I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…
Consider these words —
I. AS PREDICTING THE SIN OF JUDAS, which shows —
1. That Christ suffered as no other human being ever suffered. Great as are the sorrows of men, they are generally unforeseen; more than half their weight therefore is removed. We are supported by hope even on the brink of misery: Jesus foresaw all His woes, and He knew them to be unavoidable.
2. That all hearts are open to the Son of God. It was not long since Judas had agreed with the chief priests. He was sure not to have betrayed himself; and the same secrecy was equally needful to his accomplices. Yet how vain all their precautions! The traitor hears his own purpose first exposed by the very Being whom he would betray! How then can you hope to impose on Christ and shun the eye of God? "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?"
3. That the most wicked actions of men unintentionally promote God's secret purposes of grace. He who foretold this crime could have prevented it. But the act foreseen was permitted and overruled for good. Shall we murmur, then, even at the most mysterious dispensation (Romans 8:28)?
II. AS DESCRIBING THE AGGRAVATIONS OF THAT SIN.
1. It was the sin of treachery — a sin of that kind which is held in abhorrence even by fallen man. Nor is the case at all mended by urging that Judas was moved by self-interest and not by malice. The plea only adds detestable meanness to his character, where passion and revenge might have furnished (what men would call) a prouder excuse. And who is the traitor? Has he no name but Judas? Alas! his "name is Legion, for he is many."
2. It was treachery against the best of friends — "Me!" Is not the same Christ our Friend? Yet multitudes still prefer the silver to Christ.
3. It was the treachery of a highly privileged and confidential servant. "One of you!" For three years had the Pharisees been seeking for such an accomplice: but the multitude would not, the officers could not. These persecutors never dreamed of asking one of the apostles — who would? when, to their great astonishment, he offers of his own accord! "Take heed lest there be in any of you such an evil heart of unbelief."
III. AS EXEMPLIFYING THE FEELINGS OF A HOLY MIND IN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SIN. Jesus "was troubled in spirit." Not because mortified by an unexpected discovery. He had known that these things would take place at least as long ago as when David penned the fifty-fifth Psalm (vers. 12-14). Nor because this treachery made His own fate certain; it could not be more so than His eternal purpose had already made it. No; He was troubled —
1. At the present dishonour done to God and the gospel. It was a triumph to Satan, who thus "bruised His heel"; to all the ungodly — "Ah, so would we have it!" It is not passion or jealousy which calls forth from true Christians the reproof of sin. It is trouble of heart because God is dishonoured. Encourage this feeling.
2. At the approaching ruin of a sinner. He saw before him a soul which (before even His own death should be accomplished) would be "gone to its place." He still feels the same trouble for thee, O sinner! whosoever thou art. His holy children also feel the same cause for mourning — none but devils and sinners rejoice.
(J. Jowett, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.