John 13:27
And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
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(27) And after the sop Satan entered into him.—The Greek expresses more vividly the very moment when the mind finally cast out love, and left itself as a possession for Satan. “And after the sop, then Satan entered into him.” It was at that moment, when the last effort had been tried, and tried in vain, when the heart hardened itself to receive from Jesus the sacred pledge of love, while it was plotting in black hatred how to betray Him; it was then that hope took her flight from a realm of gloom where she could no longer dwell, and light ceased to shine in a darkness that would not comprehend it.

Then said Jesus unto him.—Better, Jesus therefore said unto him. It was because He read the secrets of the heart, and saw that it was wholly given up to evil that He said it.

That thou doest, do quickly.—The Greek is exactly, more quickly. “Carry out your plans even more quickly than you have proposed. Do the fatal deed at once. It is resolved, and every effort to win thee has failed. A fixed resolve is nothing less than the deed itself.”



John 13:27

When our Lord gave the morsel, dipped in the dish, to Judas, only John knew the significance of the act. But if we supplement the narrative here with that given by Matthew, we shall find that, accompanying the gift of the sop, was a brief dialogue in which the betrayer, with unabashed front, hypocritically said, ‘Lord! Is it I?’ and heard the solemn, sad answer, ‘Thou sayest!’ Two things, then, appealed to him at the moment: one, the conviction that he was discovered; the other, the wonderful assurance that he was still loved, for the gift of the morsel was a token of friendliness. He shut his heart against them both; and as he shut his heart against Christ he opened it to the devil. So ‘after the sop Satan entered into him.’ At that moment a soul committed suicide; and none of those that sat by, with the exception of Christ and the ‘disciple whom He loved,’ so much as dreamed of the tragedy going on before their eyes.

I know not that there are anywhere words more weighty and wonderful than those of our text. And I desire to try if I can at all make you feel as I feel, their solemn signification and force. ‘That thou doest, do quickly.’

I. I hear in them, first, the voice of despairing love abandoning the conflict.

If I have rightly construed the meaning of the incident, this is the plain meaning of it. And you will observe that the Revised Version, more accurately and closely rendering the words of our text, begins with a ‘Therefore.’ ‘Therefore said Jesus unto him,’ because the die was cast; because the will of Judas had conclusively welcomed Satan, and conclusively rejected Christ; therefore, knowing that remonstrance was vain, knowing that the deed was, in effect, done, Jesus Christ, that Incarnate Charity which ‘believeth all things, and hopeth all things,’ abandoned the man to himself, and said, ‘There, then, if thou wilt thou must. I have done all I can; my last arrow is shot, and it has missed the target. That then doest, do quickly.’

There is a world of solemn meaning in that one little word ‘doest.’ It teaches us the old lesson, which sense is so apt to forget, that the true actor in man’s deeds is ‘the hidden man of the heart,’ and that when it has acted, it matters comparatively little whether the mere tool and instrument of the hands or of the other organs have carried out the behest. The thing is done before it is done when the man has resolved, with a fixed will, to do it. The betrayal was as good as in process, though no step beyond the introductory ones, which could easily have been cancelled, had yet been accomplished. Because there was a fixed purpose which could not be altered by anything now, therefore Jesus Christ regards the act as completed. It is what we think in our hearts that we are; and our fixed determinations, our inclinations of will, are far more truly our doings than the mere consequences of these, embodied in actuality. It is but a poor estimate of a man that judges him by the test of what he has done. What he has wanted to do is the true man; what he has attempted to do. ‘It was well that it was in thine heart!’ saith God to the king who thought of building the Temple which he was never allowed to rear. ‘It is ill that is in thine heart,’ says He by whom actions are weighed, to the sinner in purpose, though his clean hands lie idly in his lap. These hidden movements of desire and will that never come to the surface are our true selves. Look after them, and the deeds will take care of themselves. Serpent’s eggs have serpents in them. And he that has determined upon a sin has done the sin, whether his hands have been put to it or no.

