John 13:18-38

Judas is sometimes thought of as a misunderstood and sympathetic character. Some think that He was just a frustrated revolutionary trying to force Jesus to take action. John will have none of that. He is a thief. He was trusted with the money, and He took full advantage of that:

John 12:6 “(Now Judas said this not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money box, he used to steal what was put into it.)”

Judas’ greed leads him to betrayal:

Matthew 26:14-15 “Then one of the twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me to betray him into your hands?’ So they set out thirty silver coins for him.”

Jesus lets them know that He is troubled by what is about to come (13:21). Peter is concerned, so he gestures to John to ask Jesus for clarification. Jesus then gives the bread to Judas. Now, keep in mind that they are all reclining, and that Jesus is probably handing out bread to everyone. This was also spoken quietly to John, and then Judas went out immediately in response to Jesus’ words (13:27). Even though John was the one disciple who should have understood what was happening at this point, he didn’t. Judas was still trusted (13:28-29)!

Jesus shares with them that His time has come (13:31-35) He is going to be glorified, and God will be glorified in Him. This will all happen because of the crucifixion and resurrection! They aren’t expecting it, and they can’t be a part of it. What they can do, however, is love one another, just as He has loved them (13:34-35).

Peter is confused. He loves Jesus and claims to be willing to follow Him, even to death! Jesus predicts that that, instead of sacrificing himself for Jesus, Peter will in fact deny Him three times.

But did you catch what Jesus said? “You will follow me later.” Is that just a reference to Peter’s willingness to proclaim the gospel after the resurrection? Or is it perhaps a reference to the legend that Peter eventually meets his end on a cross in Rome, after a lifetime of following Jesus? Either way, it’s a reminder that failure isn’t permanent!

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