Summary: Is Judas alone in his betrayal of the Christ? Actions speak louder than words. Have we betrayed the Lord through how we relate with each other?
✎ Have you ever found yourself afraid of the dark? Perhaps it was when you were a child and you had to sleep with the hall light on; every child knows that the boogeyman can get you if you’re in the dark. Every sound takes on a new mysterious meaning in the dark; uncertainty and darkness feeds our fears. Turn on the light; get out of the dark!
If we find ourselves in an unfamiliar place at night we move a little more slowly. But even in the familiar surroundings the dark holds unseen dangers. More than once my toes have found mysterious objects hidden in the dark; things that in the light of day my toes would have been spared from injury. Those are times I want to get out of the dark.
Perhaps one of my most scary times in the dark occurred as an adult. I was driving a semi truck at about 2:00AM across I-80 somewhere in Pennsylvania. Another truck made its way around me, and I nicely flashed my headlights to let the driver know he was clear to reenter the right hand lane. That’s when it happened; my headlights shorted out; I was in the dark. The only light I could see was the red tail lights of the truck in front of me fading into the distance. Do you have any idea how dark it is out in the middle of nowhere when you are driving down the highway at 60 mph? The 10 seconds or so that I was without lights seemed like an eternity as I frantically turned the switch on and off trying to get the lights to come back on. Once the lights were on again I didn’t touch that switch again; I wasn’t going to try driving in the dark again!
The passage that we are looking at today in John 13 ends saying, “And it was night.” Why did the Holy Spirt inspired John to include this one seemingly insignificant detail? The darkness of night shows us the contrast between Jesus, the light of the world and Satan and the powers of darkness.
Through out that night and through the next three days it appears that darkness has triumphed over the light. Judas leads a group of soldiers and betrays Jesus with a kiss. Jesus is arrested, brought to trial, and finally brutally beaten and nailed to a cross to die. When Jesus’ dead body is laid in the tomb and the grave is sealed, darkness has conquered the light.
All hope would be gone if not for the reminder from the opening verses of John’s gospel, “THE LIGHT SINES IN THE DARKNESS, BUT THE DARKNESS HAS NOT UNDERSOOD IT.” The powers of darkness could not comprehend nor overpower the light. And how many of us know the rest of the story? Although the light may be hidden for a time, the Son–S, O, N–rose early the third day! Darkness could not hold back the light; the grave could not hold the life. Jesus rose from the dead!
This morning let me ask you, are you walking in the light or in the dark? That is are you living your life in obedience to Jesus and His word walking in the light? Or are you in the dark; have you compromised or ignored God’s word; are you living by your own rules. There are no subtle shades of grey. It’s time to get out of the dark.
Open your Bible to John 13:18-30; here Jesus identifies the one who would betray him. Last time we looked at verses 1-17 where Jesus showed his disciples the full extent of his love as he washed their feet. We are to follow Jesus’ example and have the heart of a servant; humbling ourselves we are to put others ahead of ourselves. Immediately after washing his disciple’s feet, Jesus makes it know to them that one of them would betray Him. Imagine, Jesus had just knowingly washed the feet of Judas who would only hours later betray Jesus with a kiss!
If you had been at the table that night with Jesus and He had washed your feet, would He then identify you as the one who would go out and betray Him? Whose heartbeat do you identify with? Would you have the heart of a servant like Jesus, or like Judas a heart of betrayal?
Let’s read John 13:18-30 (NIV) piece by piece to better understand what’s happening with Jesus and his disciples when He lets them know that one of them will soon betray him.
>> 18"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ’He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’