But, then, turn for a moment to the other thought that is suggested here-that solemn picture of a soul left to do as it will, because divine love has no other restraints which it can impose, and is bankrupt of motives that it can adduce to prevent it from its madness. Now I do not believe, for my part, that any man in this world is so all-round ‘sold unto sin’ as that the seeking love of God gives him up as irreclaimable. I do not believe that there are any people concerning whom it is true that it is impossible for the grace of God to find some chink and cranny in their souls through which it can enter and change them. There are no hopeless cases as long as men are here. But, then, though there may not be so, in regard to the whole sweep of the man’s nature, yet every one of us, over and over again, has known what it is to come exactly into that position in regard to some single evil or other, concerning which we have so set our teeth and planted our feet at such an angle of resistance as that God gives up dealing with us and leaves us, as He did with Balaam when He opposed his covetous inclinations to all the remonstrances of Heaven. God said at last to him ‘Go!’ because it was the best way to teach him what a fool he had been in wanting to go. Thus, when we determine to set ourselves against the pleadings and the beseechings of divine love, the truest kindness is to fling the reins upon our necks, and let us gallop ourselves into a sweat and weariness, and then we shall be more amenable to the touch of the rein thereafter.

Are there any people whom God is teaching obedience to His light touch, by letting them run their course after some one specific sin? Perhaps there are. At all events, let us remember that that position of being allowed to do as we like is one to which we all tend, in the measure in which we indulge our inclinations, and shut our hearts against God’s pleadings. There is such a thing as a conscience seared as with a hot iron. They used to say that there were witches’ marks on the body, places where, if you stuck a pin in, there was no feeling. Men cover themselves all over with marks of that sort, which are not sensitive even to the prick of a divine remonstrance, rebuke, or retribution. They ‘wipe their mouths and say I have done no harm.’ You can tie up the clapper of the bell that swings on the black rock, on which, if you drift, you go to pieces. You can silence the Voice by the simple process of neglecting it. Judas set his teeth against two things, the solemn conviction that Jesus Christ knew his sin, and the saving assurance that Jesus Christ loved him still. And whosoever resists either of these two is getting perilously near to the point where, not in petulance but in pity, God will say, ‘Very well, I have called and ye have refused. Now go, and do what you want to do, and see how you like it when it is done. What thou doest, do quickly.’ Do you remember the other word, ‘If ‘twere done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well it were done quickly’? But since consequences last when deeds are past, perhaps you had better halt before you determine to do them.

II. Now, secondly, I hear in these words the voice of strangely blended majesty and humiliation.

‘What thou doest, do!’ Judas thought he had got possession of Christ’s person, and was His master in a very real sense. When lo! all at once the victim assumes the position of the Lord and commands, showing the traitor that instead of thwarting and counterworking, he was but carrying out the designs of his fancied victim; and that he was an instrument in Christ’s hands for the execution of His will. And these two thoughts, how, in effect, all antagonism, all malicious hatred, all violent opposition of every sort but work in with Christ’s purpose, and carry out His intention; and how, at the moments of deepest apparent degradation, He towers, in manifest Majesty and Masterhood, seem to me to be plainly taught in the word before us.

He uses his foes for the furtherance of His purpose. That has been the history of the world ever since. ‘The floods, O Lord, have lifted up their voice.’ And what have they done? Smashing against the breakwater, they but consolidate its mighty blocks, and prove that ‘the Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters.’ It has been so in the past, it is so to-day; it will be so till the end. Every Judas is unconsciously the servant of Him whom he seeks to betray; and finds out to his bewilderment that what he meant for a death-blow is fulfilling the very purpose and will of the Lord against whom he has turned.

Again, the combination here, in such remarkable juxtaposition, of the two things, a willing submission to the utmost extremity of shame, which the treasonous heart can froth out in its malice and, at the same time, a rising up in conscious majesty and lordship, are suggested to us by the words before us. That combination of utter lowliness and transcendent loftiness runs through the whole life and history of our Lord. Did you ever think how strong an argument that strange combination, brought out so inartificially throughout the whole of the Gospels, is for their historical veracity? Suppose the problem had been given to poets to create and to set in a series of appropriate scenes a character with these two opposites stamped equally upon it, neither of them impinging upon the domain of the other-viz., utter humility and humiliation in circumstance, and majestic sovereignty and elevation above all circumstances-do you think that any of them could have solved the problem, though- Aeschylus and Shakespeare had been amongst them, as these four men that wrote these four little tracts that we call Gospels have done? How comes it that this most difficult of literary problems has been so triumphantly solved by these men? I think there is only one answer, ‘Because they were reporters, and imagined nothing, but observed everything, and repeated what had happened.’ He reconciled these opposites who was the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief, and yet the Eternal Son of the Father; and the Gospels have solved the problem only because they are simple records of its solution by Him.

