Mark 14:20

“It is one of you Twelve,” said Jesus, “the one who is dipping his bread beside me into the dish.

you know who’s going to break
there has never been any question
it is the one who breathes alongside
in and out expand and contract
we see more we feel less

there is no special talent needed
to lose focus to forget grace
just showing up turns special
to ordinary expected routine
we are co-conspirator-in-chief

indispensability our coat-of-arms
the important cog in this place
without us things fall apart
our very loyalty blinds us
non-betrayal here is betrayal there

This response to the question of whether I am/will be a betrayer is not comforting or definitive. In Mark’s time and still in that place it is expected that bread will be dipped into a common bowl where further flavor or nutrition lies. Everyone dips their bread into one bowl. Everyone is still implicated as a betrayer.

As we remember images from the previous chapter of parents betraying their children and children betraying their parents, we can also hear that troubling times affect teachers and students, priests and parishioners, and any number of other presumed natural pairings. Sabin2129 observes:

When Mark then shows Jesus saying that his betrayer will be “the one who dips with me into the dish”, he brings to mind both the dipping gesture characteristic of the Passover Seder and the dipping posture of baptism. By suggesting both simultaneously, Mark suggests that the experience of being betrayed is the tradition of God’s servants.

There may not be enough evidence to strongly support dipping as a metaphor for baptism, but it is an evocative gesture. Given the time of Mark’s writing—while Palestine is being reoccupied and the Temple destroyed—it is more than likely that followers of Jesus betrayed followers of Jesus for that is still going on in today’s world.

It is difficult to hear that betrayal is “the tradition of God’s servants”. We try very hard to keep this all-too-common reality at bay and yet it keeps coming back. Colonialism is built on betrayal of Love Your Neighb*r. Capitalism is built on betrayal for the Love of Mammon. Democracy is built on betrayal for the Love of Power. Through it all Church is built on betrayal for Love of Keys of The Kingdom.

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