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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JESUS REVEALS HIS BETRAYER

John 13:22-30 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom He spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom He spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto Him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent He spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. (Also See Matt. 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23)

Although recorded by other gospel writers, John's rendering seems to be the most thought-provoking account. In this chapter of John's gospel, Jesus taught and demonstrated the necessity of humility in guiding the lives of all His followers (Vss. 1-17). In verses 18-20, he foretells His betrayal. This raised much doubt among His apostles as to who among them was to betray Jesus. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. This translation is somewhat unclear. Chairs were not customarily used at the dining table at this time in biblical history. To partake of a meal at the serving table, one usually reclined in a leaning position. Here, it does not mean that one of His apostles was actually lying on His bosom, but that this one was occupying the position around the table next to Jesus. John does not identify himself in this gospel. The only indication to his authorship is found in John 21:24. There the author is said to have been one that witnessed all things written in this book. Since only Peter, James, and John fit this description, bible historians, from the earliest ages, conclude that John was its author. Certainly Jesus loved all of His apostles, but there seemed to be a special bond between Him and John. It was thought to be John to whom Jesus committed His mother, Mary, into his care (See John 19:25-27). All these things lead us to believe that the disciple, whom Jesus loved, was the apostle, John.

Certainly this "unmentioned" disciple (whom we shall hereafter refer to as John), was not Peter, because in verse 24, it was Simon Peter who asked John to question Jesus and ask Him to identify the apostle that was destined to betray Him. This John did, and Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. John was immediately beside Jesus when He gave this answer. Although it is not noted here, but it could have been a whispered answer that neither Judas nor the other apostles heard. Verse 28 seems to agree to this assumption. As the host of a Passover feast, it was a common practice to take a piece of unleavened bread and dip it into a sauce of bitter herbs and give it to one or more guests. This seems to have taken place at this time. To John, Jesus identified the one that would betray Him - Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

And after the sop Satan entered into him. It was not that Satan turned his heart at this very moment. The worldliness that Satan offered had already allured him to betray Jesus. At this time Satan only encouraged his sin-infested heart and mind by convincing him that the hour had come to do so. Turning now to Judas Iscariot, Jesus said unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Although it was not told directly to Him, Jesus, by His omniscient power, knew this hypocritical apostle had already met with the Jewish leaders and agreed to betray Him to them in a certain remote place, at an agreed hour. What was spoken to Judas Iscariot at this time was evidently heard by all other apostles, because no man at the table knew for what intent He spake this unto him. There seemed to be no preconception that one of Jesus' apostles would betray Him to the ones that sought to slay Him. Their only thought was that Jesus was dispatching Judas Iscariot, since he was the one trusted to hold and administer their money, to purchase something needed for the remaining days of the Passover week. Or they thought it possible that he was sent to give something to the poor, which was known to be practiced during these holy days. With no further explanation to His other apostles, Judas Iscariot, filled with the spirit of Satan, went immediately out: and it was night.