Sunday, September 27, 2015

Jesus is the Father! - John 14:7-15

Jesus is the Father! - John 14:7-15
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 27, 2015

We live in a society that does not value parenthood as past generations did and we suffer from its effects. The percentage of fatherless homes has risen dramatically. It affects learning and study habits, daily nourishment, and societal interaction. It is the outcome of a distorted view of what marriage is the definition of family and our disconnection in murdering the unborn. When living together is seen as the same as marriage, that marriage is defined as anything, and unwanted pregnancies are disposed of through harvesting, it is no wonder our view of fatherhood has faltered.

It is therefore getting more and more difficult for folks to understand the spiritual concept of God the Father and even more disconcerting for folks to understand Jesus is the Father! Here in John's gospel he relates that Jesus wanted us to understand that he is the Father, let's discover why…

READ: John 14:7-15

Some father's are great and are involved with their children while sadly others are never heard from again. It is therefore comforting to know that…

I. We see and hear God the Father through Jesus! (Vv. 7-10)


"If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Jesus answered: "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'? Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work."

  1. We have a tendency to forget the fact that Jesus is totally and completely God. We often think of Jesus only as Savior or someone we are to follow, but not in the sense that he is the Creator of all things. When we do we begin to reduce Jesus to being just a man who taught good things and did nice acts of kindness. The disciples were confused as well and they had Jesus right there in front of them! So he tells them, "If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well." Jesus' words are kind of a rebuke. The idea here is that if they truly knew Jesus as they thought they did, they would realize that he is God the Father; after all he had told them "I and the Father are one." (John 10:30 NIV) He then continues here by telling them, "From now on, you do know him and have seen him." Jesus was him! Philip, however, shows just how spiritually blinded some folks can be and remarks, "Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us." Of course most folks would love to truly speak to or see God. It is kind of a spiritual insecurity on our part. We want to believe but sometimes we wish we could actually see or hear from God. The beautiful truth is the fact we have both seen and heard from him in Jesus! This is why Jesus answered Philip, "Don't you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, 'Show us the Father'?" The same is true for us as well! We see God in his Son Jesus and we hear his words to us from his gospel message! Jesus continues by telling Philip, "Don't you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work." Jesus is not teaching some Eastern metaphysical concept, he is relating that he is God the Father! Everything Jesus did was of God because he is God! Philip, the disciples, and the rest of us see and hear God the Father through Jesus!

  EXAMPLE: I can remember when someone told me that I looked like and sounded like my father. It made me feel good because I loved my Dad. We can find comfort and security in knowing that when we trust Jesus, we are trusting God the Father. We see and hear God the Father through Jesus!

My Dad was a mechanic and did a lot of different things in his life. As I matured and grew I learned that just like my Dad I could do just about anything I put my mind to, from fixing things, working on cars, or simply being handy around the house. Here in John's gospel we discover…

II. We live and work in God the Father through Jesus! (Vv. 11-15)

"Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. If you love me, you will obey what I command."

  1. When Jesus spoke of God the Father living in him he meant he is God. It is God doing the work when Jesus did what he did. This is why Jesus continued by stating, "Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." If Jesus did the miracles of God, it was proof he was God. Early on in his ministry Jesus had told them, "I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me." (John 5:36 NIV) Jesus then continues by teaching them, "I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing." In other words those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus will do the works of God! In fact, Jesus emphatically states that she or "He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." When Jesus returned to his place in heaven he left those who believe in him the ability and task to reach more folks, do more works of God, and thereby do greater things than even he had done! The reason this is true is because Jesus would and "will do whatever you ask in [his] name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father." We often do not fully realize the power and authority Jesus has given us! Jesus relates, "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." Now this is not carte blanche whereby we treat Jesus as our personal Genie nor is it a special prayer formula to be rigidly adhered to in order to garner the good graces of God: "In Jesus' name!" John would later clarify this by writing, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him." (1 John 5:14-15 NIV) Jesus relates that it boils down to "If you love me, you will obey what I command." We live and work in God the Father through Jesus!

  EXAMPLE: When I work around the house, change the oil in my truck, or sit and read I often think of my father. I can picture him in my mind doing similar things and he really enjoyed reading. He loved Louis L'Amour and Zane Grey, and also science fiction just like I do. We often see ourselves in our children and whether they like it or not they see themselves in us! The same is true for those who trust Christ with their lives and we discover that we live and work in God the Father through Jesus!

