14.02.10 Mt. 26:22-24; Jn. 13:22-27a; Mt. 26:25 (See also Mk. 14:19-21; Lk. 22:22) The Upper Room
THE BETRAYER IS IDENTIFIED
Mt. 22 Deeply distressed, each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
23 He replied, “The one who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl — he will betray Me.
24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about 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.”
Jn. 22 The disciples started looking at one another — uncertain which one He was speaking about. 23 One of His disciples, the one Jesus loved, was reclining close beside Jesus. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to find out who it was He was talking about. 25 So he leaned back against Jesus and asked Him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus replied, “He’s the one I give the piece of bread to after I have dipped it.” When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son. 27a After Judas ate the piece of bread, Satan entered him.
Mt. 25 Then Judas, His betrayer, replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”
Amazingly, again and again Jesus demonstrated His love and loyalty to Judas; again and again Jesus tried to encourage him from his planned action of betrayal – but as with everyone else, Jesus permitted him to exercise his free will.
“As it is written about Him.” Where? What was written? If the disciples had not understood what Jesus meant, they would have asked for a clarification. It may have been a reference to Isaiah 53. This is another comment about a general theme rather than a specific quotation.
“When He had dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son.” This phrase clearly indicates that Judas sat beside Jesus in a seat of honor, close enough for Jesus to place a piece of bread in a bowl and give it to him. Although Jesus knew that it was Judas who was going to betray Him, He offered him a seat of honor, giving him every opportunity to repent and not commit his intended crime. The offer was rejected. The highest honor was rewarded with the greatest treason. So Jesus then told him to be quick at his task, and only Judas understood what that meant.
“Satan entered him.” Until this time, Jesus accepted Judas, even though He knew His beloved disciple was a thief and was committed to his goal. But this was a turning point and Jesus no longer accepted him. Even though he would imply (next statement) that he would not betray the Master, his decision was final. God’s righteousness demands that believers, in order to maintain purity, break fellowship with anyone under satanic possession.
Satan entered Judas because the former disciple had an evil conspiracy in his heart and chose not to repent. The act of Satan entering his soul was simply the fulfillment of Judas’ desire. He apparently served Satan for some time and desired to live for him. It could be said that Judas hardened his own heart in a manner similar to Pharaoh, which was followed by God hardening both hearts, for this was their desire (cf. Ex 8:15).
In a related matter, the New Testament church is instructed to maintain purity and holiness, and those who live a sinful lifestyle are to be removed from the fellowship (cf 1 Cor. 15:33; Jam. 2:1-4). Acceptance of those who remain active in non-biblical lifestyles has its limits.
“Surely not I, Rabbi?” Judas realized that Jesus was aware of his intentions, yet he chose not to repent. It has been said, at times, that he was a puppet of a sovereign God predestined for wrath and not mercy because he was needed to bring Jesus to the cross. Not so! Judas made his own decisions. However, Jesus, in His foreknowledge of all humanity, knew what decisions Judas would make in the same manner that Jesus knows what decisions we will all make tomorrow. Judas chose to become a disciple of Satan and Jesus was aware of that. He did not have to choose an eternal Hell and even been given had the opportunity to repent but chose not to. This account demonstrates the total sovereignty of God, who is in control of the whole world, while mankind has total freewill and responsibility of his eternity. Only God could make such an irony function perfectly in the life of every person.
“You have said it,” He told him. Until now Caiaphas and his conspirators believed Jesus was unaware of their plans. However, when the high priest became aware that Jesus identified Judas as the betrayer, he was forced to accelerate plans for the trials and possible execution. Caiaphas simply could not imagine that Jesus would be willing to die. Rather, the religious leaders assumed that Jesus and the disciples would try to escape, possibly fight, or use supernatural miraculous powers to escape death and then overthrow the temple system. Therefore, the trials and death sentence had to be immediate, even if it fell on Passover. In legal terms, “time was of the essence.”
. A partial list of other problematic passages is listed in Appendix 13.