by Mike Ratliff
10 λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· ὁ λελουμένος οὐκ ἔχει χρείαν εἰ μὴ τοὺς πόδας νίψασθαι, ἀλλʼ ἔστιν καθαρὸς ὅλος· καὶ ὑμεῖς καθαροί ἐστε, ἀλλʼ οὐχὶ πάντες. 11 ᾔδει γὰρ τὸν παραδιδόντα αὐτόν· διὰ τοῦτο εἶπεν ὅτι οὐχὶ πάντες καθαροί ἐστε. (John 13:10-11 NA28)
10 Jesus said to him, “The one having been bathed does not have need except to wash his feet, but is wholly clean, and you are clean, but not all.” 11 For He knew the one betraying Him, therefore, He said, “Not all are clean.” (John 13:10-11 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
We have been discussing the rampant apostasy in the “visible church.” While it seems that is is much worse now than it as ever been, let us never forget that the genuine Church has been infiltrated and mixed together with unbelievers, heretics, and apostates from the very beginning. In the passage above we see that one of the our Lord’s own chosen disciples, one of the 12, would betray Him. However, in John 13:18 our also makes it clear that this betrayal would fulfill Old Testament prophecies about an insider betraying Him.
18 I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘ HE who eats MY bread has lifted up his heel against ME.’ (John 13:18 NASB)
Now, we enter that part of John’s account of our Lord’s last Passover Feast in which His betrayer is set away to do his deed. In contrast, our Lord reveals that those who truly belong to Him follow the commandment from God to love one another. Then He reveals to Peter, even though Peter declares that he would rather die than leave the Lord, he will deny that he even knows Jesus three times this very night. Let us take a closer look.
21 Ταῦτα εἰπὼν [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς ἐταράχθη τῷ πνεύματι καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν καὶ εἶπεν· ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με. 22 ἔβλεπον εἰς ἀλλήλους οἱ μαθηταὶ ἀπορούμενοι περὶ τίνος λέγει. 23 ἦν ἀνακείμενος εἷς ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ὃν ἠγάπα ὁ Ἰησοῦς. 24 νεύει οὖν τούτῳ Σίμων Πέτρος πυθέσθαι τίς ἂν εἴη περὶ οὗ λέγει. 25 ἀναπεσὼν οὖν ἐκεῖνος οὕτως ἐπὶ τὸ στῆθος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ λέγει αὐτῷ· κύριε, τίς ἐστιν; 26 ἀποκρίνεται [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς · ἐκεῖνός ἐστιν ᾧ ἐγὼ βάψω τὸ ψωμίον καὶ δώσω αὐτῷ. βάψας οὖν τὸ ψωμίον [λαμβάνει καὶ] δίδωσιν Ἰούδᾳ Σίμωνος Ἰσκαριώτου. 27 καὶ μετὰ τὸ ψωμίον τότε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς ἐκεῖνον ὁ σατανᾶς. *λέγει οὖν αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰησοῦς· ὃ ποιεῖς ποίησον τάχιον. 28 τοῦτο [δὲ] οὐδεὶς ἔγνω τῶν ἀνακειμένων πρὸς τί εἶπεν αὐτῷ· 29 τινὲς γὰρ ἐδόκουν, ἐπεὶ τὸ γλωσσόκομον εἶχεν Ἰούδας, ὅτι λέγει αὐτῷ [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς· ἀγόρασον ὧν χρείαν ἔχομεν εἰς τὴν ἑορτήν, ἢ τοῖς πτωχοῖς ἵνα τι δῷ. 30 λαβὼν οὖν τὸ ψωμίον ἐκεῖνος ἐξῆλθεν εὐθύς. ἦν δὲ νύξ. (John 13:21-30 NA28)
21 Having said these things, Jesus was troubled in His Spirit and He testified and said, “Amen, amen I say to you that one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples were looking at one another being uncertain about whom He was speaking. 23 One of His disciples whom Jesus loved was reclining close to Him. 24 Simon Peter, therefore, nodded to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. 25 Having leaned back, that one thus on Jesus breast asked, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will dip the morsel and will give to him.” Having dipped, the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas Iscariot the son of Simon. 27 And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “That which you do, do quickly.” 28 But no one of those reclining know for what purpose He spoke to him 29 for some were thinking since Judas had the moneybox that Jesus told him to buy thing we have need of for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor. 30 Having taken the morsel that man went out immediately and it was night. (John 13:21-30 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Please do not be deceived. Not one of the disciples suspected Judas of being the betrayer. His outward behavior conformed exactly with that of the other disciples. Even after giving him the morsel, no one directly suspected him of being the culprit. Who is in sovereign control here? It is not Satan. He has put the idea of betraying Jesus into Judas heart earlier (v2), but until our Lord gives him that morsel and tells him to go and do quickly, nothing is a go. However, once that command is given, Satan enters into the man and all the pieces begin to fall into place that will result in our Lord’s crucifixion. I have always been struck by those last words of v30 “and it was night,” which translates ἦν δὲ νύξ, which, in Greek, is exactly how I translated it. However, it does strike an ominous note doesn’t it? Think of Luke 22:53 in which our Lord speaks to the mob who came to arrest Him at Gethsemane, “When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
