I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (John 13: 18-20)
“I am telling you this now, before it takes place you may believe that I Am, ego eimi.” This is the way it reads in the Greek. It is another of the great I Am statements of John, where Jesus identifies himself with Yhwh, God who gave his name to Moses from the burning bush.
Jesus knows what is going to happen. He has known it all along. For us it is hard to fathom. Why would he choose Judas to be a disciple if he knew that he would be betrayed by him? It is the question of the day. Even more so, how could Jesus tolerate being around him knowing this. Jesus knew what it meant to love his enemies. He knew Judas would lift his heel against him, but he offered him the bread anyway. He cites psalm 41. A great messianic psalm. “They say he will not rise again from where he lies”. And it all plays out. Jesus is betrayed by a friend, one whom he loves.
He wants to prepare the disciples for what is ahead. He knows. And then when it happens they will believe that Jesus is the great “I Am.” After these things occur then they will begin to understand that all of scripture is about him. The messiah.