Glorious Dark Night
Last week we looked at the beginning of John 13.
We examined Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
And in that act we talked about the intense love and humility that Jesus Demonstrated.
After Jesus had washed the feet of his Disciples he told them that their lives need to be marked by the same love and humility if they are going to serve him.
And if they serve others in the same love and humility they will be blessed.
That’s a great start to the last hours of Jesus’ Ministry as he prepares them for his departure.
But John 13 soon takes a turn.
After the foot washing John highlights the betrayal of Judas.
Now what do you think about when you think about betrayal?
This past week when I was thinking about betrayal I was thinking about and doing research on some of the biggest betrayal in history.
Just so we are all on the same page, betrayal happens when someone we thought was for us turns out to be against us.
They played the part of friend, relative, or confidant, but turned against us when it was convenient for them.
For example, in 1950 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were arrested for selling secret information and recruiting spies for the Russians that had to do with American Security.
They played the part of American Citizens, but betrayed the country.
Another historical example of Betrayal is so famous that it is immortalized in a Shakespearean Play.
Julius Caesar was not a well liked ruler of his empire.
And there was a conspiracy to get rid of him.
He was then stabbed by his nephew, Marcus Junius Brutus.
Prompting Julius Caesar to say the famous line “Et tu, Brutus?”
Though these are some well known betrayals in history, there are many that we know that have felt the sting of betrayal.
Losing a Job b/c someone took credit for your hard work.
A friendship that’s ruined over lies and deception.
Families ripped apart b/c of infidelity.
Betrayal is a reality for many of us.
In fact, it is such a disease in our world that even Jesus was affected by betrayal.
A friend and follower who turned him over to the authorities for some money.
One of the things I want us to see this morning is that the betrayal was not the end of the road for Jesus.
He expected to be betrayed.
He knew the reality of what was going to happen.
The betrayal of Judas helped bring the Glory of Jesus.
So, just to quickly reset the scene so we can see what happening.
Jesus is having dinner with his close group of followers.
This is the last night they would dine together before Jesus was crucified.
He had just washed their feet and it was time for Jesus to set expectations for what was about to happen.
Belief and Unbelief
We have talked a lot throughout this series in John about Belief and Unbelief.
If we remember, the whole reason that John writes this gospel is so that people will believe.
John 20:30-31 “30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book.
31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
So naturally he is going to point out and report about situations and people that both believe and don’t believe.
After Jesus tells the disciples to love like he does.
To have humility like he does.
And that those that belong to him will exhibit these qualities he hits the disciples with v.18
Not all who were with him were for him.
Jesus had chosen this group of men to follow him around and to learn from him.
He had chose each one of these 12 men to serve a particular purpose in his life and ministry.
Let’s not look past that.
Jesus knew how each of these men would treat him.
Each of the men Chosen by Jesus were chosen for a purpose.
And the purpose by which he chose them was so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.
That God’s word will come to pass.
That the promises made to God’s people would find their fulfillment and culmination in Jesus.
Then Jesus uses a quote from Psalm 41:9
John 13.18 “...The one who eats my bread has raised his heel against me.”
Ps 41 is a Psalm of David after he felt the sting of betrayal.
After one of his closest friends turned on him.
David is lamenting the Betrayal.
He is crying out to God for comfort and vengeance.
Jesus knows whats about to happen.
He knows that Judas is about to betray him.
So he quotes a Psalm that would have been known by the disciples to speak about his betrayal.
This Psalm is complex in that it talks about both the intimacy of the offender and the disgrace brought by the offender.
The one who eats my bread is a picture of one that is close.
Someone who regularly shares a meal with you.
Most people don’t regularly invite strangers into their home.
But we do invite friends, family, and those we have a relationship with.
The one who betrays Jesus has developed a relationship with him.
He has been there for 3 years.
He is a friend of Jesus.
But he is going to raise his heel against Jesus.
This is a phrase that is attributed to a horse or donkey kicking at someone.
Not only that but at this time and in this culture raising your heel at someone is extremely insulting and dishonoring.
So for a friend that is closer than a brother to raise their heel against you would be one of the ultimate betrayals.
We’re going to see that the one that has been around Jesus, shared bread with him, and now betrays him doesn’t actually believe in Jesus as Messiah.
He is wrapped up in unbelief.
But Jesus wants to help those who do believe.
That’s why he is telling them what is going to happen.
That he is going to be betrayed by someone close to him.
He wants them to know that he isn’t surprised by the turn of events.
And going a little further his prediction is going to help solidify their understanding of his divinity.
It is going to help them see that he truly is God in flesh.
That’s what he means in v. 19 when he says
Jn 13.19 “19 I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am he.”
Then he tells the disciples this:
jn 13:20 “20 Truly I tell you, whoever receives anyone I send receives me, and the one who receives me receives him who sent me.””
He is now marking out those who believe, the original 11, that they are sent out by Jesus.
And if they believe what they teach.
Then they receive Jesus.
This is building upon what Jesus has said previously.
Previously, he said if they believe in the Son then they will be accepted by the father.
Because he is sent by the Father.
Now he is sending the disciples out.
And if they accept the message of the disciples then they accept Jesus.
And they will be accepted by the Father.
There’s this threefold acceptance.
As followers of Jesus all of us have been called into relationship with Jesus so that we can be sent out to be a blessing to the world.
As Jesus calls us in he also sends us out.
Sends us out to preach the message of the good news.