Reformed Baptist Church - Providence Baptist Church

Judas (John 13:18-30)

By Pastor Eric Johnson

Click Play to Listen to the Sermon

Back to Sermon Archive | Listen on SermonAudio



Menu

Introduction Judas’ Treachery Was of No Surprise Judas’ Treachery Was Foretold Judas’ Treachery and the Disciples Astonishment

Clicking the gray titles below will reveal and hide the sermon text.

Clicking this icon (located below each Bible text with a green background) will allow you to further study the text on Blue Letter Bible.org.


Focus Text: John 13:18-30 (ESV)

18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against Me.’

19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He.

20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives the one who sent Me.”

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in His spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom He spoke.

23 One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at the table at Jesus' side,

24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom He was speaking.

25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”

26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

28 Now no one at the table knew why He said this to him.

29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.

30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve, personally chosen by Christ, and was with Him for the entire duration of His earthly ministry. He was entrusted with the moneybag for the group and was so close to Jesus at the Last Supper that the Lord could reach the cup of wine over to him and he could dip his bread in it. He was most likely seated to Jesus’ left, which was a place of honor.

We will begin by answering three questions:

  1. Did Satan simply master a good Judas, or was Judas already walking in line with Satan? (Judas was already giving place to Satan.)
  2. Why did Satan do this even though he knew it would be a losing effort for him? (During Christ’s temptation, Satan wanted Jesus to do anything but die. But then he changed motives once he knew he couldn’t stop Jesus from dying and began working to make the dying as difficult and painful as possible. Even to the point that all of his disciples would forsake Him.)
  3. Where was God? What was His role? Was He involved? (Yes, He was. We read in the book of Acts that the fact that Christ would die was determined, planned out, and executed by man, but predetermined by the council God.)

When we talk about traitors, we tend to hate them. It’s been said that there are at least 17 different traitors found in the Old Testament.

We have a famous traitor in U.S. History - Benedict Arnold. Arnold needed money to fund his lavish lifestyle but when he was passed over for a promotion, he offered information to the British to surrender the key fort at West Point. When the plot was exposed, he deserted to the British. He ended his life in exile in England, eventually being hated by both American and British people alike.

What was Judas expecting from Jesus? Why was he following Him? Judas, like the other disciples, was not looking for a Messiah to save him from his sins. Judas’ whole reason for following the Lord was purely political and focused on self-preservation - with the end being the destruction of Rome. However, his greed, desire for power, and worldly ambition got in the way.

Judas had a desire to restore the kingdom of Israel. We see this also with the other disciples. In the book of Acts, after Judas is dead and the Lord has risen, we see them asking Him if he was about to set up His kingdom. Judas soon became disillusioned with Jesus because Jesus kept talking about dying and not overthrowing Rome.

Judas’ true colors begin to bleed through when, while at a dinner in Bethany, a woman comes in and anoints Jesus’ feet with a flask of expensive oil.

Matthew 26:6-13 (ESV):

6 Now when Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,

7 a woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.

8 And when the disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, “Why this waste?

9 For this could have been sold for a large sum and given to the poor.”

10 But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to Me.

1 For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have Me.

12 In pouring this ointment on My body, she has done it to prepare Me for burial.

13 Truly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will also be told in memory of her.”

John 12:4-5 points the finger at Judas as being the chief complainer.

John 12:4-5 (ESV):

4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples (he who was about to betray Him), said,

5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”

So, what was it that pushed Judas over the edge? He was a lover of money.

Matthew 26:6-13 (ESV):

14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests

15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver Him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.

16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray Him.


Jesus was not caught off guard, deceived, or a helpless victim of unsuspected treachery. “But one sent by God to affect God’s purpose going forward, calmly and unafraid to do what God had planned for Him to do." Leon Morris

Let’s look closer at the end of John 13:18 - ”’…He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against Me.’” This phrase basically means to kick someone when they’re down.

