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The Betrayal of Jesus - John 13:21 - 38

Posted on September 24, 2017

The Betrayal of Jesus

John 13:21- 38

Introduction: Video – Love: A New Commandment


  • Jesus is in the home stretch of His time on earth and ministry
  • He wants to prepare His disciples to go on from where He will leave them with confidence and joy
  • This section beginning in chapter 13 are Jesus instructions about the priorities one needs to model as a true disciple of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit
  • This is Jesus giving His disciples and us an understanding of perspective wrapped neatly in a package.
  • He is telling His disciples, us as His disciples, how to live in a hostile world without losing your joy, but maintaining an attitude of agape love

Illustration: JACKIE ROBINSON was the first African American to play baseball in the major leagues. Breaking baseball’s color barrier, he faced hostile crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, he committed an error. The fans began to jeer him. He stood at second base, humiliated, while the crowd booed. Then, without saying a word, shortstop Pee Wee Reese went over and stood next to Jackie. He put his arm around him and faced the crowd. Suddenly the fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that that arm around his shoulder saved his career. The power of one man’s act of love!!!

Purpose: Every Christ follower needs to learn how to display God’s love given to us to our fellow Christ followers and to a world in need of love.

Transition: The greatest thing we can do for one another and our world is to put on display each and every day the love of Christ

The sellout of Jesus by Judas – John 13:21 – 30

John 13:21 – 26

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

  • The identificationof the traitor
    • Jesus was troubled in His human spirit – anguished, severe mental and spiritual turmoil
      • The love for Judas was not reciprocal
      • Judas’ ingratitude for all the kindness Jesus had shown him
      • The fact that Judas was about to become possessed by Satan
      • Judas was headed to a Christ less eternity in hell
      • Judas betrayal would lead Jesus to the cross
      • One of His closest friends would betray Him
  • This event Jesus knew would throw His disciples into utter confusion
    • No one suspected Judas as being a traitor
    • He was a great deceiver
    • Jesus did not treat him any differently than the other disciples and yet He was fully aware of Judas treachery
    • Judas would say as Jesus made the statement of one betraying Him “Surely, not I” in Matthew’s account thus showing Judas hypocrisy and deception to the very end
  • John was reclining next to Jesus so Peter gestures to John to find out from Jesus who is the one He is talking about that will betray Him. He thought John knew since He was so close to Jesus
  • According to verse 26, John may have been the only one to hear what Jesus said
    • The morsel was a piece of unleavened bread, dipped into a mixture of bitter herbs, vinegar, water, salt, crushed dates, figs and raisins.
    • The host of the dinner would give it to someone who he or she wanted to honor. Judas was probably near the head of the table with Jesus and John
    • Jesus treated Judas with love and dignity and respect to the very end. This was Jesus last attempt to have Judas abandon his deceitfulness
    • But on the other hand, Jesus was in control of the Father’s plan

John 10:18

18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”

  • The indwelling of Satan

John 13: 27

27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

  • Judas spurned Jesus gesture of love and Satan entered into him at that moment.
    •  I believe people even to this very hour can become demon possessed. If one opens up their heart and life to follow Satan and His many deceptions, they can allow Satan to inhabit their heart.
    • However, I do not believe a Christian can be demon possessed.
      • We have the Holy Spirit living in us – I Corinthians 6:19 – 20
      • Greater is He that is in us than He that is in the world – I John 5:4
      • We are in the hand of God according to John 10:29 so Satan cannot snatch us away from God.
      • As we read in Job 1 that Satan can attack and oppress a Christian
      • We as Christians if we are not careful according to Ephesians 4:27 can give territory to Satan and we need to reclaim it for God and His Holy Spirit in our lives by surrendering to God.

Ephesians 4:27 – NIV

And do not give the devil a foothold.

  • Don’t be giving territory to Satan. Once he gets his foot in your door, he will pry it open and take more and more territory in your heart. It will lead to damaging consequences.

John 13:28 -29

28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.

  • In verses 28 – 29, we see that only John knew Jesus had pointed out the betrayer.
  • The other disciples did not know why Jesus said what He said in verse 27??

