Familiarity with Christ
John 13:18-30
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…

Personal Christianity is an intimate connection with Christ. To be a true Christian is to be more familiar with Christ than with father, mother, etc. This familiarity involves —

I. THE MOIST AMAZING CONDESCENSION. Little magnates of earth deem it a great condescension to allow the humble and lowly to speak to them even at a distance. But here is the Author and Proprietor of the universe, the infinitely holy as well as the transcendently great, permitting this poor, frail, sinful man to lean on His bosom. Let this condescension —

1. Inspire us with adoring gratitude.

2. Consume that pride which prompts man to keep the poor at a distance.

II. THE SUBLIMEST PRIVILEGE. To be so closely allied to Christ as this is to be in the safest and most honourable position. What an honour to recline on the bosom of the King of kings.

III. THE PROFOUNDEST REVERENCE. John addresses Christ as Lord. Familiarity with men, the proverb says, breeds contempt. We know it often breeds discontent. So imperfect are the best of men, that, as a rule, the more we know of them the less reverence we have. Not so with Christ.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

He it is to whom I shall give a sop. — Literally, "the morsel." No incident of Oriental meals is more celebrated in Western narrative than the giving of the morsel, or sop, to a table neighbour, as a mark of favour. It is said that the Shah of Persia, when in London some years ago, could not break himself entirely of the habit, but insisted on passing some morsels to the fine ladies near him, to the danger of their fine dresses; giving rise to the witticism which described the saving for the cat of the morsels left after the meal, by the French sentence, Nous allons les garder pour le chat — "We are going to save them for the Shah (cat). But scarcely a traveller, and certainly no resident, in the East can escape this Oriental courtesy at meals. Since the dishes are generally either stews or cooked almost to pieces, the fingers can easily tear off a morsel. This is dipped in the sauce, thus becoming the sop, and is thrust directly, into the favoured one's mouth. If the mouthful is large, the sauce or gravy is apt to run down the receiver's beard. The present writer has often received the sop at an Oriental meal, and cannot say that, considering the other customs, there is anything uncleanly or repulsive in it. A common mode, however, both of helping one's self and giving the sop to one's neighbour, is to take two pieces of bread, and take up the morsel between them, the pieces of bread serving as spoon, or knife and fork. The sop must, according to all Oriental rules, be considered as a mark of favour; and in Jesus' giving it to Judas, we must, unless we look farther below the surface than we have any light, see only love and goodwill. The giving of the sop, or morsel, seems to be an old Greek custom, as well as an Oriental one; but the citations to sustain that position may be seen collected in Webster's Greek Testament. They are too numerous and voluminous to repeat here. The custom goes back to the time of Socrates, if not to that of Homer.

(S. S. Times.)

He gave it to Judas. — Christ was now standing at the door of the heart of His apostle. He was holding out to him the opportunity of repentance. Judas, however, was unwilling to open that door at the call of Christ, though he opened it to Satan, and so Satan entered into him. The devil had stood knocking at his heart by the his yielding temptation of money; and to the temptation unbarred the door of the sinner's heart, and made him an easy prey to the great tempter.

(W. Denton, M. A.)

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.'

Christ's Special Affection for St. John
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