Judas Exposed.
In washing the disciples' feet, Jesus had said, "Ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who would betray him; therefore he said, Ye are not all clean." So early, from the very first, did the thought of Judas and his meditated deed press upon the Savior's spirit. When the washing of feet was over, and Jesus sat down, and the repast began, they all noticed that there was a cloud on the Master's countenance, and the disciple who, sitting next to him, could best read the expression of his face, saw that he was "troubled in spirit." They were not left long in doubt as to the cause. Still sitting at the table and engaged in the solemn feast, he began to speak of his betrayer. Already Judas had been to the chief priests and agreed, for a certain sum of money, to betray the retreat of Jesus at night. The time of the deed had not been determined and the Savior brings it about that Judas, at once, leaves the company and perpetuates his dark crime that night. (Joh 13:21)

21. When Jesus had thus said he was troubled in spirit. He had just closed his remarks on the lesson of humility and service, illustrated by feet washing, and now a cloud comes over his soul. The phrase, "troubled in spirit," occurs also in chapter 11:33 and 12:27. The Greek word always implies indignation mingled with sorrow. Here there is deep sorrow but condemnation of the traitor. The "trouble of spirit" may be understood better by our own experience. If we have present a company of loving friends and one comes in whom we know to be false, a traitor, uncongenial in every respect, it throws a cloud. I believe that Jesus wanted to speak to his friends alone the glorious last words of chapters 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th, and that he deliberately exposed Judas and sent him away. One of you shall betray me. Christ had before foretold his betrayal (see Matt.17:22 and 20:18), but had not declared that one of the twelve should be the betrayer. Judas, led captive by his covetousness, had already agreed to betray him, immediately after his disappointment over the alabaster box of ointment. See Matt.26:14-16. None else of course knew of it and it is no wonder the Savior's words startled the apostles. (Joh 13:22)

22. Looked at one another. In wonder and questioning. They did not venture to doubt the Savior's prophecy, but it seemed to them impossible that one of their number could prove a traitor. (Joh 13:23)

23. There was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples. The party were reclining at the table in the Greek and Roman fashion. A wide couch was placed along the table and each guest reclined on his left elbow with his feet extended outward. The disciple next in front of the Savior would, therefore, be very near his bosom. He only needed to bend back a little to throw himself on his bosom. Whom Jesus loved. This phrase occurs seven times in John's Gospel, twice in speaking of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, and five times as the designation of the one of the disciples who wrote this Gospel. Though John never declares that he is the one meant, it has always been so understood by the church. One reason for this view is found in the fact that he names all the other apostles freely, but never names himself otherwise. Some have insisted that it was egotism to thus designate himself. Rather, I suppose that it was such a joy to John to know and feel that one so glorious as Christ had loved "even him," that he could hardly suppress his joy. After long years of work and trial had passed and he was a gray-haired man, it filled his soul with transports to think that Jesus loved him and that he had reclined on his bosom. (Joh 13:24)

24. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him. All are eager to know more, for they are filled with anxiety. Peter, always impulsive, as usual is the one who acts. He does not speak but beckons to John who was next to Christ to find out whom he meant. It must be kept in mind that he did not speak, and probably none but John, whose eye he had caught, saw him beckon. Therefore none else knew what John would ask Christ, and as he asked in a low tone of voice, the answer was not understood by the company. (Joh 13:25)

25. He then, lying on Jesus' breast, saith . . . Lord, who is it? The Revision says, "leaning back." The reader must not forget their positions. As Lucke says: "Since the captivity, the Jews lay at table in the Persian manner, on divans or couches, each on his left side, with his face to the table, his left elbow resting on a pillow and supporting his head. The second guest to the right hand lay with head near the breast of the first, and so on." John, being the disciple next to the Lord, let his head drop back on the bosom of Jesus and asked in a low tone, unheard by the others: "Who is it?" (Joh 13:26)

26. He it is to whom I shall give a sop. In a low tone also, in the ear of John, the Lord answers that he will show. There was upon the table a dish of bitter herbs, a kind of sauce that was always eaten at the passover. No knives, forks or spoons are used at an Eastern table, but the fingers only, which are always carefully washed before eating. These are dipped in the dish. The Lord took a piece of the unleavened bread, dipped it into the dish of sauce and handed it to Judas. John saw the act and understood what it meant. The rest did not yet comprehend that Judas was the traitor. (Joh 13:27)

27. After the sop Satan entered into him. We learn by comparison with the other accounts of this scene that the apostles each asked when Christ declared one should betray him, "Is it I?" Judas, who knew what he had sold himself to do, at last asked the same question and the Lord answered, "Thou hast said." It is evident from John 13:28, that this was answered in the ear of Judas and was not understood by his companions. Startled to know that his treachery was exposed to the Master, as soon as he receives the sop, he casts aside an hesitation and gives himself up wholly to Satan's work. This is what I understand by the statement, "Satan entered into him," for already he was under the devilish influence. Up to this time he had doubts and impulses to do better, but now he plunges headlong into the bottomless pit. That thou doest, do quickly. Judas understood these words. He was fully exposed. He had covenanted to do the wicked deed; Christ bids him do it at once. Christ wished the work done that night and he wished the traitor to leave at once that he might be alone to give a last sweet and loving charge to the faithful disciples. (Joh 13:28) (Joh 13:29)

28, 29. No man at the table know for what intent he spake. None but John knew that Judas was the traitor. Hence none could understand what the Lord charged Judas to do. They supposed that Judas was directed to spend some money for some purpose; for things needed for the feast week of the passover which began with the passover meal; or to give something to the poor. Judas carried the small purse of the company, and scanty as it was, the poor had a share in it. See John 12:6. (Joh 13:30)

30. He . . . went immediately out. He ate the sop, Christ spoke to him at once, and he immediately arose and went out. The question has been much discussed whether Judas was present when the Lord's Supper was instituted. I do not consider it vitally important that this should be settled, but I am of the opinion that he was not. We have just had the account of the passover; it was at the passover meal that Judas ate the sop; he went out immediately, leaving the Lord and the rest of the apostles at the table. After the passover meal the Supper was ordained; then followed the touching discourses recorded by John. It will be observed that this is the order of Matt.26:17-30. Matthew was present and undoubtedly followed the chronological order. His order is, 1. The Passover; 2. The exposure of Judas; 3. (Omitting to mention the departure of Judas which John records.) The institution of the Supper. Mark and Luke were not present, and neither follows closely the chronological order, as is done by the two apostolic writers who were present.

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