Wherever in His history there is some trait of lowliness there is by the side of it a flash of majesty. Wherever in His history there is some gleaming out from the veil of flesh of the hidden glory of divinity, there is immediately some drawing of the veil across the glory. And the two things do not contradict nor confuse, but we stand before that double picture of a Christ betrayed and of a Christ commanding His betrayer, and using his treason, and we say, ‘The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.’

III. Again, I hear the voice of instinctive human weakness.

‘That thou doest, do quickly.’ It may be doubtful, and some of you perhaps may not be disposed to follow me in my remark, but to my ear that sounds just like the utterance of that instinctive dislike of suspense and of the long hanging over us of the sword by a hair, which we all know so well. Better to suffer than to wait for suffering. The loudest thunder-crash is not so awe-inspiring as the dread silence of nature when the sky is black before the peal rolls through the clouds. Many a martyr has prayed for a swift ending of his troubles. Many a sorrowing heart, that has been sitting cowering under the anticipation of coming evils, has wished that the string could be pulled, as it were, and they could all come down in one cold flood, and be done with, rather than trickle drop by drop. They tell us that the bravest soldiers dislike the five minutes when they stand in rank before the first shot is fired. And with all reverence I venture to think that He who knew all our weaknesses in so far as weakness was not sin, is here letting us see how He, too, desired that the evil which was coming might come quickly, and that the painful tension of expectation might be as brief as possible. That may be doubtful; I do not dwell upon it, but I suggest it for your consideration.

IV. And then I pass on to the last of the tones that I hear in these utterances-the voice of the willing Sacrifice for the sins of the world.

‘That thou doest, do quickly.’ There is nothing more obvious throughout the whole of the latter portion of the Gospel narrative than the way in which, increasingly towards its close, Jesus seemed to hasten to the Cross. You remember His own sayings: ‘I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how am I straitened till it be accomplished. I am come to cast fire on the earth; would it were already kindled!’ You remember with what a strange air-I was going to use an inappropriate word, and say, of alacrity; but, at all events, of fixed resolve-He journeyed from Galilee, in that last solemn march to Jerusalem, and how the disciples followed, astonished at the unwonted look of decision and absorption that was printed upon His countenance. If we consider His doings in that last week in Jerusalem, how he courted publicity, how He avoided no encounter with His official enemies, how He sharpened His tones, not exactly so as to provoke, but certainly so as by no means to conciliate, we shall see, I think, in it all, His consciousness that the hour had come, and His absolute readiness and willingness to be offered for the world’s sin. He stretches out His hands, as it were, to draw the Cross nearer to Himself, not with any share in the weakness of a fanatical aspiration after martyrdom, but under a far deeper and more wonderful impulse.

Why was Christ so willing, so eager, if I may use the word, that His death should be accomplished? Two reasons, which at the bottom are one, answer the question. He thus hastened to His Cross because He would obey the Father’s will, and because He loved the whole world-you and me and all our fellows. We were each in His heart. It was because He wanted to save thee that He said to Judas, ‘Do it quickly, that the world’s salvation and that man’s salvation may be accomplished.’ These were the cords that bound Him to the altar. Let us never forget that Judas with his treachery, and rulers with their hostility, and Pilate with his authority, and the soldiers with their nails, and centurions with their lances, and the grim figure of Death itself with its shaft, would have been all equally powerless against Christ if it had not been his loving will to die on the Cross for each of us.

