While at supper with His disciples today, Jesus declares that He is troubled and declares to His disciples that one of them is going to betray Him.
The disciples wondered who this might be and began to ask Jesus who the person is. He dipped a piece of bread and gave it to Judas. After taking the bread, Jesus commanded Him to do what He wanted to do immediately. Judas left the presence of Jesus, and John exclaimed in this passage “It became night”.
Giving of Bread.
Many have been asking questions about why Jesus gave Judas the Bread. Does it mean it was Jesus who commanded Judas to betray Him? To understand this, many have offered different views to this. But to understand this, we have to read Matthew’s account of what happened today in Matthew 26:14-25.
Before this event happened, Judas had already gone to the chief priests to request what they are to give Him so that he can hand Jesus over. So, when the apostles were asking who this might be, Jesus gave Him the bread to let the disciples know who He is.
Secondly, in the Jewish custom, to give someone bread is a sign of love, hospitality and friendship. For example, In Genesis 18, Abraham fed the three men with bread as a sign of hospitality. Also, Jesus fed the multitudes many times with bread because he was filled with compassion for them.
So, when Jesus gave Judas the bread, it was not to kill or make Judas sin. Judas has already decided to do so. Jesus offered him the bread to show who his betrayer is and to show his last love and friendship to Judas despite His evil plan against Him.
Hence, God loves us despite the way we have repaid Him with evil. but like Judas, we continue to repay Him with evil. When we walk away from the Light is a decision to repay Jesus with betrayal.
Satan entered Judas After the Dipping of Bread.
Another confusing verse here is when John said that Satan entered Judas immediately Jesus gave Him the bread. Does it mean the bread pushed Satan inside Judas many asked? To understand this, we have to return to Matthew’s account again.
1.In Matthew 26, Judas has already met the chief priests before the Passover to discuss how to hand Jesus over.
In verse 15 of Matthew 26, you will find out that they have already paid him to get the job done. Verse 16 says that because of that, He began to look for an opportunity to betray Jesus. The gist is that Judas was already under the influence of money.
Many today walk away from the light because of money. When one comes under the control of money, he may even forget that God exists and be tempted to live the way he wants, and nothing will happen. This is the problem of Judas.
3. Also check Luke’s account of the betrayal. Luke reports that Satan has already entered Judas before this day (Luke 22:3-4). So Judas was already under the control of the devil.
4. John also reported that before the festival of the Passover, the devil has already put it in the mind of Judas to betray Jesus (John 13: 2). So, during the last supper, Jesus offered his love to Judas. He washed his feet and gave him bread.
Judas can decide whether to respond to God’s love or to the evil He has already decided in His heart. But Judas chooses darkness and John exclaimed in his gospel “It became night”.
Therefore, whenever we begin to think evil in our hearts and allow it to take root into our hearts, the devil takes control absolutely. One day we begin to find a way to execute our evil intentions. Do not play with evil thoughts. They are very dangerous. One day it will give birth to action.
Every evil thoughts lead to evil actions and hence to evil consequences. When we walk away from the light we choose to embrace the consequences that may come from it. So, when it comes, do not blame God.
Night and Day.
The opposite of day is night. When John exclaims “night has fallen” it means something troublesome has happened. The opposite of light is darkness.
It is either you are in the light or darkness. Any moment we walk away from the Light, darkness looms. The end may be disastrous. This was Judas case today in the gospel of John 13:21-33.36-38.
Today, Jesus was troubled in spirit, knowing that one of his disciples would betray him. He was aware too that a horrible death was approaching him. He indicated that it was Judas who would be the culprit.
John in his gospel then stated that the betrayer went into the night. He allowed darkness to overcome him completely. Why? Because Judas went away from the light of the world (John 8:12).
The night is what comes after the day. In the absence of light comes darkness. So, when John writes “it became night” It means Judas has left the light to wander in darkness. The assertion “it became night” goes beyond a mere description of the time of day to that of the gloom of sin and rejection.
Judas walks into the darkness, away from Jesus, the true light which the darkness cannot overcome. He will later die in despair, regrets and misery. The event of that today has a huge significance that Darkness looms outside the presence of Jesus.
The opening verses of the gospel of John present Jesus as the Light that no darkness can overcome.
In John 13:19, John says that we are the people who condemn ourselves because Jesus the Light has come into the world, but like Judas, people love darkness rather than to be in the light; because their deeds are evil.
Hence, instead of working hard to be close to God, we work hard to be immoral and away from God.
Instead of inviting and living in the light, we choose to live in darkness. Hence darkness looms everywhere.
Jesus was Troubled.
Today the gospel says, Jesus was troubled. But Jesus was troubled not only with the impending suffering or personal pain of Judas’ betrayal but also because He knew that Judas was leaving the Light of the world and stepping into the darkness of hell.
Jesus knows that it was dark outside, and the outside is what Judas chooses. Today, Jesus is also troubled because we choose to abandon Him and live in sin. We choose to be away from the Lord rather than be near to the Lord.
There is darkness everywhere in the faces of the earth. Families are living in hatred, people are killing one and another, immorality and lack of the sense of the sacred is now on the rise.
Today, money is now respected and worshipped more than God, even in the Holy Week, many do not care about their spiritual life again.
Evil keeps rising, and many forget that their earthly life is nothing but a shadow that will soon disappear. Instead of making Jesus happy and satisfied, we continue to wound His sacred heart.
When We embrace the Night.
We choose to live outside the day when we choose to embrace the night. It is always night when a person rejects God’s love and goes into the darkness of eternity without God.
It is always night when we have abandoned God. Hence it is always night when we live a life of prayerlessness, it is always night when we abandon the spiritual and think everything is mechanical.
It was especially “night” when the “son of perdition” betrayed the spotless Son of God into the hands of evil men.
We have betrayed Jesus.
We all also have betrayed Jesus. It is not only Judas that betrayed Jesus. We have betrayed Jesus who suffered for us. You are what you are today because of the grace of God but how we decide to repay God then is to live in darkness. What a life of betrayal. Let us come out of the darkness of life.
Jesus loved Judas. He washed Judas’ feet. He offered Judas the opportunity to repent right up to the end. But Judas walked away from the love of Jesus.
This is how we have repaid the Lord for His love. Despite all He has done, we have repaid Him with hatred, abandonment and betrayal. Away from the Light is a journey into the darkness of sin.
When we walk away from the light, we wander in sin and darkness. When we walk away from the light, we begin to lose the sense of the sacred. We begin to consider it a normal thing to live in sin. When we walk away from the light, we live the way we want and later regret it.
Away from the Light is simply a journey into the world of sin, regrets, evil, depression, faithlessness, prayerlessness, powerlessness etc.
Come Back to the Light.
This is a call for everyone to come back to the Light especially in this Holy Week. Let us stop using our weaknesses as excuses. No matter how badly we may have sinned, the Lord Jesus graciously reaches out to you, even right now through this message, with His love. He invites all thirsty sinners to come and take the water of life without cost (Rev. 22:17).
Let Judas teach us the bitter end of those who walk away from the love of Jesus. Let us come to Him now, and you will be satisfied with His grace.
This is the time then to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, to receive mercy, and find grace to help us in our time of need (Heb 4:16).
May God bless you dearest, and help us to come close to Him and repent. May He never allow you to stumble. Amen.