Conclusion:

We see and hear God the Father through Jesus! We live and work in God the Father through Jesus! Now let me ask you, do you know God the Father through Jesus his Son?

This article is copyrighted © 2015 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The way, the truth, the life! - John 14:1-6

The way, the truth, the life! - John 14:1-6
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 20, 2015

In the book Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a "trilogy" of five books published between 1979 and 1992, relates the story of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed to be 42, Deep Thought explained that the answer was incomprehensible because the beings it was speaking to didn't know what they were asking. Of course this was nonsensical science fiction, but the question of what the secret to life has often been discussed. There are those who look for some secret or mystical sign from God or anywhere in order to discover for themselves what this might be.

There are folks who think that the secret to life is in unwrapping the hidden god in you, finding some esoteric teaching that will bring everything together in one cosmic consciousness, some believe it is a yearning programmed into us by aliens from another galaxy, and then there are those who claim not to care at all thinking there is no meaning to life whatsoever. We find in John's gospel that the secret of life has been revealed in Jesus. Let's discover what Jesus teaches us concerning the way, the truth and the life…

READ: John 14:1-6

According to Jesus we discover that the way, the truth, and the life…

I. Gives us a future hope and a present comfort! (Vv. 1-3)

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am."

  1. Knowing what was going to happen to him soon and knowing what would happen to his followers, Jesus teaches them to not let their "hearts be troubled." The word "troubled" here in this verse means agitated or shaken and whether we are shaken or troubled in this world, we can find comfort in Jesus. So whatever concerns us, we absolutely have comfort in Jesus. Why? Jesus' reasoning is based on the fact that if we can "Trust in God" we can also "trust" in him. After all he is God and trusting in one is trusting in the other! If you think your problems in life are harsh, remember Jesus is addressing those who would have to struggle with the fact one of their own just left to betray Jesus, another would deny him three times, and the rest would run away as fast they could when confronted with the armed guards arresting Jesus! They would feel like frightened, hunted orphans, left on their own. Jesus continues to comfort them by telling them, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you." Much has been written about this. Some believe it is actual houses, others special rooms, while the wording suggests the place where God has prepared places for his disciples to abide. God's kingdom, where he is, is a big big house with lots and lots of room for all of those who have trusted in him! In fact it is a certainty because otherwise Jesus would have told us so! And, in fact, he is "going there to prepare a place" for them! His death, burial, and resurrection followed by his ascension provided a place for us in his kingdom! Yet the wonderful promise Jesus tells them, "And if I go and prepare a place for you," which he definitely did, then "I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." We discover that the way, the truth, and the life gives us a future hope and a present comfort!

  EXAMPLE: Our hope and comfort in Jesus is more than pie in the sky when we die, it is for the here and now as well. However, the truth that Jesus just taught his disciples is reinforced when he returned to his throne in heaven. The Book of Acts relates that after Jesus finished speaking to his disciples, "he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 'Men of Galilee,' they said, 'why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.'" (Acts 1:9-11 NIV) Jesus comforts us now and he is coming back, this truth gives us a future hope and a present comfort!

According to Jesus we discover that…

II. The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone! (Vv. 4-6)

"You know the way to the place where I am going." Thomas said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

  1. Jesus does not leave them guessing about what he just told them and in fact we too know where he went. We know that Stephen, the first martyr for Jesus while he was being stoned to death, "full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God." (Acts 7:55 NIV) Peter told the crowd at Pentecost, "God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel." (Acts 5:31 NIV)  Paul would say that God's mighty power was "exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. (Ephesians 1:20-21 NIV) However, Thomas, the one who often wants proof, said to him, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?" Throughout his three years with them Jesus had told them over and over where he was headed and why, but they did not completely understand it. Some believe Jesus is simply a "way shower," in that he just shows us the way to God, but Jesus is far more than that. Jesus tells them bluntly, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This is a forceful statement, meaning it is kind of like your parents telling you, "No you cannot set your little brother on fire!" Jesus is the only way, the only truth, and the only life; there is no other way to God, no other truth of God, and no other life besides that with God. The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone!

