Scripture Reading: John 13:21-30
“After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in His spirit, and testified, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’” (John 13:21)
It is hard to imagine how one of Jesus’ disciples could have betrayed Him. In spite of Jesus’ great love for His disciples (John 13:1), Judas turned his back on Him and did the unthinkable. Judas had been with Jesus for three years. He had heard Jesus’ teachings and he saw the miracles He performed. Jesus washed his feet that evening in the upper room. In spite of all those things, Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
In the upper room on the night in which He was betrayed, Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper. Judas participated as Jesus served him the bread and the wine. As Jesus was doing this, we are told: “Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly’” (v. 27).
I wonder what was going through Judas’ mind when he heard Jesus say, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me” (v. 21). I wonder how Judas felt when Jesus washed his feet and later handed him the morsel of bread? Judas had to be deeply conflicted when Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”
Judas acted quickly. Later that night he betrayed Jesus. “So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons” (John 18:3). Judas led his mob to the Garden of Gethsemane and betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).
When Judas saw that Jesus had been condemned, he brought the money back to the chief priests and elders (Matthew 27:3-4). When they refused to take it back, Judas threw it down into the temple and went out and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).
It is hard for us to imagine how Judas could have done this. Judas’ betrayal was prophesied: “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9). Judas was the glove Satan used to bring about Jesus’ death. But Jesus’ death was part of God’s great plan to accomplish salvation for His people. God is sovereign over all things, even the seemingly bad things that occur. We can rest in God’s providence and His eternal decree.
Lord Jesus, it is hard for me to grasp how Judas could have betrayed You. Yet I see myself being unfaithful to You at times also. Forgive me when I fail to honor You and serve You.
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