Summary: A look at the interaction between Jesus and Judas in John's account of the last supper.
Normally I try to start my sermons with a funny story, but today I want to start it with something of a confession. The last two years God has taken me taken me through some deep valleys in my life, with pain and hurt that I can honestly say I don’t wish and anybody, but you can understand if I say I’m glad I went through it. I’m a different man because of what I’ve been through and I’ve learned a valuable lesson, to just let things go. People do stuff to us some intentional some unintentional, whatever it is one of the best lessons we can learn in life is to let it go. Because if you don’t it will simply eat you alive.
It is because of what I’ve been through and what I’ve learned that this particular passage has become very important too me. This is one of those experiences where you read a passage that you know really well and it’s like you’re reading it for the very first time. It’s the story of the last supper in John chapter 13, it is amazing to really look at everything that Jesus was doing here, and I want to share them with you in the form of images.
The first image, is the image of transition. Look at verse 1, “When Jesus knew that His hour had come.” This is a statement that marks a change. As John is writing his gospel, looking back on the key events of the life of Christ he realizes that this was the start of everything changing, and so he uses the language of transition. Jesus’ hour, His time had come. It is time for Him to go from teacher to condemned prisoner, but it is also time for Him to go from the servant to all to the Lord of All. It is a time of transition for Jesus.
One of the lessons we need to learn about transitions is that transitions take time. It’s quick to make a change. Change a persons job, title and description, the change is quick the transition for them and the people around them takes time. Move to a new city, the change is quick the feeling that its home takes a while.
Going through a transition successfully takes time and in these John 13 we see Him laying the groundwork for a successful transition. John 13:1 says, “When Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own how were in the world, He loved them to the end.” Jesus knows His hour has come and He’s going to spend the next four chapters prepare His disciples to handle it. John 17:1 He’s in the garden and He prays “Father the hour has come.” The four chapters in are His final teachings to His disciples on earth. He spends four chapters preparing them for the transition. To understand how huge this is. John’s record of Jesus life, from his prologue about the beginning, to John the Baptist to Jesus entire ministry to this point, everything He taught, everything He did that John recorded took 12 chapters, but John spent 4 chapters talking about these few hours.
But Jesus wasn’t the only one who was faced with a transition here. This was a time of transition for Judas too. Look at verse 2, “And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him.” Judas is going through a time of tragic transition. He is making the move from disciple to betrayer. But understand that from John’s point of view looking back from the end of his life to the events that happened earlier, John realizes who’s in charge. Look at verse 3, “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands.” Even as Judas is helping to plan the murder of Jesus, Jesus is fully aware and fully in charge.
So what Jesus does next become even more amazing. First we have the passage where Jesus washes the disciple’s feet. Before He becomes the ruler of all, He puts Himself in the position of the lowest servant, He’s teaching the most visible lesson on servant leadership in perhaps all of history. Then He sits the disciples down and He makes a statement that should get the attention of everyone at the table, He says, “I do not speak concerning all of you.” In that moment the change has begun. Until then Jesus has always included everyone, it didn’t matter who you were or what you’d done you were welcome with Jesus. Look at John 6:70, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” From the beginning Jesus included everyone, even the one He knew would betray Him, He included, until now, now the change has come, Jesus is moving from servant to Savior, and the language changes.