John 13: 21-30

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Understanding And Applying the Text

“And it was night.” I do not believe John mentions it was the night to express the time of day. Throughout this Gospel, John uses the light to express God revealing Himself to men. See John Chapters; 1,3,5,8, 9, 11, and 12. John uses a literary device to say what Matthew records in Matthew 6:23. “If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Any light in Judas went out.

The more sacred the office, the more hideous the betrayal of that office. The greater the trust, the greater the betrayal of that trust. Judas’ treachery is more detestable because of His position. Judas was an Apostles. The group entrusted him with the responsibility of the money. They express that level of trust to no one else.

John says Jesus was troubled in His spirit. It is obvious Jesus manifested a physical reaction to the betrayal that was about to happen. But this was more than physical. He felt this deep in His soul.

The disciples were not aware of the crime Judas was about to commit. So the announcement that one of them was a traitor came as a surprise. They had no idea what was about to happen. They looked around the room, trying to identify who it was.

It came as a shock. Who knows what they expected? Was the traitor going to jump up and attack? Was the traitor going to justify His action? Was the traitor going to look ashamed? Who knows? No one knows what they expected to see. I am sure they did not know what they expected. They were in shock.

No one identified themselves as the traitor. Peter seems to be the first to recover from the shock. He motions to John to ask Jesus who it was. John asks. Jesus tells John who it is. But it is clear the rest of the disciples do not hear the answer. They may not have even heard the question.

This scene reminds me of many of the old gangster movies. The leader reveals there is a rat among them. He reveals who the rat is. And then proceeds to execute the traitor. The boss walks around the room talking about the traitor. The camera focuses on the traitor. He is sweating. He is worried. Does the boss know? How did he found out? Maybe he thinks it is someone else? What is going to happen? How can I get out of this?

I picture Judas as a worried rat. He is thinking, “What is Jesus going to do? Does Jesus really know? I have been so careful not to reveal the plan. Will the rest of Jesus’ disciples kill me? Will Jesus have me killed?” When Jesus dismissed him. I see Judas getting out of there as fast as he could.

Jesus gives the morsel of bread to Judas and the scripture says for the first time, Satan entered him. Jesus gave Judas over to Satan. Jesus may have protected Judas up to this point from Satan. So that Satan could not enter Judas until that time. Christ had shown Judas grace. Yet Judas rejected the grace grant to him.

Judas betrayal was wicked. But we are like Judas. We are all wicked men. We too betray Christ except for the gift of God’s grace. Praise God and thank Him for the grace and mercy He has given.

Augustine believed the morsel of bread was an emblem of Christ’s body. Augustine was wrong. And that is a something you do not get to say this often. The bread was not an emblem of the body of Christ. Christ gave it to Judas before Christ had consecrated it as His Body.

Judas left but the rest of the disciples do not understand the reason. John had not yet let them know. But their reaction to Judas leaving is not uncommon in the church. Few believers understand the hypocrisy the Lord condemns.

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