Therefore, brethren, as we hear this voice, let us discern in it the tones which warn us of the danger of yielding to inclination and stifling His rebukes, till He abandons us for the moment in despair; let us hear in it the pathetic voice of a Brother, who knows all our weaknesses and has felt our emotions; let us hear the voice of Sovereign Authority which uses its enemies for its purposes, and is never loftier than when it is most lowly, whose Cross is His throne of glory, whose exaltation is His deepest humiliation, and let us hear a love which, discerning each of us through all the ages and the crowds, went willingly to the Cross because He willed that He should be our Saviour.

And seeing that time is short, and the future precarious, and delay may darken into loss and rejection, let us take these words as spoken to us in another sense, and hear in them the warning that ‘to-day, if we will hear His voice, we harden not our hearts,’ and when He says to us, in regard to repentance and faith, and Christian consecration and service, ‘That thou doest, do quickly,’ let us answer, ‘I made haste and delayed not, but made haste to keep Thy commandments.’

John 13:27-30. And after the sop Satan entered into him — More fully; “non secundum substantiam,” says Jerome, “sed secundum operationem,” not as to his substance, but as to his operation; as he is said to do when man’s will is fully inclined to obey his motions. Then said Jesus, That thou doest, do quickly — This is not a permission, much less a command. It is only as if he had said, If thou art determined to do it, why dost thou delay? Hereby showing Judas that he could not be hid, and expressing his own readiness to suffer. No man at the table knew why he said this — That is, none except John and Judas, for John does not here include himself, but speaks of the other disciples; for though they could know nothing of the matter, in all probability he must have comprehended the meaning of Christ’s words to the traitor. Some thought because Judas had the bag — Had the keeping of the common purse, on which they were to subsist during their stay at Jerusalem; that Jesus had said, Buy that which we have need of against the feast — That is, the seven ensuing days of the feast; or that he should give something to the poor — These meanings were what first occurred to the disciples. But being in great perplexity on account of his declaration concerning the treachery of one of their number, they did not think much upon what he now said to Judas. The declaration which engrossed their attention had not pointed at any of them in particular, and the discovery of the person was made to John only. They were therefore swallowed up in grief, and each of them would fain have cleared himself, inquiring of Jesus, one by one, Lord, is it I? Matthew 26:22; Mark 14:19. Judas himself even, conscious as he was of his guilty purpose, also inquiring, with unparalleled impudence, Master, is it I? He then, having received the sop — With the awful words of his Master (giving him to know that his intentions were not concealed) sounding, as it were, in his ears; went immediately out — To the chief priests, or, went out soon, without any further reply, as ευθεως, here rendered immediately, sometimes signifies: for it seems he stayed till the Lord’s supper was instituted: being so utterly abandoned as to be capable of committing his intended horrible crime, even with this aggravation; and it was night — Which was the time he had appointed to meet those who were consulting how to execute their purpose against the life of Jesus, and under the cover of it he went to them, and fulfilled his engagement in a little time, by delivering his Master into their hands.

13:18-30 Our Lord had often spoken of his own sufferings and death, without such trouble of spirit as he now discovered when he spake of Judas. The sins of Christians are the grief of Christ. We are not to confine our attention to Judas. The prophecy of his treachery may apply to all who partake of God's mercies, and meet them with ingratitude. See the infidel, who only looks at the Scriptures with a desire to do away their authority and destroy their influence; the hypocrite, who professes to believe the Scriptures, but will not govern himself by them; and the apostate, who turns aside from Christ for a thing of naught. Thus mankind, supported by God's providence, after eating bread with Him, lift up the heel against Him! Judas went out as one weary of Jesus and his apostles. Those whose deeds are evil, love darkness rather than light.After the sop - After he had taken and probably eaten it. By this Judas saw that Jesus knew his design, and that he could not conceal his plan. He saw, also, that the other disciples would be acquainted with it; and, aroused by sudden anger, or with the apprehension that he should lose his reward, or that Jesus might escape, he resolved on executing his plan at once.

Satan entered into him - The devil had before this put it into his heart to betray Jesus John 13:2, but he now excited him to a more decided purpose. See Luke 22:3; also Acts 5:3; "Why hath Satan filled thine heart," etc.

