Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 13 March 2016
21 After saying this, Jesus was deeply troubled in spirit and declared solemnly, “Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, one of you is going to betray me!”
22 The disciples began looking at one another, completely mystified about whom he was speaking.
23 One of his disciples, the one whom Jesus kept loving, had been sitting very close to him.
24 So Simon Peter motioned to this man to ask Jesus about whom he was speaking.
25 Leaning forward on Jesus’ chest, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “He is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread after I have dipped it in the dish.” Then he took a piece of bread, dipped it, and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
27 After he had taken the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus told him, “Do quickly what you are going to do!”
28 Now no one at the table knew why Jesus said this to him.
29 Some thought that, since Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him to buy what they needed for the festival or to give something to the destitute.
30 So Judas took the piece of bread, immediately went outside…and it was night.
After Jesus spoke to His disciples about His betrayal, He was greatly troubled in Spirit. He loved His disciples to the end. Even Judas was loved. The disciples were troubled too, wondering whom would betray Him. It was incomprehensible to them that one of them could actually betray the Lord.
Jesus loves us. His love is unfathomable. However if we are unfaithful to Him, it causes great grief to Him. We should ask ourselves this question too – whom is it that will betray the Lord Jesus? Such people don’t realise what grief they cause Him. We might be busy with various Christian activities, but still betray the Lord.
For three years the disciples were with the Lord Jesus, and Judas even held the money. No one suspected him. It’s so sad when there are people in our midst who appear to live for the Lord but they are not. Judas Iscariot was in charge of the money and we are told he often took of the money for himself. He was unfaithful with the money. The disciples were shocked and afraid that there could be someone who would do such a thing among them.
The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Prov 1:7).
When Jesus gave that morsel to Judas saying that “the one to whom I give it, it is him that will betray Me” – how did Jesus look at Him? In stead of crying out to the Lord for mercy and forgiveness, he hardened his heart.
There are those who live in sin and even when there are attempts to correct them they don’t respond. Judas knew his sin full well. He knew of the money he stole, of his alliance with the Sadducees and Pharisees, meeting with them in secret. When they had asked Judas to sell Jesus, he agreed.
The question to us today is, are we faithful to the Lord? Are we clinging to Him through thick and thin? As he loves us so much, do we love Him too? When we have sinned, do we quickly confess our sin, exposing it to the light?
In Germany there were three naughty young men, who thought to play a prank on certain public figures in government, by writing the following to them, ‘everything has been exposed’. The following morning all three public figures have fled, one was never heard of again. Unknown to the mischievous young men, these men in government were having illicit relationships with women. Instead of facing the music and acknowledging their sin they ran away.
If you’ve sinned it’s so difficult to humble yourself. Yet if you humble yourself, you will receive mercy, forgiveness and freedom. Never hide your sin. Expose it. Come to Jesus and beg of Him for forgiveness. We read in Ps 139:23-24 a marvellous word.
23 Examine me, God, and know my mind, test me, and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive tendency in me, and lead me in the eternal way.
This is a prayer each one of us should earnestly pray.
In Luke we read that there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. What is said in the bedrooms will be shouted from the rooftops (Luke 12:3). This is a fearful word. It doesn’t help to try and hide anything.
How will it be when all your secrets come to light? Everything will be uncovered.
Judas Iscariot had to make a decision. He could have come to the light, acknowledged his sin and found forgiveness. However, he chose the way of destruction. We read that after that Satan entered into him. The Bible says that we should not give room to the devil (Eph 4:27). Jesus was right before him. Eternal life was next to him. We read that Judas went out and it was night. He that didn’t want the Heavenly Light will have eternal night. Judas eventually hanged himself. His future was terrible. Jesus saw all that and was grieved.
Whom do you choose? Jesus or satan.