JESUS TELLS JUDAS TO DO
HIS WORK QUICKLY
It was well into the night of the 14th. It was the early
hours past midnight, and Jesus was very troubled in spirit, and
said, "Truly, it is indeed true, what I say unto you; one of you
shall betray me."
The disciples again with a sleepy dazed look on their faces,
were not certain of whom He was speaking about. In fact
"betraying" was just too hard for them to imagine. One of His
disciples (it was John) was stretched out somewhat, lying half
across Jesus' chest, as they were all in a relaxed and lazy
lounging position. Simon Peter beckoned to John and asked him to
ask Jesus, whom He was speaking about, as John was the closest to
Christ. So John said to Jesus, "Lord, who is it?"
Jesus, paused for a moment, then said, "It is he to whom I
shall give this morsel of bread, when I have dipped it." Jesus
got up and dipped a small portion of bread and He gave it to
Judas Iscariot. Then after Judas took it, Satan once more entered
into him (the Devil had left Judas for a while, but was now back
with a vengeance as we say).
Jesus looked at Judas and said, "What you are going to do,
do it quickly."
The disciples heard Him saying those words and still did not
realize why He had said them, or what they meant. Some thought
that because Judas had the money box (as he was banker for them)
Jesus was telling Judas to go and buy things that was needful for
them as they observed the feast; or, that he should give
something to the poor. Their minds were as far away from knowing
what Jesus really meant and what about was to happen the rest of
that night, as east is from west.
Judas stood up and immediately left. It was a dark night in
more than one way.
After Judas had gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of man
glorified, and in Him is God glorified; and if God is glorified
in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself."
The time had come in the history of the universe that God's
great plan of redemption for the human kind, was to take its
literal fulfilment, and the time that BOTH God the Father and
Christ Jesus would be glorified as this plan of salvation took
Jesus looking more intently at the eleven disciples, went on
to say, "Little children, for yet a little while I am with you.
You will seek me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you,
'Where I am going, you cannot come.' A NEW commandment I give to
you, it is, that you LOVE one another, EVEN AS I LOVED YOU, that
you ALSO LOVE one another. And by this all men will know that you
are my disciples, IF you have LOVE one for another" (John 13:
Jesus had certainly set that perfect example of how love
between brethren should be lived. He wanted all His disciples to
emulate His example. Then people would indeed know that such
people who lived as Jesus had lived towards His disciples while
on earth, were His true followers. In this down-to-earth,
nitty-gritty, sometimes hard ways to strive against, it is not
always easy to live up to the example of Jesus, as we work with,
fellowship with, talk with, and inter-act with, other disciples
of Christ. But we must try, we must endeavor, to follow His
example in this matter of love towards others in the flock
that belongs to Jesus.
JESUS' WORDS DO NOT IMBED TOO DEEPLY
No sooner it seemed had Jesus spoken these words of the
disciples having love one towards another, that they were into
arguing among themselves as to which one of them was to be
regarded as the "greatest."
Jesus had to intervene with words He had told them once
before, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them;
and those in authority over them are called benefactors. They
rule each other with iron dictatorship. But it shall NOT be so
with you! Rather, let those who would want to be the greatest
among you become as the youngest, and the newest kid on the
block. And those who would want to lead as the one who serves.
For which is the greatest, the one who sits at the table, or the
one who serves? Is it not the one who sits at the table? But I
have been among you as one who serves."
The whole life and ministry of Jesus was one of service, one
of helping, healing, doing goodness, having mercy, on people and
for people. He served in teaching and preaching the wonderful
truths of the salvation and Kingdom of God. Jesus had lived and
acted as anything but a despot or iron fisted dictator, although
He spoke pretty plainly a few times to the religious leaders of
He had even at this late time in the evening and in His
physical life, to correct His disciples on a matter that was
important. But He wanted to leave this conversation point
in an upbeat, positive manner, so He said, "You are those who
have continued with me in my trials; as my Father has appointed a
Kingdom for me, so I have appointed that you may eat and drink at
my table in my Kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve
tribes of Israel" (Luke 22: 24-30).