  EXAMPLE: It baffles me how some folks think it is intelligent not to believe there is a God when there is so much proof that there is indeed a Creator. The genetic code, the workings of the universe, microbiology, and even mathematics point to a logical and consistent creation. In fact, we have more evidence that Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected than we have for the existence of George Washington, Plato, or that Julius Caesar existed. Why would I say this? Simply because Jesus has more contemporaneous evidences, historians, and folks who wrote eye-witness accounts than Plato, Washington, or Caesar had. So when Jesus says what he does about himself, we had better pay attention, and after all Washington, Plato, or Caesar did not rise from the dead and ascend into heaven! The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone!

Conclusion:

The way, the truth, and the life give us a future hope and a present comfort! The way, the truth, and the life are found in him alone! Do you know the way, the truth, and the life?

This article is copyrighted © 2015 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

True Love - John 13:31-38

True Love - John 13:31-38By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 13, 2015

Recently those who study such things declared that Facebook can be detrimental to a relationship or a marriage and in fact more and more divorces are being done because of Facebook. Some suggest that a Facebook relationship status for some is the equivalent of a high school promise ring! Left over photos of old relationships is another problem. Also a photo that you may think as completely harmless, may make her cringe, cry or call it quits. Not constantly posting every wonderful little detail of your last date might bring her wrath as well. Plus, if you get too many nice comments from old flames, she may feel threatened and throw your ring at you. And it is worse when her old flames keep telling her how sexy she looks. Then there is the number of friends, if for some reason she has half the metro area befriended you may struggle where her interest really lies. Face it; Facebook is not the best place to try to nurture your relationship. Love is deeper than your posting.

True love is found in Jesus and we discover here in John's gospel the true extent of his love for us. During the last Passover meal he shared with his disciples we discover what that love looked like and how Jesus described it as well. Let's begin to look at what true love looks like…

READ: John 13:31-38

It is comes as no surprise that most of us realize that we live in a "me first" era. This myopic attitude has crept into the church as well. Some have forgotten that worship, church, and our lives in Christ are not about us. Like Paul would declare, "For in him we live and move and have our being." (Acts 17:28 NIV) The reason is obvious and here in John's gospel we discover that…

I. True love glorifies God!  (Vv. 31-32)

When he was gone, Jesus said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.

  1. In our day and age we have forgotten what it means to glorify God. I believe that many think it simply means to feel good about or to have nice feelings towards God. Then there are those who think if they give God some credit for the good things happening in their life, then God will bless them even more! Neither of these is true. Here we discover Jesus wanting God to be glorified. However it takes on a whole new meaning when we fully understand that it is Jesus who is the one who desires to glorify God. After Judas slithered away to do Satan's will, Jesus prays out loud, "Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him." The words glorified and glorify occur five times in these two verses. Jesus' humility and His righteousness were also made known when he came to earth as a baby, grew to be a man, and humbled himself in his death, burial, and in the victory of his resurrection! The Father was also glorified in Jesus’ death because it displayed his sacrificial and gracious love. The culmination of Jesus' life purpose was about to occur, so, "If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once." Whatever was about to occur the disciples did not need to worry or be concerned, it was all part of the glory of God. What we often forget is the fact that this is true for our lives as well. If we live for Jesus we are glorifying God with our lives and he is pleased. Like Jesus we are to live our lives for God because true love glorifies God!

  EXAMPLE: One of the most poignant moments in the New Testament is when facing his own death Paul writes his friend Timothy, "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." (2 Timothy 4:6-7 NIV) Hudson Taylor, the wonderful English missionary to China said that, "I am no longer anxious about anything, as I realize the Lord is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest positions He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult, His grace is sufficient." True love glorifies God!

