Truly I Say To You
Truly, truly, I say to you, He who receives whomever I send receives Me. And he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. (21) When Jesus had said this, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, Truly, truly, I say to you that one of you shall betray Me. (22) Then the disciples looked upon one another, wondering of whom He spoke. (23) But there was one of His disciples leaning upon Jesus' bosom, the one whom Jesus loved. (24) Simon Peter therefore signaled to him to ask whom it might be of whom He spoke. (25) And lying on Jesus' breast, he said to him, Lord, who is it? (26) Jesus answered, It is he to whom I shall give the morsel when I have dipped it. And dipping the morsel, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. (27) And after the morsel, then Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, What you do, do quickly. (28) But no one reclining knew for what reason He spoke this to him. (29) For some thought, because Judas had the moneybag, that Jesus had said to him, Buy what we have need of for the feast; or that he should give something to the poor. (30) He then, having received the morsel, went out immediately. And it was night.
Simon Peter, John, Jesus and Judas – at the moment of betrayal. No-one guessed that Judas was the betrayer. Even 60 years later as John wrote this in 90AD his loathing of Judas is clear. The apostles also felt betrayed – it was the end of the best time of their lives and an insidious attack upon their Lord.
Jesus is “troubled in spirit” – He was not always calm, Jesus was not a saccharine saint with a bland and tranquillized demeanor. God does not ask us to dissolve our personality but rather speaks through it.
“But there was one of His disciples leaning upon Jesus' bosom, the one whom Jesus loved.” This was John (see John 21:21-25). John’s claim to fame was not leadership – but intimacy. Peter would lead, and from Pentecost on would be the Rock of the early church. But John was the favorite, the one whom Jesus loved. Now Jesus loved them all – but in a special sense John was closer and the one who leaned on Jesus’ breast.
John is active in the early church as one of the main three (Jesus, James and John), with Peter he healed the lame man, went to Samaria and later met Paul (Galatians 1) who considered John a pillar of the church. Then after his brother James is executed and Peter is arrested and scheduled for execution, John vanishes from the record, appearing no further in Acts and in none of the list of greetings – even to Ephesus where church tradition has him operating. John may have chosen to be “underground” realizing that he was so deeply hated by the Jews, and was such a prime target, that open ministry was impossible. He may have deliberately asked not be mentioned in dispatches – as many missionaries in closed countries also do today. He even became so security conscious that he wrote letters such as 2 John using “code” words such as “beloved lady” for Church and would say . “Having many things to write to you, I do not want to say with paper and ink”. ( 2 John 1,12) Church tradition has him making many disciples in Ephesus including some of the main bishops of the early church such as Polycarp. Well after 70 AD, when the power of the Jewish temple is broken, John re-emerges into the public light to write his gospel.
Simon Peter asks John to ask Jesus what He meant. And Jesus replies in a discrete way that delicately preserves Judas’ sense of honor. “Jesus answered, It is he to whom I shall give the morsel when I have dipped it. And dipping the morsel, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” At this point Judas knew that Jesus knew. And Jesus confirmed it: “Then Jesus said to him, What you do, do quickly.” Judas must have been stunned. But no-one else knew. Judas must have burned with shame, maybe even rushed out of the room, but they all thought he was just doing an errand. As Judas rushed to the High Priest he must have thought: “Jesus knew my treachery – and He ate with me, Jesus knew and He washed my feet, Jesus knew and He saved my face…”
Judas son-of Simon may have been the grandson of Annas the high-priest. Judas was a southerner, from Judah, and seems to have known the temple authorities and had access to them. The high priest Annas had a wayward son called Simon who “married strange wives” and Judas may have been born of these. However the names Simon and Judas were common among supporters of the Maccabbean revolt. Judas also is pronounced “Judah” in Aramaic and thus is a type of the fate of the unbelieving Jews.
“And after the morsel, then Satan entered into him.” The Supper was Judas’ undoing and the point when Satan entered into him. Judas did not invoke Satan to enter him - he just refused Christ’s love for him. Satan physically entered Judas used him then destroyed him. If we put together a few historical accounts it appears that Judas became suddenly physically bloated with something like elephantiasis, went out, hanged himself and burst open in a truly horrible and demonic death.
The presence of Christ in the Lord’s Supper is real – and even dangerous. Paul writes:
1 Corinthians 11:27-30 So that whoever shall eat this bread and drink this cup of the Lord unworthily, he will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. (29) For he who eats and drinks unworthily eats and drinks condemnation (lit. damnation/judgment) to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (30) For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and many sleep (Note: that is they die).
Failure to observe the Lord’s Supper with consciousness of Christ and proper order and reverence - results in sickness, death, and in Judas’ case damnation. This is puzzling to the modern mind - but we are dealing with the spiritual world here.
“He then, having received the morsel, went out immediately. And it was night.” The betrayer arises, Satan enters in and the darkness falls. John often uses the metaphor of darkness for evil – and of evil that is ultimately unsuccessful and is vanquished. John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.
In this moment of sheer Satanic triumph, Jesus is unperturbed, and begins His greatest few hours of teaching, while the Devil rages outside.
Blessings in Jesus,