Sold Out The Son
John 13:18-30 ESV

John 13:2, 10-11 / John 13:18-30 (ESV)
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” 21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 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. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 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. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

John 6:64-71 (ESV)
But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.

John 13:18 (ESV)
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’

John 17:12 (ESV)
While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

How close a person can come to salvation and yet be lost forever!

At that hour, Jesus had a great concern: to fulfill the Word of God. Great example!

John 13:18 (ESV)
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ (Unruly Horse)

Psalm 41:9 (ESV)
Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

When David wrote this psalm, he was probably referring to his counselor Ahithophel, who turned traitor and joined Absalom’s rebellion. It is significant that both Judas and Ahithophel committed suicide by hanging themselves.

**However, Judas did not commit suicide in order to fulfill biblical prophecy, for that would make God the author of his sin. Judas was responsible for his own decisions, and those decisions fulfilled God’s Word.

John 13:19 (ESV)
I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.

Jesus was concerned that Judas’ treachery would weaken His disciples’ faith. This is why He related it to the scripture: when the disciples saw all of this fulfilled, it would make their faith stronger.

John 13:20 (ESV)
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

He was God the Son sent by God the Father. They were Christ’s chosen representatives/ambassadors; to receive them would be the same as receiving the Father and the Son. What a privilege, to be ambassadors of the King!

2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV)
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

The remarkable thing is that the others at the table with Jesus did not know that Judas was an unbeliever and a traitor. Up to the very hour of his treachery, Judas was protected by the Savior whom he betrayed. Had Jesus openly revealed what He knew about Judas, it is likely that the men would have turned on him. Remember what Peter did to Malchus when soldiers came to take Jesus!

From the very beginning, Jesus knew what Judas would do (John 6:64), but Jesus did not force him to do it. Judas was exposed to the same spiritual privileges as the other disciples, yet they did him no good. The same sun that melts the ice only hardens the clay. In spite of all that our Lord said about money, and all of His warning about covetousness, Judas continued to be a thief and steal from the treasury. In spite of all our Lord’s warning about unbelief, Judas persisted in his rejection. Jesus even washed Judas’ feet! Yet his hard heart did not yield.

What about you are you sensitive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and quick to obey His Word?

Are you persisting in unbelief?

Are you hard hearted when it comes to forgiveness or loving the things of this world, or belief?

Jesus had spoken before about a traitor (John 6:70), but the disciples did not take it to heart. Now when He spoke openly about it at the table, His disciples were perplexed.

John 13:21-25 (ESV)
After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?”

Peter signaled to John, who was the closest to Jesus at the table, and asked him to find out who the traitor was. The Lord’s reply to John was certainly not heard by all the men; in fact, they were carrying on discussions among themselves about who the traitor might be. 

Luke 22:23 (ESV)
And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

The scene continues…..John 13:26-27 (ESV)
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. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

When Jesus gave the bread to Judas, it was interpreted as an act of love and honor. So our Lord’s actions were seen in that light: He was bestowing a special honor on Judas. No wonder, after Judas left the room, the disciples got into an argument over who was the greatest (Luke 22:24-30).

John was no doubt stunned by this revelation, but before he could say or do anything, Jesus had sent Judas on his way. Even though Satan had entered Judas, it was Jesus who was in charge. Jesus lived on the timetable given to Him by our Father, and He wanted to fulfill what was written in the Word. 

John 13:28-29 (ESV)
Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 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.

Since Judas was the treasurer, it was logical for the disciples to conclude that he had been sent on a special mission by the Lord. Judas had hypocritically expressed an interest in the poor (John 12:4-6), so they thought perhaps he was on an errand of mercy to help the poor.

Keep in mind that Judas knew what he was doing and that he did it deliberately. He had already met with the Jewish religious leaders and agreed to lead them to Jesus in such a way that there would not be any public disturbance. 

Luke 22:1-6 (ESV)
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people. 3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. 4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.

Judas heard Jesus say: 

Matthew 26:24 (ESV)
The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

Yet, he persisted in his unbelief and treachery.

John 13:30 (ESV)
So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. (betrayal under the cover of darkness)

This carries a tremendous impact when you remember that light and darkness are important spiritual images in the Gospel. Jesus is the Light of the world (John 8:12), but Judas rejected Jesus and went out into darkness; and for Judas, it is still night!

John 12:25-26 (ESV)
Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

These warnings went unheard by Judas—and it goes unheard by many today, people who will go where Judas went unless they repent and trust in Jesus.

The instant Judas was gone, the atmosphere was cleared, and Jesus began to instruct His disciples and prepare them for His crucifixion and His ultimate return to heaven. It was after Judas’ departure that He instituted the Lord’s Supper, something that Judas as an unbeliever certainly could not share. Judas was out in the night, manipulated by the prince of darkness, Satan; but Jesus was the light, sharing love and truth with His beloved disciples. What a contrast!

Close

Judas took the bread in what looked like a gesture of fellowship and love between himself and Jesus. Apparently, none of the other disciples knew of his thoughts of betrayal. Judas had completely concealed his hypocrisy from his peers. Yet Christ knew his heart.

If we try to conceal our hypocrisy (professing to live for Christ but not having real commitment), we may succeed in fooling our friends and family. But Christ knows each person’s real thoughts and desires. People may be convinced by our exterior sham, but God searches our hearts. Judas’s life teaches us that hypocrisy can lead to satanic manipulation. Judas’s betrayal should strengthen our resolve to follow Christ no matter what temptations or opposition we encounter.

Prayer