In the Presence of My Enemy…
Posted on April 17, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
When David wrote that phrase in the 23 Psalm, I am sure he didn’t have in mind the Messiah breaking bread with His betrayer.
Jesus and His disciples had sat down at the table to share the Passover meal, a very unique remembrance of the death angel passing over everyone who had placed themselves under the blood of the sacrificed lamb. As they shared the food prepared for them, Jesus announced, “here at this table, sitting among us as a friend, is the man who will betray me”
(Luke 22:21, NLT).
The enemy was there. Jesus willingly and knowingly dined with the person He knew would kiss Him one moment and betray Him the next. More than that, he had washed the enemy’s feet… The Bible tells us, the day before, “Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, had gone to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.” (Matt 26:14-16 NLT) After a scurry of questions of who would do such a thing, ‘Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.’ And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, ‘Hurry and do what you’re going to do.'”John 13:26-27 NLT)
What is the cost of betrayal? More importantly, what is the price of choosing the things of this world over Jesus? Thirty pieces of silver… items of comfort, pride, and sensuality? How about prestige and reputation… or maybe it’s just merely getting your own way?
Many know the pain of betrayal, someone you let into your life, valued their desire for control over your welfare… the pain is excruciating; it takes your breath away. And yet, there sat Jesus, sharing bread with the enemy. I wonder how many times I sat in the same position as Judas, enjoying the grace of God, but desiring my own happiness over His love? Would Jesus consider me at His table, the presence of His enemy?
Although many have been invited to the meal, not everyone gets a seat at Jesus’ table. Scripture tells us when He sits down at the table and looks over the scene; He spots a man who wasn’t appropriately dressed. Jesus says to him, ‘Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!’ The man was speechless. Then the king told His servants, ‘Get him out fast. Tie him up and ship him to hell. And make sure he doesn’t get back in. That’s what I mean when I say, ‘Many get invited; only a few sit-down.'” (Matt 22:11-14 MSG) The ‘cover’ required at Jesus’ table is the same as expected at that first Passover meal, to be under the blood of ‘The Lamb of God,’ who takes away the sin of the world. Anyone not covered over by Christ’s provision of salvation is the enemy. Not by Jesus’ choice, He freely offers to cover all with His blood; it is by our choice of autonomy that we find ourselves as the enemy. We freely choose the wrong things and head away from the hope and grace found only in Christ.
How I look forward to sitting down in the presence of my Savior. I will no longer be quarantined by this world and wearing the covering of His righteousness. What a day that will be, When my Jesus, I shall see, When I look upon His face… The One who saved me by His grace. When He takes me by the hand and leads me to the Promised Land…
What a day, glorious day that will be!
(*Lyrics by Jim Hill)
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Think About This: “Don’t worry about having the right words; worry more about having the right heart. It’s not eloquence he seeks, just honesty.” ―
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: When wisdom enters your heart, And knowledge is pleasant to your soul, 11 Discretion will preserve you; Understanding will keep you – Proverbs 2:10-11
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.