I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…
Look in upon that humble chamber in Jerusalem. Whom do you see eating of the bread of life, and drinking of the cup of salvation? Are they not all men of like passions with ourselves? There are James and John, who, in their hasty zeal, would fain have called down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans. And there is Thomas — doubting Thomas. There, too, is Peter, who only a few hours afterward would curse and swear and cowardly deny his Lord. There, again, the Master is seen passing the bread and the cup to Andrew, and Philip, and Matthew, and Bartholomew, and the other James, who reverently drank, but who, when dangers and death encompassed Him about, forsook Him and fled. And look once more. There, too, is Judas! The Saviour does not even pass him by. Now, I ask, what right has anyone to declare that the Lord's Supper is something so sacred and awful, that none but perfectly good people must venture to receive it, when our Saviour Himself admitted such characters as these to the table which His goodness had spread? What reason is there in the plea which is so often urged by people that they are afraid to commune, because they have done so many wrong things in times past, or because they are apprehensive lest they may be led into evil in the future? Are they mere uncharitable and vindictive by nature than James and John? Have they more serious and perplexing doubts than Thomas? Do they run a greater risk of apostacy than Peter? or of treason than Judas? Others acknowledge, if you press them very closely upon the subject, that they slay away from the Lord's table because of insincere communicants. But how clearly does the traitor's presence prove that no personal unworthiness on the part of others can excuse us from the performance of our duty.
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
For some of them thought —
I. The statement that he "had the bag" shows THE POSITION JUDAS OCCUPIED AMONG THE APOSTLES. He was no mean and inferior person. He was so far from being suspected, that he had the charge of the common store of money. Bullinger even thinks that he must have been a man remarkable for wisdom, prudence, economy, and faithfulness.
II. The supposition of some that Jesus told Judas to "buy the things needed against the feast" shows clearly that OUR LORD DID NOT WORK MIRACLES IN ORDER TO PROCURE THE NECESSARIES required by Himself and His disciples. Christians must buy and sell like other people, and must manage their money affairs with prudence and economy. It also shows how little the disciples realized that their Master's death was close at hand.
III. The supposition of others that Jesus told Judas to "give something to the poor" shows plainly what WAS OUR LORD'S CUSTOM IN THE MATTER OF ALMSGIVING. He sanctified and adorned the practice of caring for the poor by His own example. This passage and Galatians 2:10 deserve careful consideration. It may be doubted whether the English Poor Law has not tended to shut up English almsgiving far more than is right before God. Conclusion:
1. Let us mark the snares which attend the possession and fingering of money. The man who has care of the money in our Lord's little company of followers is the very man who makes shipwreck of his soul forever through the love of money. "Give me neither poverty nor riches" should be a Christian's frequent prayer.
2. The possession of money is evidently not in itself sinful and wicked. The Romish mendicant friars, and others who make a self-imposed poverty, are under a complete delusion. It is not the having, but the misusing, money which is sinful.
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.