30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

  • Judas immediately went out as Jesus asked him to.
  • Jesus did not want the plan to collapse
    • According to the other Gospel accounts, Judas went straight from this Passover meal to the Sanhedrin – Mark 14:11
    • He helped them plot where to arrest Jesus away from the crowd – Luke 22:6
    • Judas knew Jesus would go to the Mt. of Olives (Luke 22:39) after the Passover meal and Judas knew exactly where in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus would be – John 18:2
  • Very important note here in verse 30. John noted it was night
    • This would not mean much in the other Gospels but John always wrote with symbolism in his thoughts
      • It was dark when these events happened in Jerusalem
      • But more importantly, John was reporting that darkness had ascended to Judas heart, to the hearts of the Jewish religious leaders and the people in the streets of Jerusalem

John 12:35

35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going.

  • Lessons from the life of Judas
  1. Judas is history’s greatest example of lost opportunity and wasted privilege
  2. Danger of loving money
  3. The evil of spiritual betrayal
  4. The grace and longsuffering of Christ
  5. The devil is always at work among God’s people
  6. The deadly consequences of leaving a life that is a lie / hypocrisy
  7. There is nothing sinful men can do to thwart the sovereign will and plan of God
  • Tragedy led to triumph and our redemption
  • Satan’s apparent victory was in reality His greatest and ultimate defeat

Hebrews 2:14

14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil

  • When Judas sold Jesus to His enemies, he was in effect selling His own soul to the Devil.

Still as of old

Men by themselves are priced

For thirty pieces of silver

Himself, not Christ

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Application: Only God truly knows the heart of a person.

Transition: Are you in the sheepfold of God’s eternal security or are you living a life of hypocrisy, fooling others but not God?? We need to periodically ask ourselves this penetrating question.

The soon return of Jesus to supremacy – John 13:31-35

  • As we come to verse 31, we need to know that after Judas left, Jesus focuses in on 13:31 through the sixteenth chapter on His farewell address to His remaining eleven disciples.
  • The overarching theme of this address is the supreme standard of love by focusing on the person and work of Jesus Christ and His example
  • Jesus says first of all to His remaining co-workers that;
  • I will return to the Father

John 13:31 – 33

31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.

  • Jesus points to His coming crucifixion in order to highlight/ emphasize what He was about to teach the disciples about agape’ love
    • The cross brought the greatest humiliation and yet brought Him the greatest glorification, His ascension back to His rightful place in heaven.
    • This was the glorious climax of Jesus life lived out perfectly by keeping His Father’s will and plan
    • Three statements He makes here regarding the glory He would reacquire
      • Verse 31 – Now is the Son of Man glorified
      • Speaking here of the cross He would embrace the very next day. He would give His life for sinners
      • Jesus glory would be most clearly displayed at the cross

Acts 3:13

The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.

  • Second statement in verse 31 God will also glorify him in himself
  • God’s glorious nature was supremely put on display
  • This was God’s most powerful demonstration of love toward mankind in all of history

Romans 5:8

But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

  • In verse 32, we see the third statement about Christ’s glorification through the cross
  • If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once
  • Speaking here of Christ’s subsequent resurrection and ascension
  • Jesus is looking beyond the cross to His exaltation to the right hand of authority with the Father.

Hebrews 12:2

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

  • Jesus knew as well this meant He would have to leave His disciples

John 13:33

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’

  • “Little children” – an affectionate term showing his care and concern for His remaining disciples
    • He knew they would miss Him
    • He knew they could not go with Him
    • But one day, He promises them, they would come with Him
    •  In verse 36, Jesus responds to Peter that in the future (and in John 14) they would return to Him
    • The disciples loved Jesus deeply and depended on Him completely so for Jesus to say He is leaving was painful and frightening on many levels
    • But Jesus knew it was the most necessary and loving thing to do for them

John 15:13

13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.