Below are some prophetic verses showing what Judas would do.

Psalm 55:12-14 (ESV):

12 For it is not an enemy who taunts me—then I could bear it; it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me—then I could hide from him.

13 But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend.

14 We used to take sweet counsel together; within God's house we walked in the throng.

Zechariah 11:12-13 (ESV):

12 Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver.

13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.

Judas was no robot. These were his desires. He chose to do what he did and was fully accountable for his actions. This once again brings about the tension between the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man. Review the following passages in Acts:

Acts 4:27-28 (ESV):

27 “…for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel,

28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.”

Acts 2:22-23 (ESV):

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know—

23 this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.”

Do these two passages point to God’s sovereignty? Yes. Were the actions that were carried out man’s responsibility? Yes.

In God’s sovereignty, He works all things according to the council of His will.

Ephesians 1:3-6 (ESV):

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

4 even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love

5 He predestined us for adoption to Himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will,

6 to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved.

God used the “evil” plans of Judas’ wicked heart to bring about “good” redemption.

Genesis 50:20 (ESV):

50 “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”

Matthew 26:24-25 (ESV):

24 “The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Who asked the question, “Is it I?” It was Judas. He was intent on keeping up his facade, that was until Jesus quickly shut it down by saying, “You have said so.” However, the Lord still offered a rope of escape to him.

Judas’ uncovering was a surprise to him, however, it was no surprise to the Lord. Jesus knew it would happen all along.

John 6:66-71 (ESV):

66 After this many of His disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him.

67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that You are the Holy One of God.”

70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”

71 He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.


In John 13:19, Jesus offers His disciples not only a warning, but comfort as well.

John 13:19 (ESV):

19 “I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am He.”

It was a promise that Judas’ treason would not stop His commission. D. A. Carson said in his commentary that Jesus was not "the deceived and helpless victim of unsuspected treachery." Even the treachery of Judas could only serve the redemptive purposes of the mission of which Jesus had been sent. Jesus alludes to this in John 13:20.

John 13:20 (ESV):

20 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives the One who sent Me.”

“Sent ones” is the name Jesus gives His apostles later on. Those sent out, having full authority of the one who sent them - a.k.a. "ambassadors". We, today, are also sent ones.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV):

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Ephesians 6:20 (ESV):

20 …for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

We see that Jesus was preparing His disciples for what was about to happen and He was assuring them that He was still in control.

In John 13:21, the word translated “troubled” is the Greek word “tarasso” (ταράσσω) and it means severe mental or spiritual turmoil.

John 13:21 (ESV):

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in His spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.”

“Tarasso”, translated as "troubled", can also be found in Luke 1:12, John 12:27, and John 11:32-33.

Luke 1:12 (ESV):

12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.

John 12:27 (ESV):

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”

John 11:32-33 (ESV):

32 Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in His spirit and greatly troubled.

In John 11:33 above, where tarasso is translated “greatly troubled”, Christ's turmoil was so great that it was to the point, as stated in John 11:35, that:

John 11:35 (ESV):

35 Jesus wept.

In Matthew 14:26 "tarasso" is translated "terrified".

Matthew 14:26 (ESV):

26 But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.

Jesus’ whole inner self was convulsing at the thought of one of His closest friends betraying Him to His enemies.

How do we reconcile the control of the Lord and His sovereignty with the troubling of His spirit that He was experiencing? Why would His heart be troubled? If Jesus knew this was all according to His Father’s plan and that this was the reason He had come, then what was so involved in the process that it would trouble His heart?

  1. His love for Judas

    Did Jesus love him? Yes, He did, in spite of Judas’ ingratitude. Jesus poured Himself into Judas, showing him that He was indeed the Son of God, but we see how Judas repaid Him.

  2. What Judas was about to face

    What was facing Judas? Hell.

