Ask for Forgiveness – John 13: 21-30

John 13:21-30

[21] When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

[22] Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

[23] Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.

[24] Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

[25] He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

[26] 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.

[27] And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

[28] Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

[29] 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.

[30] He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

Jesus celebrated the Passover meal every year which was held in remembrance of the deliverance of Israel from Egypt and this year was no different. Following that day, the Passover is now referred to as the Last Supper (by Christians), in remembrance of Jesus.

Jesus sent two disciples ahead to Jerusalem to get everything ready for the Passover feast. By the time Jesus arrived the room was ready, the meal was prepared and everything was looking like the makings of a good, relaxing dinner to all, except Jesus and perhaps Judas.

The act of sharing food together has always suggested a level of friendship between the people sharing the meal.

In the Jewish culture, at the time of Jesus; a shared meal assumed a close bonding between eaters. Jesus and the disciples included the practice of sharing food from common bowls, showing they are all friends; good friends.

As they were eating, Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will betray Him. John is coaxed by Peter to ask who the betrayer is and so John asks Jesus.

Jesus tells them it is one whom He was to give bread to after he dipped it in the soup (sop). Jesus did just that, but the other disciples didn’t understand what it meant.

Verse 26 tells us that Jesus dipped his bread in the bowl and then offered it to Judas. This would have heightened the act of Judas’ betrayal even more so.

Imagine Judas’ shock that Jesus already knew! At this point, Jesus was literally giving Judas a chance to repent. Jesus loved Judas, in spite of the betrayal. He was telling Judas that he already knew, so come clean with me and I will forgive you. (Exactly as Jesus does for every sinner).

Jesus knows who the betrayer is and Judas knows it is him. The others however do not know and each ask “is it I?” When Judas pretends not to know and tries to hide it, he asks the same question, “is it I?” This is a deep, hard betrayal of Judas towards Jesus when Judas asks “Is it I?”

At this point, God allows Satan to take over Judas and complete his task because Judas’ heart has already hardened.

Let’s for a moment go back to Jesus’ Triumphal Entry in Jerusalem. (See my full post of March 15,2016).

Many people (the disciples included) believed that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for. He was the one, they thought, that would stand up for them and make things right. However when Jesus reached the Temple, at the end of his Triumphal Entry, no one was there and so Jesus turned around and went back to Bethany, with his disciples, after doing nothing.

Perhaps, after that (like others), Judas felt betrayed. Perhaps he was hoping to enjoy a position of great status, when Jesus took over. We know Judas was a lover of money and maybe figured because he had followed Jesus for 3 years, now all of that time would finally pay off.

In truth, we have no idea what Judas was thinking but we do know that at the Passover Feast, Satan entered Judas. (John 13:27) and Judas did betray Jesus.

Many ask why God didn’t stop it? Most likely because Judas’ heart was already dark and so God allowed Satan to use Judas to accomplish what needed to be done.

In Matthew 26:47, we see Judas following through and betraying Jesus with a kiss. Jesus, for a second time, reminds Judas that he knows about the betrayal, but unfortunately Judas still didn’t repent when the opportunity was there. After that, the guilt was too much for him and Judas hanged himself.

Judas didn’t have to die! Forgiveness was available to him.

Isn’t forgiveness exactly what Jesus came to us for? This was a foreshadowing of what the cross can now do for us. Truly repent and be forgiven.

See also:

Matthew 26:20-25

Mark 14:17-21

Luke 22:21-22

Matthew 26:47

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