“On the way, Jesus told them, ‘Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, God will strike the Shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.’” – Matthew 26:31-32
You can probably imagine Jesus reclining at the table with the twelve disciples in the Upper Room— breaking bread and preparing to have the Lord’s Supper. At that moment, Jesus knew what was about to happen, but nobody else had a clue.
And in that setting, Matthew 26:26-29 goes on to say, “As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, ‘Take this and eat it, for this is my body.’ And He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it…
“He gave it to them and said, ‘Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and His people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many. Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom.’”
I’ve often wondered what the disciples were thinking at this point in the story. I mean, think about it: They just sat down to have a nice meal together, and the first thing Jesus did was call Judas out for being the one who would betray Him. And now He’s breaking bread and telling the disciples to eat His body and drink wine that He called His blood.
What were they thinking at this point? Remember, they didn’t have the luxury of reading ahead and seeing what came next in the narrative. They didn’t have a copy of the New Testament. They were living the New Testament.
Jesus would go on to predict that they would all desert Him, to which Peter refuted saying He would never desert Jesus. Now, we read this story and think it is crazy. Why would anyone desert Jesus? But we know the rest of the story.
Don’t we seem to do this a lot? We judge a person, a situation, or a happenstance after it is all done, after we saw how it played out. But who is to say we would have done things any differently? I hope I would have. I hope you would have. But we don’t know.
The next time you watch something unfold, be careful to judge it after the fact. Remember, no one has the answers before the story plays out.