The Kingdom that Jesus was thinking about, the one that the
Father had appointed Him to have, was to be a literal Kingdom on
this earth, one that would rule all nations. The Kingdom that the
prophets of old had foretold about over and over again in their
writings, was the one that they also foretold the Messiah would
be king over. Jesus again promised His eleven as it was now, that
they would each rule over one of the tribes of Israel when His
TO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES
It was time to close this event of the Passover celebration
in the upper room. They all sang a hymn, and then Jesus and His
disciples went to the mount of Olives.
Peter had not forgotten what Jesus had told them about Him
going away, so he asked Christ, "Lord, where are you going?"
Jesus answered, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now; but
you shall follow afterwards."
Jesus was probably here talking about what would happen to
Him in the next 12 or so hours, eventually dying on the cross.
Though the disciples could not follow Him in all He would under
go the rest of the 14th day, many of them would in their life
time, be put to death for their following in the footsteps of
Jesus then looked at all the eleven and said to them, "You
will all fall away because of what I will go through this night;
for it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep
will be scattered' (Zech.13: 7). But after I am raised up, I will
go ahead of you into Galilee."
Turning once more to Peter, Jesus, said to him, "Peter,
Peter, Satan desired to have you, that he might sift you as wheat
is sifted, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not
fail; and when you are converted with the Spirit, I want you to
strengthen your brethren."
Peter stood up straight at these words from Jesus. He put
his shoulders back, raised his chin, got a strong defiant look on
his face, and with boldness and with force in his voice, said,
"Oh, Lord, even though they all fall away I will not. I am ready
to go with you to prison and death, Yes, I will lay down my life
Jesus smiled a little, then said, "O, Peter, it is true what
I'm going to say. This very night before the cock crows twice,
you will have denied me three times."
Peter vehemently and immediately shot back with, "Lord, if I
must die with you, I will not deny you." And the other ten
disciples all said the same thing. They had no idea their words
would come flying back in their face, much sooner than they ever
thought, for all of them would have to eat their words, as they
would all forsake Jesus within the next short while, as the
events of that night would escalate and explode out of control.
Jesus said to them, "I sent you out once with no purse or
bag, or extra sandals, and did you lack anything?" They replied
that they did not. "Well now," Jesus continued, "let him who has
a purse take it, and likewise a bag. And let him who has no
sword, sell his coat and buy one. For I tell you this Scripture
must be fulfilled, 'And he was reckoned with transgressors' (Isa.
53: 12), for what is written about me has its fulfillment."
The disciples looked at each other, some of them moved their
outer garment to reveal a few swords. "Look Lord," they said,
"here we have two swords." And Jesus seeing this said, "Alright,
that is enough, the prophecy is fulfilled" (Luke 22: 31-38;
Mat.26: 30-35; Mark 14: 26-31; John 13: 36-38).
SOME FINAL IN-DEPTH TEACHING
ON FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, AND OBEDIENCE
There was still some time left before He would be betrayed
by Judas Iscariot. Jesus would use that time to give His
disciples some very important teachings and encouragement.
"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe
also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it was not
so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And
in so preparing a place for you, I will come again, and receive
you to be with me, that where I am when I come again, you may be
also. You know the way to where I am going."
Jesus was going to go back to be with God the Father in
heaven. While there He would prepare positions of rulership for
all His disciples. Then He would come again. He would receive His
disciples at His coming, as we have seen, He would receive them
in the clouds, in the air or atmosphere of this earth. The clouds
are relatively close to the earth's surface. From there He would
continue to descend with His followers to the mount of Olives.
His disciples of all ages from the time of Adam, would then be
with Jesus forever more. I have in past chapters given you
passages of Scripture to prove what I have just stated.
At these words from Jesus, Thomas said, "Lord, we do not
know or understand where you are going; so how can we know the
way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life;
no one comes to the Father, but through me. If you have known me
then you will know the Father also; so you really do know the
Father and have seen Him."
