Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Bread Eating Betrayer Prophesied (John 13:18-20)

"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.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives the one who sent Me.”  (John 13:18-20, ESV)

Jesus told His disciples in advance that He had chosen them and that He was sending them out into the world. He said that whoever received them received Him, and whoever received Him received the One who sent Him (who is the Father). In essence, they were being sent by the Father by the authority of the Son and that those who received them received the Father.

Jesus was preparing His disciples to be sent into the world after His leaving, and He wanted them to know that this was His intention from the beginning. It was God’s plan and not an afterthought or an in-course adjustment. He told them this knowing that they would not really understand until after His death, burial, and resurrection, but He wanted them to hear these words in advance, so that when the time came they would remember and be reassured to go forward with confidence.

But this was not true of all of them. The statement begins with the words, “I am not speaking of all of you, I know whom I have chosen.” There was one who was not a part of this plan. Jesus knew who was chosen and He knew who wasn’t. There was one in the group who was going to betray Him, and who in fact had already taken steps to do so. Jesus said that this one had already lifted his heal against Him.

Psalm 41 is a psalm of David written about the person who is down. It is about those who despise him and rejoice in his failings and his weakness. In the midst of the psalm we find that even the man’s friend turned on him, saying, "Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9, ESV) It is these words of David that Jesus used to speak of one among them that was going to turn on Him. In the context of Psalm 41 this close friend had turned on the individual, even kicking him when he was down. It was not a casual acquaintance or a come and go associate, but a close friend, one who he had shared everything with. And now this person had thrown in with his enemies.

in speaking to His disciples Jesus told them that there was one who He had shared His bread with who had already taken steps to turn against Him, and in the verses that follow He will even make it more dramatic by offering that person a piece of bread before sending him out.

The incredible thing is that Jesus could deal with Judas so discretely at this point. But when we consider that He already knew and that there was no intention by the Father that this plan would change or be altered in any way, it is also reasonable to understand that Jesus could move forward with confidence knowing that His welfare is not in the hands of the betrayer but in the One who sent Him.

Returning to the same psalm that Jesus quoted we read, “By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me. But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” (Psalm 41:11–13, ESV) 

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