Hypocrisy: Jesus and Judas
A dark shadow now fell across the scene as Jesus dealt with Judas, the traitor. It is important to note that Judas was not a true believer; he was a hypocrite. He had never believed in Jesus (John 6:64-71), he had not been bathed all over (John 13:10-11), and he had not been among the chosen ones whom the Father gave to the Son (John 13:18 and 17:12).
How close a person can come to salvation and yet be lost forever! Judas was even the treasurer of the group (John 12:6) and was certainly held in high regard by his fellow disciples.
At that hour, Jesus had a great concern: to fulfill the Word of God.
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
I am not speaking about all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but let the Hebrew Scripture be fulfilled that says, “The very same man who eats My bread with Me will stab Me in the back.”
John 13:18 (VOICE)
The Scripture Jesus quoted was Psalm 41:9—“Even my best friend, my confidant who has eaten my bread will stab me in the back.” When David wrote the psalm, he was probably referring to his counselor Ahithophel, who turned traitor and joined Absalom’s rebellion (see 2 Sam. 15-17). It is significant that both Judas and Ahithophel committed suicide by hanging themselves (2 Sam. 17:23; Matt. 27:3-10; Acts 1:18).
However, Judas did not commit suicide in order to fulfill biblical prophecy, for that would make God the author of his sin. Judas was responsible for his own decisions, and those decisions fulfilled God’s Word.
Assuredly, I tell you these truths before they happen so that when it all transpires, you will believe that I am.
John 13:19 (VOICE)
Jesus used miracles to help people believe that He was who He said He was (Mark 2:10). Here, He revealed that fulfilled prophecy also confirmed the fact that He truly was the Son of God. We should not despise prophecy (1 Thessalonians 5:20). It is a powerful faith builder.
I tell you the truth: anyone who accepts the ones I send accepts Me. In turn, the ones who accept Me also accept the One who sent Me.
John 13:20 (VOICE)
If this is true, which it is, then the opposite must be true also. If we don’t receive the ones Jesus sends, then we aren’t receiving Him. And if we don’t receive Jesus, then we aren’t receiving God the Father who sent Him.
Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”
John 13:21 (NLT)
What a vastly different way Jesus had of exposing this terrible act! Most men would have been angry and lashed out at the person they knew would betray them. Jesus simply made the deed known for the purpose He stated in John 13:19, so they would know He was the Christ. There was no malice in Him, even towards the one who betrayed Him. What a merciful God we serve!
The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean.
John 13:22 (NLT)
We can only imagine what must have been going through Judas’s mind. He knew he was caught, but he maintained his ruse.
This is one of the few prophecies concerning His death that Jesus’ disciples didn’t challenge. Instead, they questioned Him as to who would be the one to do this thing. It’s possible that because of the threat to their own lives, all of them had been tempted with the thought.
One of His disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining close beside Jesus.
Simon Peter motioned to him to find out who it was He was talking about.
So he leaned back against Jesus and asked Him, “Lord, who is it?”
John 13:23-25 (HCSB)
Why didn’t Peter ask this question?
It appears he thought John was more intimate with Jesus and would therefore stand a better chance of getting his question answered. This would go along with what John said in the previous verse when he called himself, “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” This wasn’t just John’s opinion, but it was observed and noted by others too.
Those who are intimate with Jesus have a rapport with Him that others don’t.
Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot.
John 13:26 (NLT)
What must he have felt like when Jesus singled him out before all the other disciples?
All four Gospel writers recorded Jesus revealing Judas as the one who would betray Him (Matthew 26:21-25, Mark 14:18-21, Luke 22:23, and this verse). But Matthew and Mark recorded Jesus as saying it would be the one who dipped his bread in the dish with Jesus, while John here recorded it would be the one whom Jesus dipped bread in the dish and then gave it to him.
After ⌊Judas ate⌋ the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Therefore Jesus told him, “What you’re doing, do quickly.”