II. True love loves fellow Christians! (Vv. 33-35)

"My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

  1. Jesus, knowing what was about to happen, tells his disciples, "My children, I will be with you only a little longer." It is an endearing term of someone who has spent time, effort, and a lot of sweat daily training and working intimately with his disciples. He knew they were still immature, like little children, in their spiritual understanding. He knew they would be devastated when he was illegally tried, convicted, and murdered. Jesus deeply cared for the men he had trained for three and a half years to be the foundation of his church. So he reminds them of what he had been telling them all along, "You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come." Jesus was going to be in the hands of those who would kill him and he would die. Their time for martyrdom had not come. However, Jesus leaves them with a new focus for their lives. He tells them, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." This is not the limp-wristed hurtsy feelie kind of mushy love that many exhibit in our day. It is the down in the trenches getting dirty kind of love that is willing to sacrifice one's time, talent, or treasure to see the lost won to Jesus. Christians are to love one another in spite of their many foibles failures or disappointments. Jesus knew Peter. He knew the rest of his followers just as he knows us now. Jesus loved us through his sacrificial death and we are to sacrifice ourselves for one another as well! It is his command and not a suggestion. And yet it is often far easier for some believers to love the lost more than they care for their fellow Christians. The truth remains, Jesus tells them, that "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." True love loves fellow Christians!

  EXAMPLE: There was a movie out not too long ago called The Bucket List. The main plot follows two terminally ill men (portrayed by Nicholson and Freeman) on their road trip with a wish list of things to do before they "kick the bucket." What if Christians realized that their lives were not their own and that they needed a "bucket list" of gracious things they would do for fellow believers? Paul relates, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves." (Romans 12:10 NIV) Jesus tells us, "Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." True love loves fellow Christians!

III. Sometimes we fail at true love! (Vv. 36-38)


Simon Peter asked him, "Lord, where are you going?" Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later." Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Then Jesus answered, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!"

  1. We do not like to discuss it or face it in our own lives, how would we explain it in the life of one of Jesus' disciples? Especially when it comes to Peter who is supposed to be one of the giants of the New Testament? Yet we see for ourselves Jesus telling him that despite his confessed love for his Master, he would fail him during his greatest need. Clueless Peter asks Jesus, "Lord, where are you going?" Like the rest of his disciples Peter is still thinking of the moment. His focus is not on what Jesus is going to do or even where he is going to go but rather on how it will affect his own life! Peter's love for Jesus was such he wanted to be with his rabbi. Jesus replied, "Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later." Jesus' words are prophetic in that Peter would be martyred later for his faith just as Jesus would soon die for them, but not now. Impulsive Peter like many in our day and age, who are quick to speak their devotion for Jesus but are unwilling to understand the consequences of their choice, naively speaks up, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you." Peter does not fully understand what his impulsive statement means. Jesus response is chilling, "Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!" Peter does not understand that mere words of devotion are sometimes simply not enough. Actions speak louder than words and his actions would soon speak louder than his hasty words! Sometimes we fail at true love!

  EXAMPLE:  The old saying, "There but for the grace of God go I" could be used for those who want to live for Jesus but sometimes find it difficult to do. Even Paul lamented that "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do." (Romans 7:15 NIV) I don't know about you but that describes me all too often. The wonderful truth is that even when we fail in showing our love for Jesus, we can dust ourselves off and decide to live for him anew. John would later write, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 NIV) Like Peter, we sometimes we fail at true love!

Conclusion:

True love glorifies God, loves fellow Christians, and sometimes we fail at it!

This article is copyrighted © 2015 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Betrayal! - John 13:18-30

Betrayal! - John 13:18-30
By Pastor Lee Hemen
September 6, 2013

Treason used to be such a dirty word, but in our day and age some folks who betray their countries are seen as heroes and adulated by the mainstream media. I suppose it depends upon what your government is doing, but how do you feel when you are personally betrayed by someone you trust? What an awful feeling to have someone who is nice to you publically, but stabbing you in the back privately. As a pastor I have incredulously watched as folks tell me to my face that I could count on them no matter what and immediately do the opposite. And sadly actually think they are doing the will of God in their betrayal.

This is nothing new, even Jesus faced betrayal by one of his disciples, one of the men he had chosen to follow him. Can you imagine being a friend, being seen as a confidant, doing the work of God, and then betraying the one God has sent into your life? This is exactly what occurs in the verses John shares with us next. It is the intimate details of betrayal. Let's see what happens…

READ: John 13:18-30

Judas' name has become synonymous with betrayal. Like Norway's Vidkun Quisling who participated in Germany's Final Solution or Benedict Arnold who betrayed America to the British during the Revolutionary War. Here in john's gospel we discover…

I. The plan of God and the plot of Judas' betrayal! (Vv. 18-22)


"I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.' I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me." His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.