Philip spoke up and said, "Lord, show us plainly the Father,
and literally seeing Him we will be satisfied." Jesus replied,
"Oh, have I been all this time with you, and you do not know me
Philip? He who has seen ME has also seen the Father; how can you
say, 'Let us see the Father'? Do you not believe that I am IN the
Father and the Father IN me? The words that I say to you I do not
speak from mine own authority; but the Father who DWELLS IN me
does His works. Believe me that I AM IN the Father and the Father
IS IN me; or believe what I say because of the works I do. Truly,
very true indeed, I say to you, he who believes in me will also
do the works that I have done; and yes, even greater works than
these, many will do, because I go to the Father. Whatever you
ask in my name, I will do, that the Father may be glorified in
the Son. If you ask anything in my name I will do it. IF you LOVE
me, you WILL keep my COMMANDMENTS!" (John 14: 1-15).
Jesus was the very personification of the Father. Seeing and
knowing Jesus as the 12 disciples had for three years or more,
was just like as if they had literally seen the Father. If the
Father had actually come down from heaven and stood before the
disciples, they would have seen another Jesus Christ. What Jesus
was trying to convey to them was that He and Father were like
identical twins. And if you have ever seen identical twins you
will know that it is just about impossible to tell them apart,
they are so much like each other.
Jesus and the Father were IN each other, as was the one so
was the other. And Christ had done the works during His ministry
to prove beyond any question or doubt that He was IN the Father
and the Father was IN Him!
Many would come after He was back in heaven, Jesus said,
that would do the same kind of works as He did, even sometimes
greater works. And this we shall see was indeed true, as we go
through the book of Acts in this New Testament Bible Story.
Jesus once more reminded them to ask in His name, and many
things would be granted, so God could be glorified in the Son.
Then Jesus finished this part of His last hour of teaching
them while still a human being, by telling them that if they
loved Him, they would keep His commandments. This last request or
command certainly does not sound like Jesus was "doing away with"
commandments, but firmly establishing them. And a reading of the
rest of the New Testament, especially the letters of the apostle
John (1, 2 and 3 John) and the letter of James, clearly show that
commandment keeping is to be a very important part of the life
of anyone who claims to love Jesus.
PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus told His disciples, "And I will pray to the Father and
He will give you another encouraging Counselor, to be with you at
all times, even the Holy Spirit which will lead you into all
truth. The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit, because it
neither sees him or recognizes him; you know him, for he dwells
with you now, and shall be in you later. I will not abandon you
as orphans; I will come to you. In a little while the world will
not see me again, but you will. For I will live again, and you
will also. When I am raised to life again you will know that I am
in the Father, and that you are in me, and I in you.
Those who obey my commandments are the ones who love me. And
because they love me, my Father will love them, and I will love
them. And I will reveal myself to each one of those who love me."
Judas (not Iscariot, but the other disciple with that name)
said to Him, "Lord, why are you going to reveal yourself to us
and not to the world at large?" Jesus answered him, "All those
who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and WE
will COME to them and LIVE in them. Anyone who does not love me
will not do what I say. And remember my words are not my own.
What I say is from the Father who sent me. I am telling you these
things now, while I am still with you. But when the Father sends
the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in my name, he will teach you
everything and remind you of everything I have told you.
I am leaving you with a gift - peace of mind and heart. And
the peace I give is not like the peace the world gives. So do not
be troubled or afraid. Remember what I have told you: I am going
away, but I will come back to you again. If you really love me
you will be happy for me, because now I can go to the Father, who
is GREATER than I am. I have told you these things before they
happen so that you will believe when they do happen. I don't have
much more time to talk to you, because the prince of this world
approaches. He has no power over me, but I will do what the
Father requires of me, so that the world will know that I love
the Father. Rise up now, and let's go a little further."
In Jesus' last in-depth teaching while still a physical man,
this was the great promise He gave that the Holy Spirit would
come to His disciples and unite with their minds. This came about
on the great feast of Pentecost, as we shall read later in the
second chapter of the book of the Acts of the apostles. From that
day forward the Holy Spirit has ever been available to beget the
children of God. The Holy Spirit is the power nature that comes
from the very being of God the Father and Jesus Christ, and in so
coming into human kind, it is just as if God the Father and Jesus
Christ were BOTH living inside that human being. That is why
Jesus said that both He and the Father would come and live within
the disciple. They live in the disciple by means of their Holy
Jesus here uses "he" for the Holy Spirit, or so the King
James Version and others translate. It is all really a
"technical" Greek grammar rule of writing, which does not
concern us here in this writing of the New Testament Bible Story.
