An Offer of Friendship
Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.”
During the last supper, Jesus fulfilled prophecy in giving a piece of bread to Judas Iscariot, although the disciples were not aware of it at the time. After asking them to do the things He had taught them, Christ told His disciples that He was not speaking to all of them, for among them there sat a traitor who would fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 41:9: “He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.”
There is great cultural significance in Jesus dipping a piece of bread and handing it to Judas Iscariot. This act was more than a fulfillment of prophecy. It was a gesture of love. It was customary in these times for a host to honor a dinner guest by offering them a piece of bread dipped in a sauce. This custom meant that the host was not only honoring his guest, but also pledging his friendship and loyalty. Christ’s gesture of giving the bread to Judas was not sarcastic or insincere – it was a genuine offer of friendship. Who can’t appreciate heart of Jesus and His kindness toward the one who would betray Him?
In the same way, Christ genuinely offers His friendship and loyalty to all sinners who are strangers to God. Romans 5:6 & 8 describe it this way: “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly … but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (ESV)
Christ holds the gift of friendship out to each one of us, knowing full well what our response will be. He does not wait until we have gotten our lives in order, and He offers grace to all. He has shown His love for all mankind– all sinners by dying for us. Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord!