Word from Scotland: It is significant to whom we run in times of crisis
As we read and study carefully and prayerfully John Chapter 13, we come to see and understand that Jesus Christ taught and ministered as He did because He was secure, and through real vital living faith we too can know something of that security.
Verse 20 – Whoever receives you, will receive me. This is so important. When we receive one another, graciously and lovingly, it is a sign that we have received Jesus Christ, and we do so not just as people would be welcomed into some secular club, but we embrace fellow believers in Jesus Christ as part of the family of God the Father. We see that being so significant when Barnabas introduced Saul to the Jerusalem Fellowship in Acts Chapter 9. Although we are mainly limiting our thinking to John’s Gospel we, at times, need to recall other significant Scriptures.
Having said all this regarding a traitor and betrayer, Jesus was deeply troubled. He could see that they did not understand. Everyone was looking at everyone else, wondering – who would it be?
John, the writer of this book, the youngest of the twelve disciples, was lying next to Jesus at the Passover meal table and Peter says, “John, ask Him who it is!” Verse 24.
Verse 25 – Lord who is it? Watch who I give the bread to and Jesus gives the bread to Judas Iscariot, and tells him to get on with the dreadful deed he is about to enact.
There must have been a stunned silent around that table. Jesus could not talk as freely as he wanted to with Judas present so he encourages Judas to hurry and leave, so that He can have this final hour or so with His faithful men.
It was as if Judas’ presence hampered Christ or restricted Christ to some degree on this occasion.
Jesus never used the word “Father” while Judas was in the room, and Jesus so wanted to talk about the Father, and the future, and the Holy Spirit.
At this point these disciples just did not know what was happening. Some thought Judas was going out to the shop to get some more food. Others thought he was going to give money to the poor.
Verse 30. This is John’s last view of Judas and what he was going out into was darkness. How could Judas have been with Jesus for three years, and then go and do such a thing? It was not just this one wrong decision. This was only one of many.
There had been a series of wrong decisions and poor behaviour.
Judas had a weakness – greed. He had been stealing from Jesus, and yet right to the very end Jesus Christ is appealing lovingly to Judas, for to give a morsel of bread to someone at a Feast was a token of love and affection. It was a mark of friendship.
Was this Christ’s last appeal to Judas? – and it failed. He was so hardened and he ran to those who were also closed to Jesus Christ. If only he had run into the arms of Jesus. It is significant to whom we run in times of crisis.
Judas made the wrong decision and ran to those who were only going to make the situation worse.
It is not only important to remain close to Christ, but to remain close to all the others too, and from this we learn how important the fellowship of the Church is.
Never walk out of fellowship. It is nothing but darkness and tragedy.
Jesus does not run after him. Some people you have to leave alone, and that is seldom easy.
As soon as Judas leaves the room the atmosphere changes. It lifts. There is a new freedom and liberty. It is as if a heavy cloud had rolled away, and Jesus begins to speak of glory and love and the Father, with deep affection.
Verse 34 – “Love one another. As I have loved you, love one another.”
It is significant that Jesus Christ said that, only after Judas left!