Updated on January 6, 2014
Chronological Bible: November 13, Addressing betrayal with mercy…
- Matthew 26:17-29
- Mark 14:12-25
- Luke 22:7-30
- John 13:18-30
- John 13:1-17
- John 13:31-35
“And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, ‘Is it I, Lord?’…Judas, who would betray him, answered, ‘Is it I, Rabbi?’ He said to him, ‘You have said so.'” –Matthew 26:22,25, ESV
“So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to Him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ 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. Then after He had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’ Now no one at the table knew why He said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we needfor the feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor.” –John 13:25-29, ESV
It seems that Judas knew, or learned, that he would be the one to betray Jesus. Imbedded with all the other disciples asking Jesus if it was them, Judas asked the same, but received a different answer. What stands out to me today is this: Jesus did not make the information public. Judas knew. Jesus knew. But though the disciples were all there for the feast, only Judas and Jesus knew the specifics of the betrayal.
Though Jesus would be betrayed to death, He showed mercy in keeping Judas’ coming sin between the two of them alone. Maybe it was to give Judas the chance to make a different choice, though it was necessary for the fulfillment of prophecy. Maybe it was to keep the other disciples in the dark, to prevent them from intervening. We know Peter had an explosive emotional state; who knows what he would have done had he known of Judas’ plan.
Regardless of reason, Jesus kept Judas’ coming sin just between them. We would be wise to do the same when we face a betrayer.