John 13:21-30

We might read one of you will betray me in verse 21 then zoom to the villain reveal in verse 26. But if we pan over those in-between verses too quickly, we miss a message we need. Why are the disciples uncertain (v. 22) about who Jesus is talking about? Why does Peter nudge the disciple closest to Jesus to ask, “Lord, who is it?” (v. 25). When Matthew tells this story, why does one shocked disciple after another ask, “It’s not me, is it, Lord?” 

They know what we realize: we are not as loyal to Jesus as we want to appear. We fail to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We say selfish things. We make choices that we know are wrong. We avoid doing some things that we know are right.

We don’t love one another as we should. We hold grudges and look down on others for senseless reasons. What we picture as a genuine Christian life doesn’t look like the day we just had. Like the disciples, we sense that our failures are betrayals. 

Morning prayers are easier for us than evening ones. In the morning we ask to be aware of God’s presence. We consider what must get done and ask God for help. We pray about the day’s possibilities and grow confident that this will be the day that we finally get it all together. Morning prayers usually make us feel better. 

Evening prayers can make us feel worse. We consider what we haven’t done, the possibilities that we missed, the people for whom we haven’t cared enough. Praying in the evening reminds us that we didn’t get it all together. Evening prayers are full of confession. 

We need God’s grace and forgiveness daily. Knowing this keeps us focused on Christ, aware of the Presence that enables us to live within his love. 


What do you need to confess?


God, help us see how we betray you and help us love you with all that we are. Amen.

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