Betraying Jesus

by Mike Ratliff

21 Ταῦτα εἰπὼν [ὁ] Ἰησοῦς ἐταράχθη τῷ πνεύματι καὶ ἐμαρτύρησεν καὶ εἶπεν· ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι εἷς ἐξ ὑμῶν παραδώσει με. John 13:21 (NA28)

21Having 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.” John 13:21 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In our last post, Lord Do You Wash My Feet?, our Lord revealed that one of the twelve disciples was “not clean” in John 13:10 and then in 13:18 He revealed that this would fulfill Old Testament prophecies about an insider betraying Him. Now, we enter that part of John’s account of our Lord’s last Passover Feast in which His betrayer is sent 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)

21Having 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 13:31-38 (translated from the NA278 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.

I have pondered much today on this betrayal stuff. Who does this today? It is apostates. It is those who profess to be true while they are false. Our late brother Ken Silva posted a very well researched article back in 2011 on the continuing crumbling of what is known as Mainstream Evangelicalism. I pray you do follow that link. There are some pretty well known names in there and if we take our eyes off of Christ and place them on men, we can become quite discouraged in this. Be not discouraged my brethren. Remember who is sovereign and even in the darkness, God is still in total control.

Soli Deo Gloria!

5 thoughts on “Betraying Jesus

  1. I praise our God that, even in the darkness, He is still in control…
    for His precious mercy in paying my debt, forgiving horrific sins of mine I find it hard to forget…
    and that, knowing me, He still wills to keep me unto the end!

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  2. Very sobering.
    So hard to be betrayed by those who you thought were your “brothers & sisters”.
    It is almost an embarrassment that you were deceived by them.
    But, like you said, God is ultimately Sovereign and I rest in that.
    I have gone from hurt and angry to pity and sadness, for them! I still love them
    and pray for them.
    Praise Jesus for causing me to persevere in this darkness!
    “Not too many days”!!!!!

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  3. Angi, I know what you are talking about. In my own case, I have had some some turn on me that would have been absolutely devastating if my focus had not been on simply being obedient and standing firm. You see, that is what “plastic christians” cannot abide and notice how often our Lord draws the line even that fine.

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  4. Amen Celine, that is so true.

    Mike, there are plastic Christians everywhere. Matthew 24:4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
    9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

    Being hated by all nations is not going to be “fun” or “entertaining” and the love of many will grow cold. Praying to endure to the end.

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