I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…
1. And, first of all, do we not see here what a hateful, detestable thing hypocrisy, treachery is in the sight of God. Oh see, only see, the Lord of Glory troubled in spirit as He approaches the painful subject. And let us remember, that hypocrisy is equally offensive to Him still.
2. Further, do we not see here that sin — that hardness of heart is a gradual, a progressive thing? Judas did not reach the climax of his guilt by a single leap, but step by step.
3. But still further, may we not learn from this narrative, that though the hypocrite and the hardened sinner may for a long time escape detection, yet at last he shall be disclosed. The Lord may indeed, in His long suffering, allow him to pass unknown, just to give him space and opportunity for repentance.
4. Finally, let the Lord's true-hearted ones seek John's place — leaning on the Master's bosom. What a contrast between John and Judas — John leaning on Jesus' breast, Judas proposing in his heart to betray Him!
Jesus...was troubled in spirit and testified. —
I. CHRIST IN SADNESS (ver. 21). This was the distress —
1. Of intense holiness in the presence of sin. The more holiness, the more sensitiveness to sin. Sometimes the optic nerve becomes so sensitive that a sunbeam will produce the greatest pain; and the auricular nerve so tender that the softest sound yields agony. And in some diseases a breath of air will throw the whole writhing frame into anguish. And so Judas sent a quiver through all the nerves of Christ's pure soul.
2. Of the highest benevolence in the presence of a lost soul. The more love a being has, the more he feels the sufferings of others. Christ's love was immeasurable, and He knew what a lost soul meant. We wonder not then that He was troubled as a lost soul stood before Him.
II. THE DISCIPLES IN ANXIETY (ver. 22). Matthew and Mark tell us that they were exceeding sorrowful, and asked each, "Is it I?" The question implies two things.
1. Self-suspicion. Had they been certain of their incapability they would not have made such an appeal. None of them was confident of His impeccability. This self-suspicion is well founded in all souls, and is a help to our spiritual progress and safety. "Let him that thinketh he standeth."
2. A desire to know the worst. Cowards close their, eyes on the worst, and delude themselves with the idea that all is right. It is to the spiritual interest of every man to know the worst here and now, for here and now it can be rectified. "Search me, O God! and know my heart," etc.
III. THE TRAITOR UNMASKED.
1. The means of his detection (ver. 26).
2. His domination by Satan (ver. 27). Before we read that Satan had put the wicked deed into his heart; now he took possession of his soul.
3. His defiance by Christ, "What thou doest," etc. "I defy thee to do thy worst. Do it and have done with it."
4. His lamentable doom (ver. 20).
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
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.