31 Ὅτε οὖν ἐξῆλθεν, λέγει Ἰησοῦς· νῦν ἐδοξάσθη ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἐδοξάσθη ἐν αὐτῷ· 32 [εἰ ὁ θεὸς ἐδοξάσθη ἐν αὐτῷ], καὶ ὁ θεὸς δοξάσει αὐτὸν ἐν αὐτῷ, καὶ εὐθὺς δοξάσει αὐτόν. 33 τεκνία, ἔτι μικρὸν μεθʼ ὑμῶν εἰμι· ζητήσετέ με, καὶ καθὼς εἶπον τοῖς Ἰουδαίοις ὅτι ὅπου ἐγὼ ὑπάγω ὑμεῖς οὐ δύνασθε ἐλθεῖν, καὶ ὑμῖν λέγω ἄρτι. 34 Ἐντολὴν καινὴν δίδωμι ὑμῖν, ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους, καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς ἵνα καὶ ὑμεῖς ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους. 35 ἐν τούτῳ γνώσονται πάντες ὅτι ἐμοὶ μαθηταί ἐστε, ἐὰν ἀγάπην ἔχητε ἐν ἀλλήλοις.
36 Λέγει αὐτῷ Σίμων Πέτρος· κύριε, ποῦ ὑπάγεις; ἀπεκρίθη [αὐτῷ] Ἰησοῦς· ὅπου ὑπάγω οὐ δύνασαί μοι νῦν ἀκολουθῆσαι, ἀκολουθήσεις δὲ ὕστερον. 37 λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Πέτρος· κύριε, διὰ τί οὐ δύναμαί σοι ἀκολουθῆσαι ἄρτι; τὴν ψυχήν μου ὑπὲρ σοῦ θήσω. 38 ἀποκρίνεται Ἰησοῦς· τὴν ψυχήν σου ὑπὲρ ἐμοῦ θήσεις; ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω σοι, οὐ μὴ ἀλέκτωρ φωνήσῃ ἕως οὗ ἀρνήσῃ με τρίς. (John 13:31-38 NA28)
31 Therefore, when he went out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will both glorify Him in Himself and immediately will glorify Him. 33 Children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek Me and as I said to the Jews, I say to you also, where I go you are not able to come now. 34 A new command I give to you, that you love one another as I loved you that you love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples if you have love among one another.”
36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord where do you go? Jesus answered Him, “Where I go you are not able to follow now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter said to Him, “Lord why am I not able to follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “You will lay down your life for me? Amen, amen I say to you, a cock will not crow until you deny me three times.” (John 31-38 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
Jesus tells us that God is glorified through all of this including the betrayal by Judas. Our Lord’s perfect obedience, laying down His life to be the propititiation for those He came to save, having our sin imputed to His account, paying our debt, in His death, satisfying the wrath of God against both our sin and inability to keep the covenant of works that our Lord fulfilled in His perfect life and walk, His ghastly, brutal death, His glorious resurrection. Yes, in all of this God is glorified and He glorifies the Son. What is our part after we believe and are saved? We love each other as we love our Saviour. We reflect to each other the same love Christ has for us.
Judas betrayed our Lord and became the son of perdition and went to His fate in eternal damnation, but Peter is told by our Lord that that very night he would deny our Lord three times. This is serious my brethren. What is the difference? Judas was an unbeliever while Peter was in the sheepfold. Judas was apostate, while Peter needed to have his feet washed. Yes, what he did as our Lord was in the midst of His trial was serious and our Lord dealt with Him directly prior to Pentecost and Peter never forgot it. Yes His sins were forgiven, but it was something he carried with him the rest of his life and could point other believers to it to show the mercy and grace of forgiveness that we have in Christ.
Who is it that is betraying our Lord in our time? Who does this today? It is apostates. It is those who profess to be true while they are false. It’s gotten so bad that I rarely take any “well-known” Christian leader seriously anymore unless I hear them myself and read their works. Most of the attacks I have sustained here and other places have been in “discussions/debates/dialogues” with supposed Christians who turned out to be anything but. We must keep our eyes on Christ and not on men. If we follow men we can be quite discouraged when they reveal their true nature. However, this post is not meant to discourage. Be not discouraged my brethren. Why? Remember who is sovereign and even in the darkness, God is still in total control. Jesus is on His throne and we still have the Word of God.
Soli Deo Gloria!