What thou doest, do quickly - This showed to Judas that Jesus was acquainted with his design. He did not command him to betray him, but he left him to his own purpose. He had used means enough to reclaim him and lead him to a holy life, and now he brought him to a decision. He gave him to understand that he was acquainted with his plan, and submitted it to the conscience of Judas to do quickly what he would do. If he relented, he called on him to do it at once. If he could still pursue his wicked plan, could go forward when he was conscious that the Saviour knew his design, he was to do it at once. God adopts all means to bring men to a decision. He calls upon them to act decisively, firmly, immediately. He does not allow them the privilege to deliberate about wicked deeds, but calls on them to act at once, and to show whether they will obey or disobey him; whether they will serve him, or whether they will betray fits cause. He knows all their plans, as Jesus did that of Judas, and he calls on men to act under the full conviction that he knows all their soul. Sin thus is a vast evil. When men can sin knowing that God sees it all, it shows that the heart is fully set in them to do evil, and that there is nothing that will restrain them.

27-30. after the sop Satan entered into him—Very solemn are these brief hints of the successive steps by which Judas reached the climax of his guilt. "The devil had already put it into his heart to betray his Lord." Yet who can tell what struggles he went through ere he brought himself to carry that suggestion into effect? Even after this, however, his compunctions were not at an end. With the thirty pieces of silver already in his possession, he seems still to have quailed—and can we wonder? When Jesus stooped to wash his feet, it may be the last struggle was reaching its crisis. But that word of the Psalm, about "one that ate of his bread who would lift up his heel against Him" (Ps 41:9) probably all but turned the dread scale, and the still more explicit announcement, that one of those sitting with Him at the table should betray Him, would beget the thought, "I am detected; it is now too late to draw back." At that moment the sop is given; offer of friendship is once more made—and how affectingly! But already "Satan has entered into him," and though the Saviour's act might seem enough to recall him even yet, hell is now in his bosom, and he says within himself, "The die is cast; now let me go through with it"; fear, begone!" (See on [1847]Mt 12:43).

Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly—that is, Why linger here? Thy presence is a restraint, and thy work stands still; thou hast the wages of iniquity, go work for it!

That the devil did ever so enter into Judas as to possess him, as we read of many who were possessed, and violently acted by the devil, is more than we read and, where in holy writ: the entrance into him, signifies Judas’s free and willing giving up of himself to the devil’s suggestions and conduct; and in this sense the devil also before this time was entered into Judas, Luke 22:3. But as holy men are said to be filled with the Spirit of God, who had before received the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit came after upon them with fuller and stronger impulses and motions; so though the devil had formerly been moving Judas to this vile act, and had had his consent to it, yet after he had taken this mouthful, the devil plied him with stronger motions, impulses, and suggestions: and now he had mastered his conscience, and hardened his heart, so as he was more prepared for the villany about which he had some thoughts before. He had now, with an unbelieving and unthankful heart, been eating the passover, which was a type of Christ; and had so mastered his conscience, as to come and do this, with a vile heart, reeking before with treacherous and bloody designs against his Lord and Master. See what is the effect. His heart is more vile, more treacherous, and bloody; he is twice more the servant of the devil than he was before. The sop given him by Christ was but an accidental occasion of it; as the devil took more advantage from his now hardened and further emboldened heart, and he is twice more the child of the devil than he was before. Christ, knowing this, doth not command, advise, or exhort him; but, in a detestation, bids him go and do what he was resolved to do, and which he knew would be quickly; letting him know both that he knew what was in his heart, and that he was now ready to receive the effects of his malice.

And after the sop, Satan entered into him,.... After he had taken and eaten the sop, or crust of bread, by which he was pointed out to be the betrayer, "Satan entered into him"; possessed his body, and filled his mind, and stirred him up more eagerly to pursue with rigour his wicked design. The Jews have a saying (l), that

"no man commits a transgression, until , "a spirit of madness enters into him".''

Such an evil spirit entered into Judas, which pushed him on to commit this horrid iniquity:

then said Jesus to him, that thou doest, do quickly; this he said, not as approving his wicked design, and exhorting him to it as a laudable action, but rather as deriding him, having nothing to care about, or fear from him; or as upbraiding him with his perfidy and wickedness, and signifying that he should take no methods to prevent him, though he fully knew what was in his heart to do; and it seems also to express the willingness of Christ, and his eager and hearty desire to suffer and die for his people, in order to obtain salvation for them.

