14.02.09 Jn. 13:18-21 (See also Mt. 26:20-21; Mk. 14:17-18)
JESUS PREDICTS HIS BETRAYAL
18 I’m not speaking about all of you; I know those I have chosen. But the Scripture must be fulfilled: The one who eats My bread has raised his heel against Me.
19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. 20 I assure you: Whoever receives anyone I send receives Me, and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
21 When Jesus had said this, He was troubled in His spirit and testified, “I assure you: One of you will betray Me!”
“The one who eats My bread.” To share food with someone from a common bowl was symbolic of a most trusted friendship. It was equal to the loyalty of a blood relative. These words became the fulfillment of Psalm 41:9, as Jesus clearly stated to everyone that the traitor was identified.
9 Even my friend in whom I trusted,
one who ate my bread,
has raised his heel against me.
An example is the friendship and act of loyalty extended by King David who invited Mephibosheth to eat at his table (2 Sam. 9:7-13). Mephibosheth was the last surviving member of King Saul’s family and David had, by cultural tradition, every right to kill him. But instead, David accepted him into his own family. Another example is found in 1 Kings 18:18-20 where the prophets of Baal ate at the table of Jezebel.
Whenever a meal was shared with someone, there was a special bonding and trust for which there is no parallel in Western society. That is why the Pharisees were extremely incensed with Jesus when He ate with tax collectors, prostitutes, and other sinners. The depth of affection, loyalty, love, and bonding expressed at the gathering of the disciples for communion is profound. Conversely, to share a meal with someone and then betray him is a travesty of the highest order. The Apostle Paul said anyone who shares communion in an unworthy manner sins “against the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Cor. 11:27) – an equal travesty.