Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’
“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
- John 13: 18 - 30
Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve. He had a front row seat to observe the life and teaching of Jesus. More, he was part of the core team and he’d presumably just had his feet washed by Jesus. He had every reason to follow Jesus. Did he not remember the miracles? Did he not remember the fabulous teaching? Was he not impressed by Jesus’ outsmarting of the establishment?
But no, he had chosen to betray Jesus.
Recorded in the first 17 verses, Jesus teaches and models the life of faith and service which was to characterise the Christian and promises blessing for His disciples as they live out such a life.
Then suddenly this twist in the text ‘I am not referring to all of you’, i.e. one of you will not be blessed. And Jesus moves on to declare that one of the disciples will betray Him.
These are Jesus’ companions, those who take bread together with Him and yet one will betray Him. He will take the bread from Jesus’ hand, he will eat it and yet go straight on to his act of betrayal.
What of us? Do we have an amazing head knowledge of Jesus? Are we apparently right at the centre of all things church? And yet, do we betray Him in our day to day lives in thought or in deed?
Let’s be those who receive the promised blessing.
- Andrew Fairfield