Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Bread Eating Betrayer Exposed (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.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 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. 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. 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. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.” (John 13:21–30, ESV)

Judas shared many meals with Jesus as had the rest of the disciples, and in that sense Jesus could have been talking about any of them in verse 18 when He said, “He who ate My bread has lifted his heel against Me.” Any one of them might have at one time or another done something that Jesus could have possibly been speaking about. But Jesus made it clear that He was not speaking of small things. He went on to say that one of them would betray Him. After He said this all of the disciples looked at each other not being certain of who He was talking about. I can just imagine them looking around at each other wondering who it was and possibly what any of them might do. They simply didn’t know. They couldn’t imagine it.

So, Peter motioned to John who was reclining near Jesus in an effort to get him to ask who it was, and this is exactly what John did. “Lord, who is it?” Having already said that the one who ate His bread would be the one who betrayed Him, Jesus then told them that the one who would do this was the one to whom He would give a choice piece of bread. Jesus then dipped the piece and gave it to Judas who was the son of Simon Iscariot. We know that Judas had already entered into a deal to turn Jesus over when the devil put this into his heart (John 13:2), but now we read that after he had eaten the brad that Satan entered into him. Looking at Judas and knowing him to be possessed, Jesus told him and I suspect them, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

Satan possessed the one who would betray Jesus so that Jesus might be turned over in God’s perfect timing in order to give His life as the perfect sacrifice for sin. By His death, burial, and resurrection Satan was permanently defeated and his assured. Satan was probably rejoicing in bringing about the death of the Son of God, thinking that somehow he had won. But in reality, he was instrumental in the Father’s plan to bring about his own end. By faith men would no longer be slaves to sin. Satan would no longer be their master.

While all of this was going on the disciples remained clueless. They didn’t even get that Judas was going to betray Jesus. We read that when Jesus told him to go and do something quickly that He might have Been sending Judas, who had the moneybag, out to get something for the meal or possibly to give something to the poor. They had no clue that Jesus was sending Him out to do what the prophets had written hundreds of years in advance. Having been told to go, Judas left without any word that we know of. He left, and the next time they meet would be later that night in the garden when Judas betrays Him with a kiss.

While one was planning a betrayal and the others could not fathom it, Jesus knew exactly what was going on. He knew that the Father’s plan was being fulfilled just as intended, and that no matter how dark or devious things might seem God was still in control. Even Satan was powerless to change what God intended, and in fact was a willing pawn in His perfect plan. The reality is that the neither Satan nor any of his henchmen can do anything apart from God’s permission. God does not do evil, and He is sovereign over those who work evil. He establishes the framework. We saw this in Job when Satan was granted limited permission to afflict Job. We know this from the entirety of the teaching of Scripture.

Satan did not win that day. And in Christ he does not win in us. In Christ those who believe and were once dead in their trespasses and sins have been (done deal) made spiritually alive. God wins.

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