The Saviour's Trouble
John 13:18-30
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…

These verses describe the last scene between our Lord and Judas before the betrayal. They never met again, excepting in the garden. Within a short time both the Holy Master and the treacherous servant were dead. They will never meet again till the trumpet sounds. What an awful meeting will that be! Let us mark —


1. Our Master's troubles are far beyond the conception of most people. The cross was only the completion of His sorrows (Isaiah 53:3).

2. But this trouble was an exceptional one — that of seeing an apostle becoming an apostate. Nothing is so hard to bear as ingratitude." Sharper than a serpent's tooth is a thankless child. Absalom's rebellion was David's heaviest trouble, and Judas's Christ's.

3. Passages like these should make us see —

(1) The amazing love of Christ to sinners. How many cups of sorrow He drained to the dregs in working out our salvation, beside the mighty cup of bearing our sins!

(2) How little reason we have for complaining when friends fail us and men disappoint us.

(3) The perfect suitableness of Christ to be our Saviour. He can sympathize with us. He has suffered Himself, and can feel for those who are ill-used and forsaken.

II. THE POWER AND MALIGNITY OF OUR GREAT ENEMY, THE DEVIL. First he suggests: then he commands. First he knocks at the door and asks permission to come in: then, once admitted, he takes complete possession, and rules the whole inward man like a tyrant. Let us take heed that we are not "ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11). He is still going to and fro in the earth, seeking whom he may devour. Our only safety lies in resisting him at the first. Strong as he is, he has no power to do us harm, if we cry to the stronger One and use the means which He has appointed (James 4:7). Once let a man begin tampering with the devil, and he never knows how far he may fall.

III. THE EXTREME HARDNESS WHICH COMES OVER THE HEART OF A BACKSLIDING PROFESSOR OF RELIGION. One might have thought that the sight of our Lord's trouble, and the solemn warning, "One of you shall betray Me," would have stirred the conscience of this unhappy man, or the words, "That thou doest, do quickly." But like one whose conscience was dead and buried, goes out to do his wicked work, and parts with his Lord forever. The extent to which we may harden ourselves by resisting light and knowledge is one of the most fearful facts in our nature. We may become past feeling, like those whose limbs are mortified before they die. We may lose entirely all sense of fear, or shame, or remorse.

(Bp. Ryle.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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.

WEB: I don't speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.'

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