  • First, Jesus would wash the disciple’s feet to demonstrate love and then the cross
  • Now, Jesus turns to instruct His disciples about the example He would set for them and how to live it out.
  • I want you to represent me to the world

John 13:34

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

  • This new commandment is built on the platform of the “shema” statement in Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Deuteronomy 6:4 – 5

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

  • Jesus further expanded on this verse in Matthew 22:37– 40

Matthew 22:37-40

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

  • Here in John 13, Jesus is calling for a new commandment, one of higher and superior love than ever seen before
  • This love would be based on the example of Christ as He dies on the cross very soon.
  • A kind of love for one another that is only given to us from God

Romans 5:5

And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Ephesians 5:2

2 And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

  • New here does not mean new in time but new in experience, fresh
  • God’s love will take on a new meaning after the cross
  • Then Jesus adds a very profound statement that reverberates down through time and is to be followed by every believer alive today and in the future

John 13:35

35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Quote: “The church is to be a loving church in a dying culture. In the midst of the world, in the midst of our present dying culture, Jesus is giving a right to the world. Upon His authority, He gives the world the right to judge whether you and I are born again Christians on the basis of our observable love toward other Christians. In other words, if people come up to us and cast into our teeth the judgment that we are not Christians because we have not shown love toward other Christians, we must understand that they are only exercising a prerogative which Jesus gave them.” – Francis Schaeffer in his book The Mark of a Christian

  • Francis Schaeffer goes on in that same book to give two practical ways we can demonstrate love to other Christ followers so that the world can see that agape love at work
    • One, to love one another by apologizing and asking for forgiveness when we have offended or wronged someone. Seeking reconciliation
    • Two, by granting forgiveness to those who come to us and ask for it.
  • As Jesus carried in His body God’s love so we as believer’s must let God’s love inhabit our bodies as well.
  • The world will know we belong to Jesus not by our orthodoxy, our commitment to the historical doctrines of the church
  • The world will know we belong to Jesus not by absolute commitment to the scriptures
  • The world will know we belong to Jesus not by how zealous we are for reaching the lost
  • The world judges the authenticity and the legitimacy of Christians on how well we love one another

I Peter 4:8

8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins

Application: May we live in a community of deep love for one another in our church family.

Transition: Let’s look quickly and lastly at;

The predicted spurning of Jesus by Peter – John 13:36-38

  • The work to come

John 13:36

36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”

  • The power of Christ’s love is about to be demonstrated which will bring the assurance of eternal life for these disciples and for anyone who will believe
  • The power of Christ’s love will prove to be greater than the disloyalty of Peter and the fleeing of the other disciples at His arrest.
  • Jesus is letting us know here that there isn’t any sin too far that He cannot reach down, forgive, overcome, and save us from.
  • The want to follow

John 13:37

37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”

  • Peter overestimates and overpromises his commitment to the Lord
  • How many times have you and I done that?
    • The distance between the altar and the door
    • The worst revealed

John 13:38

38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

  • Ironic that Jesus says to Peter; Will you lay down your life for me? He is about to do that for Peter and the world

Quote: “Sadly, good intentions in a secure room after good food are far less attractive in a darkened garden with a hostile mob. At this point in his pilgrimage, Peter’s intentions and self – assessment vastly outstrip his strength.” – D.A. Carson

  • Jesus will restore Peter after His denial in the future after the resurrection.
  • Peter will become the leader of the Jerusalem church and write two epistles.
  • Tradition tells us that Peter died upside down, nailed to a cross saying he was unworthy to die right side up like Jesus. In keeping with Jesus new commandment, Peter penned this verse

I Peter 1:22

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart

Application: May we examine our hearts before making commitments to the Lord

Transition: Are you as committed on Monday as you are on Sunday to the Lord?

Key Thought: The world will know we are Christians by our love for one another

This section begins and ends with love: Jesus’ love for His own (John 13:1) and the disciples’ love for one another. It is love that is the true evidence that we belong to Jesus Christ. The church leader Tertullian (A.D. 155–220) quoted the pagans as saying of the Christians, “See how they love one another?” And how do we evidence that love? By doing what Jesus did: laying down our lives for the brethren (1 John 3:16). And the way to start is by getting down and washing one another’s feet in sacrificial service.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 349). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

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