John 13:21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 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. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. ESV
What is the general theme of the passage?
After… the example of service He’s given them, Jesus is troubled in His spirit because of what He knows; “one of you will betray me.” The disciples look at one another, “uncertain of whom he spoke.” The whispered interchange between “one of His disciples” and Jesus must have been only one of the hushed conversations happening around that table. Only Jesus and that one disciple know the deadly meaning of that small piece of bread Jesus gives to Judas. But after taking what looked like a common offering of friendship to most of his brothers, Judas knows what Jesus knows. Satan has identified him as the betrayer but Jesus has offered him mercy, not disgrace. “So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out” into the darkness.
What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus was troubled in His spirit. Jesus chose to let Judas know Satan had identified him as the betrayer but with an act of mercy rather than disgrace.
What does it say about people?
The disciples first response was to identify the betrayer. They clearly did not hear the exchange between the one disciple and Jesus that would connect Judas leaving to the betrayal.
Is there truth here for me?
I saw truth about mercy in reading and pondering this whole sad story of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. Jesus has the power to accomplish His Father’s purposes through mercy, not the public disgrace of exposed sin. Satan is the one who who relishes that job.
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:35-36 ESV