JOHN: Betrayal by night (John 13 v 21-30)

Explore God's Word Daily
Explore God's Word Daily
2012 9 Jan

It's the night before Jesus dies. He's with His friends, who've been with Him through His ministry and miracles. But there's a traitor in their midst… and Jesus has told His friends He knows who it is. Will Jesus unmask him? Can they stop?

Who’s guilty?
Read John 13:19

• How does Jesus feel (v 21)?
• What does He say?

It is out in the open now, and it troubles Jesus deeply.

• How do Jesus’ disciples react (v 22)?

It’s a bit like when the referee blows for a foul, and players use their body language to say: “What, me?!” I imagine Judas pretended to be puzzled like the rest.

He’s guilty
Read John 13:23

John (“the disciple whom Jesus loved”) is lying next to Jesus at the meal. (They used to lie on their left to keep the right hand free to eat.) He’s in a position to speak to Jesus without others hearing. So Peter whispers: “You ask Him”.

• How does Jesus answer?

To give the first piece of dipped bread was probably a mark of honour.

• What does this show about the way Jesus treated Judas right to the end?

• Why do you think Jesus tells just one other disciple the secret?
Why tell anybody? Why not tell them all?
If He told nobody, they’d never be sure later that Jesus had known what would happen. It’s important to know that Jesus
was in control. But if He told them all, they would round on Judas and prevent him betraying Jesus. And Jesus had to be

Last conversation with the guilty
Read John 13:27

Satan has already been at work in Judas (see v 2); but now any uncertainty disappears. Judas becomes Satan’s willing tool.

• What does Jesus say to Judas?
• What do the others think Jesus means?

“And it was night” (v 30). It’s more than a comment about the time of day. This is the hour of darkness in every sense.

Look back at what John tells us about Judas in John 12 v 4-6.
• At the time, what did the disciples probably think of Judas?
• What would they later discover about him?
• Is there a lesson for our lives here?

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