(l) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 3. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 112. 1. & 117. 3.

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
John 13:27-28. Καὶ μετὰ τὸ ψωμ.] and after the morsel, i.e. after Jesus had given him the morsel, John 13:26. So frequently also in the classics a single word only is used with μετά, which, according to the context, represents an entire sentence. See Ast, ad Plat. Leg. p. 273 f., Lex. Plat. II. p. 311; Jacobs, ad Anthol. XIII. p. 82.

τότε] then, at that moment, intentionally bringing into relief the horribly tragic moment.

εἰσῆλθεν, κ.τ.λ.] so that he was therefore from henceforward a man possessed by the devil, Mark 5:12-13; Mark 9:25; Luke 8:30; Matthew 12:45. The expression (comp. Luke 22:3) forbids a figurative interpretation (that Judas completely hardened himself after this discovery was understood by him to have been made), which is already to be found in Theodore of Mopsuestia. The complete hardening, in consequence of which he could no more retrace his steps, was simply the immediate consequence of this possession by the devil. But against a magical causal connection, as it were, of the entrance of the devil along with the morsel, Cyril already justly declared himself. The representation rather is, that now, just when Judas had taken the morsel without inward compunction, he was given up by Christ, and therewith is laid open to the unhindered entrance of the devil (καθάπερ τινὰ πύλην τὴν τοῦ φυλάττοντος ἐρήμην, Cyril), and experiences this entrance. John did not see this (in the external bearing of Judas, as Godet supposes); but it is with him a psychological certainty.

ὅ ποιεῖς, ποίησον τάχιον] What thou purposest to do (comp. John 13:6; Winer, p. 249 [E. T. p. 304]), do more quickly. In the comparative lies the notion: hasten it. So very frequently in Homer θᾶσσον. See Duncan, Lex. ed. Rost, p. 524, and generally Nägelsbach, Anm. z. Ilias, p. 21, 314, ed. 3; on the graecism of τάχιον, Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 77. The imperative, however, is not permissive (Grotius, Kuinoel, and several others); but Jesus actually wishes to surmount as soon as possible the last crisis (His ὥρα), now determined for Him in the connection of the divine destiny. The resigned, characteristic decision of mind brooks no delay. To suggest the intention, on the part of Jesus, that He wished to be rid of the oppressive proximity of the traitor (Ambrose: “ut a consortio suo recederet,” comp. Lücke, B. Crusius, Tholuck), is to anticipate what follows.

John 13:27. But instead of moving Judas to compunction μετὰ τὸ ψωμίον, τότε εἰσῆλθεν εἰς ἐκεῖνον ὁ Σατανᾶς. μετὰ “after,” not “with,” “non cum offula,” Bengel and Cyril, who also says, οὐ γὰρ ἔτι σύμβουλον ἔχει τὸν σατανᾶν, ἀλλʼ ὅλης ἤδη τῆς καρδίας δεσπότην. On ἐκεῖνον Bengel also has: “Jam remote notat Judam”. Morally he is already far removed from that company. But what was it that thus finally determined Judas? Perhaps the very revulsion of feeling caused by taking the sop from Jesus: perhaps the accompanying words, Ὃ ποιεῖς, ποίησον τάχιον, “what thou doest, do quickly”. τάχιον: “to Attic writers θάσσων (θάττων) was the only comparative, and τάχιστος the only superlative”. Rutherford, New Phryn., p. 150. The idea in the comparative is “with augmented speed,” see Donaldson’s Greek Gram., p. 390.

27. Satan entered into him] Literally, at that moment Satan entered into him. At first Satan made suggestions to him (John 13:2) and Judas listened to them; now Satan takes full possession of him. Desire had conceived and brought forth sin, and the sin full grown had engendered death (James 1:15). Satan is mentioned here only in S. John.

Then said] Once more we must substitute therefore for ‘then.’ Jesus knew that Satan had claimed his own, and therefore bad him do his work.

do quickly] Literally, do more quickly; carry it out at once, even sooner than has been planned. Now that the winning back of Judas has become hopeless, delay was worse than useless: it merely kept Him from His hour of victory. Comp. Matthew 23:32.

