Tom: We are continuing with the gospel and we are in the Gospel of John, and right now we are beginning chapter 13, verse 1: “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” Is he talking about His relationship with his disciples?
Dave: Well, it’s the disciples that He is speaking of as His own: “…having loved his own that were in the world.” He’s going to leave this world. He is heading—He is going to be crucified.
Tom: Dave, isn’t it amazing? They were relatively clueless. I mean, they spent three years with Him, and certainly they did learn a lot, but they didn’t understand that He was going to the Cross, did they?
Dave: No, they didn’t. They were shocked, and they all forsook him and fled. But Tom, let’s start with the beginning of this verse: “Now before the feast of the Passover….” Some people think…and I don’t know—you’re the guy running this show here, Tom. I’m just your guest, but I do most of the talking.
Tom: Gary’s given me all the hand signals, so I don’t know who is in charge. Maybe nobody is in charge, Dave!
Dave: Okay, all right. I don’t know whether you want to get into this…
Tom: Wherever you want to go, seriously.
Dave: This may be too soon; we’ll get into it later. But notice it says, “before the feast of the Passover.” People say this is the Last Supper, and the Last Supper was the Passover. No, it was not the Passover meal. This is before the feast of the Passover, that’s very clear. We can maybe drop that bomb and then go on and we’ll come back to it later.
Tom: I was going to say that it will come back, Dave, if not by us getting to it, people will remind us. Because it is—there are certain things that we have sort of gone along with, maybe really haven’t taken the time to look at, and this is not one of the cardinal or primary doctrines of Christianity, but it’s important, I think, to understand the Scriptures.
Dave: Yeah, well, let’s just jump ahead for a moment, and then we’ll come back and we will move on and we’ll get into it more later. Verse 27: “After the sop…”—he gives the sop to Judas, “Satan entered into him, then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest do quickly. Now, no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him, for some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.”
Now. if this were the Passover, this Last Supper, that is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is a Sabbath—the Passover lamb is killed just before sunset, killed in the “evening,” it’s called, of the previous day. Then it has to be roast with fire, and so forth, and that night you eat the Passover. If that were the case, there are no stores open. Judas couldn’t possibly go out to buy anything. Furthermore, it would be a breach of the highest Sabbath that there is for him to even attempt to go out and buy something.
So, we know this is before the feast of the Passover, and furthermore, when you get to chapter 18, and the disciples bring Jesus to Pilate, notice what it says. Verse 28: “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the Passover.”
Now this is the morning after the Last Supper. Jesus has been betrayed. He has been before the chief priests, and now He is brought to Pilate, but the chief priests will not go into the judgment hall because they have to keep themselves away from unleavened bread. This is obviously the beginning of the time of unleavened bread, and they have not yet eaten the Passover.
Tom: But Dave, doesn’t the language of the other Gospels, and in John as well, say—why have the upper room? Weren’t they going to eat the Passover together? Wasn’t that the whole idea?
Dave: Yeah, you get the upper room because it takes a little bit of time. This is the first day of the time of unleavened bread. You’ve got to make sure you have cleaned all the unleavened bread out and so forth and were making ready this room. But anyway, Tom, my fault—we shouldn’t have gotten into this, but…
Tom: You’ve just started!
Dave: …we’ll come back to it. We have to come back to it.
Tom: All right, and explain it more.
Dave: It’s very clear, it says, “now before the feast of the Passover….” And it very clearly says that the rabbis the next morning had not eaten the Passover, okay? We’ll just leave it at that for the moment.
Tom: Well, this prepares our listeners, if they would like to, to write to us and…
Dave: Study it out for themselves…
Tom: Study it up, and raise questions, and I’ll certainly interject those questions as we get to that part of our study here.
Dave: Yeah, but anyway, the main message in this verse is the love of Jesus. He knows that this is it—His hour has come. Earlier it says there were several occasions when the Jews took up stones to stone Him, but it says “His hour was not yet come.” It wasn’t time for Him to die. Furthermore, you can’t kill Him by stoning. A bone of Him is not to be broken, and His blood must be poured out. In fact, He must be crucified because this is what the prophets foretold.
But now, Jesus, knowing that this is it, this is His last time—it is the last supper with His disciples, for sure. He has been with them—some people say three and a half years, I think it was more than that, but we won’t raise any more problems—we’ll get that from Luke, chapter 3. But anyway, “having loved his own which were in the world, he loves them unto the end,” and He’s going to the Father. So now, He has a final message for His disciples in His love for them.
“Supper, being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.” That’s an interesting statement, Tom. Does that mean that now Judas is totally the instrument of Satan? That Judas was really a loyal disciple? That he would not have done this except somehow Satan overpowered his will and makes him do what he doesn’t want to do? I don’t think so. I think Satan could put this into his heart because Judas—it says he was a thief. He already was disposed to…what was he going to betray Him for? Well, they had a reward out for Jesus. You know, it says earlier “he walked no more in Jewry.” The Jews sought to slay Him, and the rabbis had put a price on His head, and Judas has been robbing the till! He has been stealing, and he wants some more money, and he is going to betray his Lord. So, on the one hand, Satan puts it into his heart, gives him the idea. On the other hand, Judas is very happy with this idea.
Tom: Dave, let me make this a little tougher. These things have been predicted, prophesied in the Old Testament down to the very particulars. So, is this something that was determined beforehand by God? Did God ordain these things to happen? Did He put it in Judas’s heart and mind? And then also, in the devil, the adversary, Satan?
Dave: Yeah. The Calvinist would say that God caused him to do it. In fact, John Calvin says God could not foretell the future unless He caused it to happen. That’s not true! They are trying too hard to defend God’s sovereignty. You don’t need to defend God’s sovereignty. It’s sovereign. And if man’s free will—“God doesn’t know what I’m going to do next. I’ll come up with something now! I’m going to trick Him. I’ll make Him think that I’m going to do this, only I’m going to do that.” You’ve got to be kidding! If God’s sovereignty can’t handle free will, then it’s pretty weak indeed!
No, God does not cause Judas to do this, but He knows that Judas is going to do it. He knows the kind of a person Judas is. By the way, you know, Satan is going back and forth—he doesn’t know what to do. He inspires (Matthew 16)—he inspires Peter to say, “Oh, you’re not going to go to the Cross, Lord! No, no, you’re not going to get crucified! You’re getting discouraged, Lord. Let’s be positive—look on the bright side of things.” And Jesus says, “Get thee behind me, Satan.”
So, on the one hand, Satan is inspiring Peter to persuade Jesus not to go to the Cross, and now, he’s inspiring Judas to get Him to go to the Cross, and if he had really known that when Jesus was hanging on that Cross, He’s going to pay the penalty for the sins of the world, Satan surely wouldn’t have inspired Judas. No, so Satan does not know really what is going to happen, although it’s laid out in the Scriptures. God knew the heart of Judas, and God allowed Judas—in fact, put Judas—in this place. It doesn’t mean that He broke his will—that He caused him to do anything, but He knew what he would do and allowed him to be in this position at this time in order to do what the prophets had foretold.