The Ultimate Betrayal

In John 13:1-20, Jesus and his disciples are at the last supper. This is where Jesus gets up from supper and washes the disciples’ feet.

I have read the story of the last supper many times and have heard countless sermons based on this event, but this time something new stood out to me. 

The Decision

Right before Jesus stands up from the table, John 13:2 says, “During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him…” It wasn’t a surprise to Jesus that Judas was the one who would betray him because he knew it was coming. Even Judas knew it was coming. This is probably something he had been mulling over for days, if not weeks or months. That’s why some believe this verse reflects the moment that the betrayal changed from a temptation to a decision. 

Now, after Judas has made up his mind to betray Jesus, Jesus stands up and washes all the disciples’ feet. 

Not everyone but Judas. 

Everyone including Judas. 

Judas had just made up his mind to betray Jesus, and Jesus knew Judas was about to betray him. Yet, he still washes his feet. This blew my mind. I’m not sure I really want to wash anyone’s feet, and I especially don’t want to wash the feet of someone who was about to betray me resulting in my excruciation execution. 

Jesus’s response to the betrayal

To be fair, Jesus kind of gets back at Judas by telling the group that he knows who will betray him. I’m sure this made Judas sweat. However, Jesus is perfect, unlike me, so he doesn’t say this to spite Judas, but rather so that the other disciples will remember this moment when the betrayal occurs. This will help them remain confident in their faith in Jesus despite one of their closest friends doing the ultimate betrayal.

Then Jesus tells the disciples, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me” (vs. 20). This is a reminder to his disciples that although his time had come, his work is not finished, and he will send them out to do his work. It also reminds Judas that by betraying Jesus, he is also betraying God who sent him.  

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