  3. Calvary

    Everything in the process of going to Calvary, from the beatings to the crown of thorns, to the scourging to the abandonment and being nailed to the cross, was not something He was anticipating enjoying. However, Jesus lived knowing every detail of what He would face at Calvary His entire life - He knew what was ahead.

We can easily identify these three things. However, they were not what was troubling Jesus' heart the most. What was troubling His heart the most was the impending separation from His father and becoming a sin-bearer.


John 13:22-25 (ESV):

22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom He spoke.

23 One of His disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side,

24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom He was speaking.

25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?”

How could one of Jesus’ disciples do this? It doesn’t fit the mold of all that Jesus had talked about. Something like the triumphant entry squared with their thinking - it fit, but treachery among the twelve of them didn’t.

How many times have we astonished ourselves with our own sins? What about the sins of another person? Consider the following passages:

Mark 14:19 (ESV):

19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to Him one after another, “Is it I?”

Matthew 26:25 (ESV):

25 Judas, who would betray Him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Luke 22:21-23 (ESV):

21 “But behold, the hand of him who betrays Me is with Me on the table.

22 For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!”

23 And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.

From these verses we can see that no one thought it was Judas. Judas had been with them. When the Lord sent the disciples out two-by-two, He gave them power to cast out demons. The one who went with Judas would have been most likely to suspect him, but we infer from the text that no one did.

In John 13:26-30, Judas’ treachery is exposed.

Dipping a piece of unleavened bread in wine meant something special in the Jewish culture of that period. For you to dip it and hand it to the person on your left was to show that that person had a place of honor. How do you think that affected Judas’ heart?

John 13:26-30 (ESV):

26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.

27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

28 Now no one at the table knew why He said this to him.

29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.

30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

One would think that dipping the bread and handing it to him would have changed Judas’ heart. However, not only did he reject everything that Jesus had taught and shown Himself to be for the past three years, but he rejected Jesus’ gesture of love and honor. John MacArthur states in his commentary that at that moment, the day of salvation ended for Judas, and Hell arrived - Satan entered in to him.

This wasn’t the first time Satan had entered Judas.

Luke 22:1-4 (ESV):

1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover.

2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put Him to death, for they feared the people.

3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve.

4 He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them.

Judas was already a willing participant, a co-conspirator, and nothing was going to change his heart. Divine mercy was giving way to divine judgment and Judas was being handed over to Satan.

The phrase “hand” or “deliver over to Satan” is found elsewhere in the Bible.

1 Corinthians 5:5 (ESV):

5 …you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

1 Timothy 1:20 (ESV):

20 …among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

F. F. Bruce, in his book The Gospel of John, says that “Jesus’ action, in singling Judas out for a mark of special favor, may have been intended as a final appeal to him to abandon his treacherous plan and play the part of a true disciple. Up to that moment, the die had not been irrevocably cast. If Judas wavered for a second, it was only to steel himself to carry out his fatal resolution, to become the willing instrument of Satan whereas he might have been the free follower and messenger of his Master. Satan could not have entered in to him had he not granted him admission.

Had he been willing to say no to the adversary only of his Master’s intercessory power was available to him there and then to strengthen him, but when the disciple’s will was turned traitor, when the spiritual aid of Christ is refused, that person’s condition is desperate indeed.”

Jesus says in John 13:27, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Jesus was about to institute the Lord’s supper, and He wasn’t going to have it marred by Judas and Satan’s presence. But when Judas leaves, the plan of betrayal is conceived.

If we’re not careful, we’ll find tendency’s of Judas in ourselves.

In "Learning From Judas” by James Montgomery Boice:

  1. "Fallen Man Needs More Than An Example If He Is To Be Saved"

    Why do we pray and ask the Holy Spirit to do the work of redemption? Because examples are not enough. There is a major fear inside the church that we’ll raise up a generation that will know all the hymns and Bible verses but as far as having saving grace, they won’t. A person isn’t “in” by natural birth, or because they’re the child of an elder, or because other members live a great example in front of them - Apart from the work of Christ, they’re lost.