John 13:27 (HCSB)
This means Satan himself was present at Jesus’ last supper with His disciples. If Jesus couldn’t or wouldn’t keep Satan out of that communion service, then we can’t keep Satan out of our church services either. If we were to somehow “plead the blood” in such a way that no demons could be present at our gatherings, then no (or very few) people would be there either.
According to John 13:2, the devil had already put into Judas’s heart the desire to betray Jesus. Here, Satan himself entered into Judas to accomplish this terrible deed.
Notice that the desire came before the possession. Satan can’t just overpower people and take control. He gains control through thoughts that lead to desires, and when desires are conceived (James 1:14-15), people give him the control over their lives. Satan can’t do anything to people without their consent and cooperation.
Notice that Jesus told Judas to do what he was going to do quickly. Jesus was speaking about Judas’s betrayal. Once Jesus knew this was inevitable, He wanted to get it over with. Likewise, each of us will go through difficult situations in life. Once we know we can’t avoid these things, we need to just get them over with as quickly as possible. Bad things seldom get better with time.
None of those reclining at the table knew why He told him this.
Since Judas kept the money-bag, some thought that Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival,” or that he should give something to the poor.
After receiving the piece of bread, he went out immediately. And it was night.
John 13:28-30 (HCSB)
When Jesus gave the bread to Judas, it was interpreted as an act of love and honor. In fact, Judas was seated at the place of honor, so our Lord’s actions were seen in that light: He was bestowing a special honor on Judas. No wonder, after Judas left the room, the disciples got into an argument over who was the greatest (Luke 22:24-30).
John was no doubt stunned by this revelation, but before he could say or do anything, Jesus had sent Judas on his way. Even though Satan had entered Judas, it was Jesus who was in charge. He lived on the timetable given to Him by the Father, and He wanted to fulfill what was written in the Word. Since Judas was the treasurer, it was logical for the disciples to conclude that the Lord had sent him on a special mission. Judas had hypocritically expressed an interest in the poor (John 12:4-6), so perhaps he was on an errand of mercy to help the poor.
Keep in mind that Judas knew what he was doing and that he did it deliberately. He had already met with the Jewish religious leaders and agreed to lead them to Jesus in such a way that there would not be any public disturbance (Luke 21:37-22:6). He heard Jesus say, “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!” (Matt. 26:24) Yet, he persisted in his unbelief and treachery.
John’s little phrase “and it was night” carries a tremendous impact when you remember that light and darkness are important spiritual images in his Gospel. Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12), but Judas rejected Jesus and went out into darkness; and for Judas, it is still night! Those who do evil hate the light (John 3:18-21). Our Lord’s warning in John 12:25-26 went unheeded by Judas—and it goes unheeded by lost sinners today, people who will go where Judas went unless they repent and trust the Saviour.
The instant Judas was gone, the atmosphere was cleared, and Jesus began to instruct His disciples and prepare them for His crucifixion and His ultimate return to heaven. It was after Judas’ departure that He instituted the Lord’s Supper, something that Judas as an unbeliever certainly could not share. Judas was out in the night, controlled by the prince of darkness, Satan; but Jesus was in the light, sharing love and truth with His beloved disciples. What a contrast!
DECLARATION OF FAITH
When I receive one of my brothers or sisters in Christ, no matter who they may be, I am receiving Jesus Himself. By receiving Jesus, I am receiving the Father as well.
I pray this declaration of faith in Jesus’ name, Amen!
|Be Transformed (John 13-21), Repackaged
By David C. Cook
In the opening chapters of John’s Gospel, you see a group of men who were struggling with their faith and occasionally stumbling. But after Christ’s death and resurrection, things changed – because they became transformed by His power and His Word. In completing his study of John’s Gospel, Dr. Warren Wiersbe explains how you can become a transformed person. He answers such important questions as:
Questions for personal reflection and group discussion are included at the end of each chapter.
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