John 13:18-30 Loving The Betrayer

by | Jun 3, 2024 | John, New Testament

V. 18 Jesus has just told them that serving others is the key to makarios- blessedness, happiness.
He then speaks of the present exception, who is Judas.
Not only is Judas not serving, but he is planning to betray Jesus.
Jesus had early on prayed about whom to choose as His disciples.
He was led of the Father to choose the Twelve, but knew that eventually Judas would betray Him.

He who eats bread with Me- Judas shared close companionship with Jesus for 3 ½ years.
He shared meals with Jesus, but none more sacred than this Last Supper.
The sharing of food was a sign of great closeness in that culture. This emphasized the betrayal.

V. 19 Jesus knew that the Eleven would need to go on after His death and ascension.
They needed to know beyond a doubt that Jesus was the Messiah.
Jesus predicted the betrayal so that the Eleven could reflect on His words and continue to believe.

V. 20 From that point onward, the Eleven would be sent out.
Whoever received them would be receiving Jesus, and the Father who sent Him.
Judas would disqualify himself from this privilege. He never received Jesus.
Turn to John 1:11-13

V. 21 The announcement of the betrayal was not something that Jesus shared easily.
Troubled- inwardly agitated, to take away one’s calmness, to strike one’s spirit with fear and dread.

He was troubled in spirit, and testified- Jesus struggled inwardly before He even said the words.
It seems as though he struggled to even announce this horrible truth.

V. 22 Matthew 26:22 “They were exceeding sorrowful”.
Luke 22:33 “They began to inquire among themselves which of them it was that should do this thing”.
Mark 14:19 “They began to say unto Him one by one, Is it I, and another, Is it I?”

It seems that Judas finally spoke up, perhaps out of fear of not being in step with the others.
Matthew 26:25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it.”

V. 23 The seating arrangement was one of reclining on pillows.
John here speaks of himself, and he would have been on Jesus’ right side, leaning back and speaking to him over his shoulder.

Vs. 24-26 Piece of bread dipped- a piece of the bread soaked in the wine or the sauce of the dish; one of the ancient ways of testifying peculiar regard or special friendship or acknowledgement.

Seating at the last Supper- The Western style of dining was not used in the first century.
The guests were seated at a low table called a triclinium.
They reclined on pillows, and leaned on their left sides, and ate with their right hands.
Those who served at the table would serve from the center.

There is some good evidence as to the positions of four of the people at the Last Supper.

From left to right…
1. The first one seated would have been John the Apostle, “the one whom Jesus loved”.
Historically, this was the place where the host’s assistant would have sat.
John and Peter had been sent by Jesus to prepare the meal.
See verse 25. John would have easily and naturally leaned backwards to speak to Jesus.
2. Second seated would have been Jesus, at the place of the host of the dinner.
3. Third seated would have been Judas, to whom Jesus gave the sop.
See verse 26. Judas took the seat of the guest of honor.
4. Peter would have been seated last. He was too far away to speak to John.
But if he was seated last, he was in the perfect position to motion to John.
See verse 6. It seems as though Jesus came to Peter last when washing their feet.
Peter was seated at the lowest place at the table.
Culturally, that would have meant that he should have washed all their feet.
It’s no wonder that he objected so strongly to Jesus washing his feet.

V. 27 Jesus has loved Judas to the end.
He had empowered him and the others to preach the gospel, to heal the sick, to cast out demons.
He had invited him to live and travel with him for 3 ½ years.
Judas ate of the multiplied bread and fish. He had seen Jesus heal and raise the dead.
He had just washed his feet. He had just reached out to him through the offering of the bread (sop).

With all of these tremendous privileges, Judas still betrayed Jesus and became possessed by Satan.
What a clear example of the love and kindness of Jesus, and the depravity of the human heart.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

NOTE- Judas was used by God to do amazing things, and yet in the end, was a betrayer and a traitor.
That, however, did not invalidate the work God did through Judas. The work was genuine and real.
It may be that God used a Judas in your life; you never need to doubt the work that God did.
Those who received Judas in Jesus’ name also received the Father, though Judas was a traitor.

NOTE- Judas became possessed by Satan in the presence of Jesus.
Stedman- Judas consistently refused the help that Jesus offered. He consistently refused to open his life, surrender his will and let Jesus in. As a consequence, Jesus’ power to give the gift of love that would change his heart could never reach Judas. After this, as John tells us, Jesus made no further effort to change him. “Get your business done quickly!” he told him. Judas went out into the Judaean night, and as John infers, into the darkness of Satanic gloom.

V. 28 Judas had no reason to stay any longer. Only he and Jesus knew the truth about Judas.
V. 29 Though Jesus lived off of the gifts of others, out of that He still gave to the poor.

Ephesians 4:28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.

V. 30 Matthew Henry– He went out as one weary of Christ’s company and the society of his apostles. Christ needed not to expel him, he expelled himself. Note, Withdrawing from the communion of the faithful is commonly the first overt-act of a backslider, and the beginning of an apostasy.