Summary: How Jesus reveals different things about himself and us as he reveals who the traitor would be.
The Revelation of Betrayal
John 13: “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.’ 19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. 20 I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” 21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”
Matthew 26:22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
John 13: 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
Matthew 26:25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”
27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, 28 but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
What does it take to be a traitor? Consider the story of Benedict Arnold. The fact is that Benedict Arnold was actually a very gifted fighter for the American Army during the Revolutionary War. He and Ethan Allen led the brigade that captured Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain. Arnold’s heroics continued in September, when he took 1,150 riflemen to fight against Quebec. He had to overcome leaky boats, spoiled provisions, treacherous rivers, and near starvation to arrive at Quebec. In this assault he lost almost half of his mean. He even had a ball shot through his leg. But these losses did not deter Arnold. For the next five years Arnold served the Patriot side with distinction in one battle after another, including a dangerous assault against the center of the British line at Saratoga, where he was again wounded in the leg. One historian by the name of Henretta said, “No general was more imaginative than Arnold, no field officer more daring, no soldier more courageous.”
Yet Arnold has gone down in history not as a hero but as a villain, a military traitor who decided to hand over a key fort in West Port, New York to the British. When he didn’t get the promotions that he wanted and the money that he was seeking for his lavish life, he decided to hand over the fort for more money. With cool calculation he promised to deliver West Point and its 3,000 defenders for 2O,OOO sterling (about $1 million today), hoping that he could stop the Americans in their tracks. Persuading Washington to place the fort under his command, Arnold moved in September 1780 to execute his audacious plan, only to see it fail. After Arnold failed in this endeavor, he served George III with the same skill and daring he had shown in the Patriot cause. In 1781 he led devastating strikes on Patriot supply depots in Virginia and Connecticut.