  2. "The Difficulty In Discerning God’s Elect"

    We measure people by some system or standard of morality. Many times the one’s who surprise us the most with their immorality are the one’s whom we thought for sure knew the Lord. Why would we have thought that about them? It’s because of the things they did. They were faithful to church, they tithed, and they volunteered. Appearances are important, yes, but not as full-proof evidences of the presence or absence of Divine life. This is why we believe in the perseverance of the saints.

    Perseverance of the saints means you will persevere. It doesn’t mean you won’t stumble, or have moments of spiritual weakness, but it does mean you will last. William Barclay is attributed to saying that a faith that fizzles before the finish had a fatal flaw from the first. When we deal with someone who is in sin, are we dealing with someone who is lost or someone who is just stupid? Or is it immaturity? Time will tell. We must remember that Judas lived with the other eleven, participated with them, and presented himself as one of Jesus’ disciples.

How long did Jesus know about Judas’ betrayal? From eternity past. He knew it when He chose Judas, but, He was patient with him. Jesus could have killed Judas on day one, but He didn’t. Judas disobeyed Him, he resisted in his own way but Jesus defended him constantly even with fault in every deed. How about Jesus’ patience with us?

In John MacArthur’s commentary on the book of John, he writes about seven lessons that we can learn from Judas.

  1. Judas Is History’s Greatest Example Of Lost Opportunity And Wasted Privilege

    “He heard Jesus teach day in and day out. Further, he had the opportunity to personally interact with Him. He witnessed firsthand the miracles Jesus performed that proved He was God in human flesh. Yet Judas refused Christ’s invitation to exchange his oppressive burden of sin for the easy yoke of submission to Him.”

    Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV):

    28 Come to Me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

    29 Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

    30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”

  2. Judas Is The Foremost Illustration Of The Danger Of Loving Money

    “Money meant more to him than eternal salvation.”

    1 Timothy 6:10 (ESV):

    10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

  3. Judas Typifies The Vileness Of Spiritual Betrayal

    "In every age there have been Judases, who professed to follow Christ but turned against Him. Judas’ life is also a sobering reminder of the need of self-examination."

    2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV):

    5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

    What harm would come to us if we read the gospel everyday? It would certainly be a reminder to us of who we were before we were saved.

  4. Judas Was Living Proof Of Christ’s Patience, Mercy, And Loving-Kindness

    "Even when he arrived with the mob to arrest Him, Jesus still addressed him as 'friend'".

    Matthew 26:48-50 (ESV):

    48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.”

    49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed Him.

    50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.

  5. The Example Of Judas Shows Us That The Devil Will Always Be At Work Among God’s People

    "Jesus illustrated that truth in the parable of the wheat and the tares" in Matthew 13.

  6. Judas Proves The Deadliness Of Hypocrisy

    "He was a fruitless branch, cast into the eternal fire of hell.”

    John 15:6 (ESV):

    6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

  7. Judas Demonstrated That There Is Nothing That Sinful Men Can Do To Thwart The Sovereign Will Of God

    "Out of the seeming tragedy of the cross came the triumph of redemption; Satan’s apparent victory was in reality his ultimate defeat. God used Judas’ treachery for His own glory. When Judas sold Jesus to His enemies he was in effect selling his own soul to the Devil.

    In the words of the poet,

    Still as of old

    men by themselves are priced -

    For thirty pieces Judas sold

    himself, not Christ."

If you were to ask pastors what is the most disheartening, the most grieving thing that they have to deal with in ministry, most would say it’s unconfessed sin and how it captivates people. Then having to stand by and watch them as they fall. Unfortunately the spirit of Judas is alive and well and will be until the Lord comes.


The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Blue Letter Bible icon, copyright Blue Letter Bible.org. All rights reserved.


© 2017 Providence Baptist Church