How could you?

John 13:21-32

Jesus Tells What Will Happen to Him

21After Jesus had said these things, he was deeply troubled and told his disciples, “I tell you for certain that one of you will betray me.” 22They were confused about what he meant. And they just stared at each other.

23Jesus’ favorite disciple was sitting next to him at the meal, 24and Simon motioned for that disciple to find out which one Jesus meant. 25So the disciple leaned toward Jesus and asked, “Lord, which one of us are you talking about?”

26Jesus answered, “I will dip this piece of bread in the sauce and give it to the one I was talking about.”

Then Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27Right then Satan took control of Judas. Jesus said, “Judas, go quickly and do what you have to do.” 28No one at the meal understood what Jesus meant. 29But because Judas was in charge of the money, some of them thought that Jesus had told him to buy something they needed for the festival. Others thought that Jesus had told him to give some money to the poor. 30Judas took the piece of bread and went out.

It was already night.

The New Command

31After Judas had gone, Jesus said:

Now the Son of Man will be given glory, and he will bring glory to God. 32Then, after God is given glory because of him, God will bring glory to him, and God will do it very soon.

So there we are, all enjoying a nice meal together, Jesus and the twelve of us, those of us that were closest to him, the ones he’d been trying to teach what to do; and suddenly he starts talking about betrayal.

Whoa! Where did that come from?  We’re here aren’t we?  We’ve all given up a lot to follow him around, left our jobs, upset our families – this is no easy life.  We’re a tight-knit bunch – we’ve been through a lot together.  So why does he think one of us is going to betray him?  Confused…

So we gave Simon the nod, the look – go on, ask him, what does he mean?  Who does he mean?

So Simon leaned over and asked him.  ‘Who Lord?’

Well!  Turned out it was Judas!

We might have suspected he had his hand in the till, so to speak, but it turns out he’d been ‘in negotiations’ with those who wanted rid of Jesus.  He was willing to lead them to him, to betray everything he had heard and learnt.

Was he trying to force Jesus hand, make him show who he was and what he could do?  Did he think he was helping Jesus?  Was he on a nice little earner?  I don’t suppose we’ll ever know his motivation, but he chose to help those who were against Jesus.  Strange choice when he’d been with us so long.



I make strange choices,

bad choices.

I spend time with you

and then go and act otherwise;

I hear your way

and go my way;

I try to make things happen

the way I think best.

Forgive me,

restore me,

help me to hear

and understand

and do.

And Jesus let him go.  He wasn’t going to stop him. Jesus understood about doing the will of God.

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