John 13:18-30

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 18) The Lord Jesus refers again to what He said in Verse 11, "Ye are not all clean." When He spoke of the washing of regeneration, the redemption and forgiveness through His blood, and the daily cleansing, humility, and devotion of true believers to their Master and to one another, He spoke NOT of Judas, who was a hypocrite and would soon betray Him. "I know whom I have chosen" to salvation, eternal life, and perseverance in the way of God. The betrayal of Judas is the fulfillment of another scripture written by David pertaining to the Messiah (Psalm 41:9; John 17:12; Psalm 109:7-8).

(Vs. 19) Christ told them that one of them would betray Him; and He told them many other things, such as Peter's denial, all of them forsaking Him, His death and resurrection, the world's hatred and the persecution from the religious Jews, that when all these things came to pass, they would believe that He is THE MESSIAH (John 16:1-3). He is the Lord God omniscient, Who KNOWS and DECLARES all things before they come to pass. Also, one of the greatest proofs that Jesus is the Christ is the fact that all Old Testament scriptures are fulfilled in Him (Luke 24:27, 44-47; I Cor. 15:1-4).

(Vs. 20) "Truly, truly (you may be comforted and assured by this) I have chosen you and have sent you forth in My name to preach the gospel. You are My ambassadors and sent of Me as My Father hath sent Me" (John 20:21). Those who receive the ministers of the gospel (chosen, called, and sent by Christ), those who believe and embrace their gospel, receive Christ in Whose name they come (II Cor. 5:19-20). And those who receive Christ as preached in the everlasting gospel, receive the Father of Christ and partake of His grace.

(Vs. 21) It is often said in Scripture that our Lord groaned in Himself, that He was troubled in spirit (John 11:33), and that He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. All of this shows Him to be really man and to have a human soul. He was made like His brethren and tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 2:16-18). He was grieved and troubled NOT by what would happen to Him, but at the evil nature, betrayal, and blackness of the crime Judas would commit. Also, up to this time, while He had suggested that one who had shared His fellowship would betray Him, He had not plainly said, "One of YOU shall betray Me." This greatly troubled Him and would be a stunning blow to them to realize that one of their own group would hand Him over to the authorities to be killed. The fall of a supposed friend and disciple is always most difficult to bear. He was troubled as He broke this news to them.

(Vs. 22) All of the disciples, surprised and astonished, looked from one to another, not having the slightest notion of whom He spoke. Evidently, up to this point, Judas had behaved as well as any of them and had shown as much zeal, enthusiasm, and dedication as the rest. He had given no occasion for anyone to suspect him more than any other, for they looked not on Judas but on one another (Matt. 13:27-30). Only the Master can truly discern the wheat from the tares (Matt. 7:22-23).

(Vs. 23-25) To understand this "leaning on Jesus' bosom" one must understand the posture the Jews used at their meals. John was not sitting in a chair leaning over on Christ, which would have been too intimate and very uncomfortable. The Jews reclined at meals; and John was nearest to Christ, reclining on his side next to the Saviour. John does not refer to himself by name but usually with the statement, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 19:26, 20:2; 21:7, 20). Christ, as the Son of God and the surety of His people, loves all His elect alike, not one more than another, But as man, He had a particular affection for John and admitted him near His person and more in His confidence. David is said to be "a man after God's own heart" in this, manner. Peter beckoned to John (who was so close to Christ in fellowship and position) that he should ask the Lord of whom He spoke. John, accordingly, presented the question, "Lord, who is it?"

(Vs. 26-28) Some say that the Lord whispered to John; for if He had spoken out, the rest of the disciples would have known for what purpose Judas left. "He it is to whom I give a morsel." So after He dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, saying unto him, "What you do, do quickly." Not one at the table, except John to whom the clue was given, knew why the Lord said these words to Judas.

(Vs. 29) The disciples thought because Judas carried and cared for the money as treasurer, that the Lord was sending him to buy supplies or to give something to the poor. They had no idea that Judas was the betrayer, whom Satan had entered and possessed and who was going even now to make arrangements with the priests to sell his Lord. Another reason He whispered only to John was to prevent any reprisal against Judas on the part of the eleven. Had they known Judas' intentions, they no doubt would have prevented him. Can you imagine what Peter would have done? Consider his actions in the garden when he would have defended the Lord. Judas must be allowed to do what he did as he did it with no hindrance from the others.

(Vs. 30) As soon as Judas received the sop, he left, fearing discovery and fully motivated by Satan. "It was night," which was a fitting time for such a dark deed.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.