The Holy Spirit is not a literal person, as are Jesus and the
Father. Many writers in the Bible used what is called
"personification" - which is giving human form and character to
things not being a separate individual person. A very good
example is that found in the book of Proverbs. There we see that
"wisdom" (which is of God) is liked unto a physical human woman.
And of course we today in our English language often call our car
or boat "she" - we may say, "Well, something is wrong with my car
today, she just would not start."
Jesus said He would give His disciples "peace" - of mind and
heart. The child of God knows truths of life and death and the
promise of what is to come, that the rest of the world does not
know or understand, not in the way true Christians do. There is
much comfort and peace in knowing the truths of God.
Jesus was freely giving His life as a sacrifice for sins.
The Devil had no power over Him, except what Jesus Himself
allowed, and He was going to allow Satan to kill Him physically
because it was the Father's will, for the salvation plan of
mankind that the Father had ordained from before the world began.
And Jesus was willing to obey the Father's wish, desire, and
VINE AND BRANCH ANALOGY
AND COMMAND TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER
Jesus said, "I am the true vine, and my Father is the
vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears NO fruit, He takes
away, and every branch that DOES bear fruit He prunes, so that
they produce even more fruit. You have already been pruned for
greater fruitfulness by the words and teachings I have given you.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot bear
fruit if is cut off from the vine, and so you cannot be
fruitful apart from me.
Yes, I am the true vine and you are the branches. Those who
remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart
from me, cut off from me, you can do nothing that is everlasting,
and eternally good. Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like
a useless branch and dries up, being dead. Then such branches are
gathered into a pile and burned. But if you stay joined to me and
my words remain in you, you will receive many answers to your
requests. My true disciples joined to me will produce much fruit.
This brings great glory to my Father."
These are simple words to read and understand. They are also
the heart and core of being a true disciple and child of God the
Father. If we remain in Christ, which means we know His word, and
we are willing to obey His commands, then and only then can we
produce the fruit that is fit for eternal life. Not that we earn
our salvation as I've said a number of times before, but we must
remain IN Jesus so we will not be a cut off branch that is
useless and only good to be burned up. As we stay in Christ, we
will automatically produce fruit, and the Father wants fruit
produced. He expects that when He gives His gift of grace through
Christ to someone, they will use it to grow and produce
worthwhile fruit. He will be glorified by branches (Christians)
of the vine (Christ) producing much fruit.
Jesus finished this thought and teaching with, "I have loved
you even as my Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you
obey me you remain in my love, just as I obey the Father and
remain in His love. I have told you all this that you will be
filled with my joy. Yes, you will have an overflowing joy.
I command you to love each other as I have loved you. And
here is how to measure it - the greatest love is shown when
people lay down their lives for their friends. You are my friends
IF you obey me. I no longer call you 'servants' because the
master does not confide and open up to his servants in personal
ways. But I call you 'friends' as I have opened up to you and
told you everything the Father told me. You did not really
choose me. It was I that chose you. I appointed you to go and
produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you
many other things that you may ask for, when using my name. I
COMMAND YOU to LOVE each other!" (John 15: 1-17).
Once more, some pretty simple words to understand, from
Jesus. His followers are to remain in His love, and remaining in
His love means they OBEY Him, as He obeyed the Father. Jesus
commands His disciples to love each other, and the ultimate love
is to lay down our lives for another. Jesus was in a few hours
going to literally lay down His life for the love of His
disciples and for all mankind. We may not be called upon to
literally give our life up for another human person (some people
do as we now and again see on TV news reports), but we must, as
we have seen Jesus emphasize in parables and teachings of the
past, be willing to serve and help others as we can, by the means
that we can, especially those who are the disciples of our Lord
and Savior. This was not a "suggestion" from Jesus, it was a
Yes, what we are reading, the words of Jesus just before He
gave up His life for His friends, for you and me, are plain and
simple....they are the plain truth.
Written January 2003