Summary: As Jesus prepares for the cross, He reveals His betrayer but also His Glory. He gives His disciples the new command, to love as He loves.
“God's Glory and Love” John 13:21-35
Last week we looked at the foot washing by Jesus of His Disciples’ feet: We saw that not only was Jesus washing their feet but also teaching them a great spiritual lesson. First of all it was more than a S-O-L-E washing. Jesus’ action and words spoke of the S-O-U-L washing that can come only through Him and His sacrificial death for us. The other lesson was that in the same way that Jesus was stooping in humble servitude to His disciples, they also, should serve one another: That was breaking all kinds of cultural molds.
Identifying the Betrayer of Jesus
Today we begin with verse 21: “When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me." 22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. 25 Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?" 26 Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly." 28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor. 30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.”
Jesus was troubled in spirit; He was inwardly disturbed right to His very soul or being and it was visible in His face. He would now disclose Judas as the one who would betray Him, who would hand Him over to the authorities. One of the twelve whom Jesus had taught, befriended, and shared the most blessed Gospel would turn Him over to the enemies.
Knowing all things, Jesus knew also that Judas still had the opportunity to repent and ask for forgiveness, but that his own evil decisions and actions would prevent him from receiving the forgiveness and eternal life for which Jesus came.
As Jesus hands out pieces of bread, which would have been viewed as a gesture of friendship, when He comes to Judas, we read in verse 27: “Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly.” Most of the disciples, except maybe John and Peter, still thought that Judas was going to go out and buy some last minute items for the Passover feast at hand since he was the treasurer of the group, but Jesus knew differently. Judas’ heart was in alignment with Satan and Jesus, knowing the hearts of man tells Judas: “What you do, do quickly,” and we read: “He went out immediately. AND IT WAS NIGHT.”
“IT WAS NIGHT” surely described the time of day but the meaning is deeper than that: What Judas will do demonstrates the deep darkness of His deed and the spiritual darkness of his soul. Judas would be swallowed up by the most awful darkness. He would be part of what Scripture speaks about as the OUTER DARKNESS. Judas was making his own place in history, as the betrayer of the Lord Jesus, the Savior, but he was also heading to his own place of destruction and damnation. It would also be the beginning of Jesus’ darkest night, the night of judgment and suffering that would lead to the cross.