  1. After displaying his willingness to serve, Jesus stood up and went back to his place. When he had settled himself he told them, "I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen." Perhaps his followers were wondering what he meant when he had earlier remarked, "you are clean, though not every one of you." Now he tells them that only one of them was not "clean". One of them was thinking of the unthinkable, but Jesus reassures them by also stating, "I know those I have chosen." Jesus knew who would betray him. And he also knew those he has chosen to follower him, just as he does today. He explains, "But this is to fulfill the scripture: 'He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.'" Jesus' selection of Judas was not an accident or a failure in God’s plan. Jesus by design chose his betrayer; however, Judas was fully responsible for his betrayal. Just as God knows who will come to him or not, we are still culpable for our choice. So why would Jesus explain this to them? He tells them, "I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He." It would help his disciple's in their faith! Here is the hard truth that much of the world wants to deny but that Jesus emphatically taught, "I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me." When one accepts the gospel message then they accept God's truths, if they don't then they are not saved. Again, "After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, 'I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.'" Judas would betray Jesus. The truth was and is that anyone was and is capable of betraying Jesus, but there was one chosen to do so, Judas. He had already made his agreement with Satan to do so. His disciples were incredulous and they "stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant." Here we find the plan of God and the plot of Judas' of betrayal!

  EXAMPLE: In our convoluted thinking we often root for the underdog, but there is no underdog to root for here. Judas is no one we should feel sympathy for. I cringe at some of the Pollyanna Christianity we sometimes see. We are to pray for those who would persecute us that they would change or come to Christ. However, there is a time to shake the dust off one's feet and move on. And there are those who are preordained for God's wrath because of their perverted natures. You might argue that only God knows, but God has also given us the Holy Spirit to be able to make these discernments. "Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear--hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh." (Jude 1:22-23 NIV) Paul writes we are to "Have nothing to do with them." (2 Timothy 3:5 NIV) And this is why he would also write, "Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him. You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned." (Titus 3:10-11 NIV) Here we find the plan of God and the plot of Judas' of betrayal!

It has often surprised me how clueless people can be. Perhaps it is because we become so wrapped up in ourselves that we fail to see what others are going through or what they are planning. Here in John's gospel…

II. We discover the ignorance of betrayal! (Vv. 23-30)


One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, "Ask him which one he means." Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

  1. Interestingly we would like the disciples to be wonderful people who only thought of others first, but we discover they were very human. They often thought of themselves first. So we find that "One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, 'Ask him which one he means.'" Some speculate this disciple whom Peter questioned was probably John himself. So the big fisherman, Peter the pushy one, had to have the youngest disciple ask their Master the question he wanted answered. John, "Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, 'Lord, who is it?'" We find Jesus reaching out a hand of friendship, "'It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.' Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon." This is a physical act of grace on Jesus' part because the host, Jesus, giving the first piece of bread in a meal was seen as an honor. Judas received this last chance to change his mind, but he does not. His fate is sealed by his choice and "As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him." He was totally given over to his depravity of trying to force Jesus' hand in proclaiming himself as King. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus calmly tells Judas. The rest of the disciples are clueless, as they often were, and "no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him." And that "Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor." They should have known Judas' character, they should have understood Jesus' statement, and they should have been able to stop him, but it was not to be because it was not part of God's plan. Judas had deceived his peers but not Jesus. Judas left the light of friendship, fellowship, and faith and went out into the darkness of selfishness, sin, and deception. John relates, "As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night." It is breathtaking in the ignorance of Judas' selfishness and the disciple's nearsightedness. Here we discover the ignorance of betrayal!

  EXAMPLE: The disciples thought Judas was going out to help the poor but in fact we learn that he had earlier struggled with the gift of a woman, perhaps Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who willingly anointed Jesus with expensive perfume. We are told that "Then one of the Twelve--the one called Judas Iscariot--went to the chief priests and asked, 'What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?' So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over." (Matthew 26:14-16 NIV) Judas actually thought he could force Jesus' hand and earn a few bucks at the same time and through it all the disciples were clueless. Sadly we can be just as clueless in our betrayal of Jesus. John shows us the ignorance of betrayal.

Conclusion:

Here we find the plan of God and the plot of Judas' of betrayal! Here we discover the ignorance of betrayal! Have you betrayed Jesus?

This article is copyrighted © 2015 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.