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author on April 14th, 2010

In the Family Circus comic strip, every now and then an invisible character makes his appearance. “Not me” is his name and when mom and dad come upon a broken lamp or some other little incident, the little gremlin “Not me” can be seen fleeing the scene, on to more mischief as the children proclaim their innocence one by one.

But the disciples were each responding “not me” to a far more grave assertion: “One of you will betray Me” (Mark 14.18).

“They were saddened, and one by one they said to Him, ‘Surely not I?'” (Mark 14:19Mark 14:19
English: World English Bible - WEB

19 They began to be sorrowful, and to ask him one by one, “Surely not I?” And another said, “Surely not I?”

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Jesus had revealed to each one of the twelve their vulnerability – any one of them could have been Jesus’ betrayer – the one who would turn Jesus over to the Temple Guard in the middle of the night, away from the crowds who would have rebelled against the high priest had they arrested Jesus in broad daylight (see Luke 20:19; 22:2Luke 20:19; 22:2
English: World English Bible - WEB

19 The chief priests and the scribes sought to lay hands on Him that very hour, but they feared the people—for they knew He had spoken this parable against them. 2 The chief priests and the scribes sought how they might put him to death, for they feared the people.

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Jesus revealed to each disciple their potential to betray the Lord. Each one answered – half-asking – “Surely not I?”

We cannot know what will happen in the next moment – let alone the next day – what circumstances may be set before us.Therefore, any one of us could say “not me!” in one moment, and in the next find ourselves breaking the lamp.

But unlike Jesus’ betrayer, we can come to Jesus in prayer, confessing our sins to the Father; and Jesus, our advocate, washes away our sin in His cleansing blood – blood shed for every one of us. There is no sin so great that God can’t forgive. God reveals our sin to us, and we respond with confession, with repentance; and “Not me” will never make his stealth appearance again.