Out of Light, Into Darkness, Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 208)
TEXT: John 13:21-26
21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.
23 Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
25 He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?
26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 208.
Thomas Watson said, “O saints, let your thoughts dwell upon the love of Christ, who passed by angels and thought of you; who was wounded so that, out of his wounds, the balm of Gilead might come to heal you; who leaped into the sea of his Father’s wrath to save you from drowning.”
Although He is God, Jesus was not above being affected emotionally by Judas’ betrayal. We read that, as a man, Jesus was “troubled in his spirit” by this prospect. The word translated as ‘troubled’ is ‘tarasso’; it means “to agitate, to cause inward commotion, to take away calmness of mind, to render anxious or distressed.” Imagine how you would feel if you found out that someone you had known and loved for years, someone you considered to be a friend, was secretly plotting your downfall. You, too, would be troubled.
Speaking out of this troubled spirit, Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.” Immediately, the disciples looked around at each other wondering who it could be among them. They were still recovering from the shock of Jesus washing their feet, and now they are hit with another astounding piece of information. One of them — one of the twelve sitting around that table — would betray Jesus. Perhaps they thought that this betrayal would happen by accident — that one of them would slip up in a vulnerable moment. But they never imagined that one of their own would deliberately turn against Jesus.
The Bible says that, in the midst of this commotion, “Simon Peter therefore beckoned to [John, who was sitting beside Jesus], that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.” Peter, as usual, wanted to get to the bottom line. “Who is it? Tell us his name.” The disciples wanted to deal with the traitor in their midst right then and there. Luke tells us that, after Jesus revealed that He would be betrayed, one of the disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, behold, here are two swords.” We know that Peter was one of the two who had a sword, and he was not above using it. (In the Garden of Gethsemane, when Judas and the Jewish authorities came to arrest Jesus, the other disciple asked, “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” But Peter did not ask.)
So Peter signals to John to ask Jesus for the identity of the traitor. He did, and “Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” A sop was a piece of bread dipped in gravy which the host at a dinner gave to an honored guest. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “Giving the morsel to Judas was an uncaught sign of recognition to John, but it was also the Lord’s final extension of grace to Judas. A host giving a morsel of bread to a guest was a sign of friendship. How ironic that Jesus’ act of friendship to Judas signaled Judas’ betrayal of friendship.”
Sometimes, we think that people are against us or out for our downfall and, with no real proof, we begin to treat that person with suspicion, wariness, and a negative attitude. Jesus, however, although He knew that Judas would betray Him, continued to show love and kindness. In fact, as the clock was winding down, it seems as though Jesus treated him with more grace than was warranted, even to the point of not revealing him before the rest of the disciples and repeatedly giving him a chance to repent. One commentator said, “When Jesus offers Judas a special morsel from the common dish, such as it was customary for a host to offer to an honoured guest, it is a mark of divine love which ever seeks to overcome evil with good.”
It is easy for us to look down our noses at Judas. We see him as the ultimate evil one in Scripture. But the truth of the matter is that, if we are not careful, we can easily end up being just as wicked. History has shown that the human race is capable of great and severe depravity. But an even greater truth is that Jesus shows the same grace, mercy, and love to us that He showed to Judas. He persistently calls us to repent of our sins, to turn to Him, to turn from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God.
As one hymn says…
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling—
Calling for you and for me;
Patiently Jesus is waiting and watching—
Watching for you and for me!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading—
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies—
Mercies for you and for me?
Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised—
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon—
Pardon for you and for me!
Jesus is calling. Jesus is waiting. Jesus is pleading with you to come to Him. He will wait until the last moment possible for you to be saved. Will you trust Him as Savior today?
John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved…. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.