Friday, August 2, 2013

Jesus' kindness to Judas

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."  The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke.  One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.  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.   (John 13:21-26 ESV)

Dwight Pentecost comments on this passage...

"We now come to an incident that reveals the depths of the love of Christ for sinners. Christ announced to the Twelve that one of them would betray him, and no one was able to identify who the betrayer would be. Peter is overcome with curiosity and gets the attention of John, who is seated at the right hand of Christ, the second place of honor, and asks him to find out who it is and relay the information to him. And John asked Christ who it was, and he said, the one to whom I give the bread. It was customary at the feast for the master  of the feast to take unleavened bread, which was like a soft pancake, and put bits of lamb in it and roll it up and put in it bitter herbs and then give one of those to each of the participants in the feast. Christ was portraying that which Messiah would do when he would come. He would provide salvation for sinners and offer that salvation to them through the death of a sacrificial lamb. And in accepting and eating that bread, the participant was signifying his willingness to accept the salvation that Messiah would provide. Christ made the first sop, and he gave it to Judas. That meant that he had placed Judas in the position of honor at his left hand. Even though Christ knew that Judas had already covenanted to betray him, Christ treated Judas as the honored guest at this Passover meal. In offering Judas that bread, Christ is, even then, extending a gracious offer of salvation to Judas if he will repent and put faith in himself. But instead of eating that bread to signify his acceptance of that offered salvation, he rushed out of the room. Judas rejected the grace that has been offered to him."  (J. Dwight Pentecost, The Life of Christ)

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