John 13:27. Μετὰ τὸ ψώμιον, after the giving of the morsel) not at the time of giving the morsel.—τότε, then) The time is accurately marked, and may be compared with the similar notation of time, Luke 22:3; Luke 22:7, “Then (δέ) entered Satan into Judas;—then (δέ) came the day of unleavened bread,” etc.—εἰσῆλθεν, entered) Previously he may have only suggested [“put into his heart”] the thought, John 13:2 [ch. John 12:4 (his objection to the waste of the ointment on the person of Jesus); John 6:70-71, “Jesus answered,—One of you is a devil: He spake of Judas”]. As the economy of evil and that of good may, from opposite sides, be compared with one another in all respects: so also the degrees of satanic operation and possession may be compared with those of the Divine operation and indwelling.—ἐκεῖνον, that man) He already marks Judas by a pronoun that removes him to a distance.—ὃ ποιεῖς, what thou doest) He does not desire him to do it, but, if he must persist in doing it, to do it quickly; and thereby He intimates, that He is ready for suffering. Judas might have perceived from this ray of the Lord’s omniscience, that he is known.—τάχιον, more quickly) So εὐθέως, John 13:30, “He then, having received the sop, went immediately out.” In John 13:31, “Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified,” the cause is shown why Jesus thus hastened to the passion.

Verse 27. - And after the sop; not with it. By no magical or demoniacal rite was the man rendered the slave of Satan; post hoc is not propter hoc. After the sop, after this last final proof of the unutterable friendship and love of the Divine Lord - τὸτε, then, "at that moment," as though goodness was turned into wrath, and the conflict with evil closed, the incarnated fiend resolved that he would wait no longer. Then Satan (the only place in the Fourth Gospel where Satan is mentioned) entered into him. How could this be known? The evangelist clearly saw what he thus described - he saw the malign and unrelenting expression on Judas's face; he suspected that some devilish plot was hatched, some hideous purpose finally formed. It is the evangelist's way of saying what he personally saw and afterwards concluded. Up to that moment of supreme forbearance, the character was not irretrievably damned, but now he had sinned against knowledge and love, and even Jesus gives him up. "It were better for him that he had never been born." There is no more awful or tragic touch in the whole narrative, nor any more symbolic of the curse which the corrupt heart can make and bring down upon itself out of the greatest blessing. There is no advantage in trying to determine the amount of figurative sense conveyed by the expression, "Satan entered." The ethical state consequent either upon the sop or the devil is clear enough. The moment when it was induced is signalized in this tragedy. The vehement effort which the traitor must have made to resist all gracious influences opened the way for the powers of hell and darkness to take possession of him. He strengthened himself to do evil. Jesus therefore said to him, That thou doest, do quickly. Questions have been raised as to the sentence - whether it was a solemn command or a permission at once to carry out the purpose that was in his heart (as Grotius, Kuinoel, and others suppose); but Meyer here is more penetrative (so Moulton): "Jesus (as a man) actually wishes to surmount as soon as possible the last crisis of his fate now determined for him." Jameson ('Profound Problems in Theology and Philosophy') urges that it was the prolongation of the struggle which was the bitterest element in Christ's sufferings. The decision at which he had arrived brooked no longer delay. As if he had said, "If you have any manhood in you, and you are not altogether incarnate daemon, make haste, let me remain no longer in suspense; carry out the purpose now and at once." Ambrose, Lucke, Tholuck, suggest that he meant to separate Judas from the eleven, and be rid of his presence. His removal from the group is undoubtedly the condition of our Lord's highest revelations of himself. John 13:27Then (τότε)

With a peculiar emphasis, marking the decisive point at which Judas was finally committed to his dark deed. The token of goodwill which Jesus had offered, if it did not soften his heart would harden it; and Judas appears to have so interpreted it as to confirm him in his purpose.


The only occurrence of the word in this Gospel.

Into him (εἰς ἐκεῖνον)

The pronoun of remote reference sets Judas apart from the company of the disciples.

Quickly (τάχιον)

Literally, more quickly. The comparative implies a command to hasten his work, which was already begun.

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