Saturday after Judica
Scripture: St. John 13:16-38 (NKJV)
13:16 “Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’
19 “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. 20 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”
22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.
25 Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him.
Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.
31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.
33 “Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you.
34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?”
Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”
37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”
38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.
The question is often raised: “Why did Jesus have Judas to be one of His disciples, when He knew all along what would happen?” The answer is found in the question itself: “He knew all along what would happen.” As hard as it was for Jesus to accept Judas as a disciple, Judas played a very significant, albeit unwitting role, in God’s plan of salvation.
First of all, Judas would fulfill Scripture: “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Ps. 41:9). Secondly, such a betrayer was necessary. It was night, with no corrective vision, and there was no picture to identify Jesus. Additionally, there was a multitude of Jews in Jerusalem for the Passover. And so, the guards needed an inside man to point Jesus out—even to the extent of Judas’ marking Jesus with a kiss. Thirdly, since Jesus revealed the sign of the betrayer to the disciples, they would be strengthened by the knowledge that Jesus was still in charge—even when circumstances appeared otherwise: “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He” (v. 19).
Prayer: “God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.” (TLH 514:1, 5)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.