While [Jesus and the Twelve] were eating, he said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me."
Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, "Am I the one, Lord?"
He replied, "One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!"
Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, "Rabbi, am I the one?"
And Jesus told him, "You have said it."
— Matthew 26:21-25 NLT
All the disciples wanted Jesus' assurance that their worst nightmare wouldn't be real as they each asked, "Am I the one, Lord?" That's our question, too. On those days of great discouragement or great honesty, we ask ourselves and our Lord the same question. We don't want it to be true of us.
However, we find the disciples confused, weak, and pitiful — maybe even despicable at times — in a series of honest encounters with faith, reality, and lack of understanding. But in our heart of hearts, we know they are us. But each of them was redeemable because of one key word that they all used to address Jesus. All of them addressed Jesus as Lord. At least all of them except one addressed Jesus as Lord in the confusion following Jesus' assertion that one of them would betray him. In contrast, Judas used the word Rabbi, which means teacher.
Is that the difference between Judas and the others? Is it the difference between Judas and us?
The truth of our answer depends upon the significance of one word: "Rabbi"! "Rabbi" is the absolute key. Is Jesus our Lord, or is he merely just another Rabbi for us? Do we recognize him as our Master, or do we see him as just another good guide to life? Our decision makes an eternal difference!
Almighty Father, your Son, Jesus of Nazareth and Son of the Living God, is Lord of all. In fact, Father, I want him to be my Lord. Gently lead me to confront the things in my life that keep Jesus from being Lord indeed over my will, and empower me with your Spirit to live under his guidance, authority, and rule. In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus, I pray. Amen.