deserve, I must take heed. The Lord knows the truth.
Either way, Im safest with the Lord. He knows me better than anyone, and I know he knows. No need to fake it. And he loves me more than anyone.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord.