December 01, 2020 – Tuesday
John 13:18-20 NIV
18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’ (Psalm 41:9)
19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am.
20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts Me; and whoever accepts Me accepts the one who sent Me.”
Jesus is letting His disciples know He will be betrayed by one of them. What is unusual is He is doing it as a prophecy with a surprising reason, I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. I find it surprising because His disciples have already been with Him for over three years and they should already believe He is who He is.
David Guizk makes the argument, Jesus didn’t tell His disciples that one of them would betray Him because He just learned about it. He knew it all along. Jesus told them this so the faithful disciples would remain confident in Him. The only part of Guzik’s comment that makes sense to me is that He knew it all along. I do not think He told them so they would remain confident in Him or maintain their faith in Him. His answer to the question, Who is it and subsequent action lets John and Peter know who it is (v26), It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish. Then, dipping the piece of bread, He gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.
However, Ellicott’s Commentary largely agrees with Guzik when he writes, The result of His henceforth declaring these things unto them before the events, will be that they will find confirmation of their faith in Him as the Messiah. Had He not then declared His knowledge of all, and traced even His choice of Judas to the will of God, there would have been room for doubt whether that choice was consistent with His being the Messiah. I prefer Ellicott’s confirmation of their faith in Him as the Messiah to Guzik’s so they would remain confident in Him. Especially when He continues Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts Me; and whoever accepts Me accepts the one who sent Me. For when He does that, He is declaring once again He is not only the Messiah, but one with the Father.
Matthew Poole’s Commentary parallel’s Ellicott’s when he writes, What I now tell you should be so far from prejudicing your faith in me, that it ought rather to confirm and increase your faith in me as the true Messiah; when (the thing coming to pass) you shall understand that I know the hearts, counsels, and secret thoughts of men. Then, a few short verses later, He predicts as fact Peter will deny Him three times before the rooster crows.
Whichever commentary you prefer, Jesus is affirming three things. First, He is the Messiah. Second, He is one with the Father. Third, being one with the Father, He truly does know the future. He knows Judas will betray Him, He knows Peter will deny Him, and He knows He will be crucified as He has told His disciples a number of times, just as He has told them He will rise on the third day. They came to believe it all … except they did not grasp the reality of His rising on the third day until after it had occurred.
What are we to make of all of this? We, just like the disciples, are able to look at Jesus’ words and understand He did indeed know the future as only God could know the future. Knowing this affirms our belief He died for our sins, paid the price for our sins on the cross, and defeated death by rising on the third day. As a result, we can accept Him as our Lord and Savior, repent of our sins, and know we have salvation through His sacrifice.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Help us to maintain our faith and belief in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Let us know and understand this so well, our faith is remains strong through our dying day. – In Jesus name, amen.