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Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jesus Knew Who Would Betray Him

John 13:18-22. Christ foretells that one of the twelve shall betray him.

The Lord Jesus had just given his disciples a proof of his love by washing their feet.

Now he gave them a proof of his omniscience. He showed them that he knew all things, by foretelling who should betray him.

Had he intended to convince them at that moment of his wisdom, he would have revealed the past secrets of their lives, as he once had done to the woman of Samaria.

He told her so much of her past life, that she said to her townsmen, "Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did."

But on this occasion he sought rather to strengthen the disciples' faith in a trying hour that was approaching.

He knew that the betrayal of Judas would tend to shake their faith.

He knew that they might be tempted to think..."If our Master were the Son of GOD, he would have known that Judas sought to betray him, and he would have hid himself in some secret retreat."

Therefore he told them beforehand; as he said, "Now I tell you before it comes, that when it comes to pass, you may believe that I am he."

For the same reason he has foretold many events that are now coming to pass.

He has declared, "Many shall be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."

Whenever hypocrites are detected, instead of being staggered by the discovery, we ought to be confirmed in the faith, and to think, "Did not Jesus say that there should be many who would call him LORD, but who would work iniquity?"

Can we conceive what our feelings would be, if we could foresee what would befall those around us? 

How would our hearts be pained by the thought, "This dear brother will languish long under a tormenting disease. This beloved sister will lose the children that are now smiling on her knees."

But how much more should we be grieved, if we could foresee that some who seem to be faithful followers of Jesus would finally betray him, and perish forever.

What, then, must have been the feelings of the compassionate Savior, when he looked around and beheld the face of one who would soon plunge into the depth of crime, and sink into the abyss of misery! 

He was troubled in spirit, and testified, saying, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

He still grieves over the sorrows that he foresees.

When he looks down upon us, he sees the way that we shall take.

Among the guests at the sacramental table he can distinguish those who will sell their birthright, from those who will inherit his kingdom.

Those who do not love their Master, will not always follow him. 

Judas found it easy to walk with Jesus when an admiring throng tracked his steps; but when circumstances were altered he changed his plan, and found it more convenient to betray him.

There are seasons when the way of godliness appears even to the worldly-minded a pleasant and a glorious path; but these seasons do not last.

A time arrives, sooner or later, when the path becomes steep and rugged; then the unconverted man turns aside into some by-way.

He goes after the world he had forsaken, and seeks for a share in its smiles.

At first, perhaps, he does not leave the assemblies of the saints. 

Like Judas, he may be found by turns in the councils of the ungodly, and in the society of the believers.

Is there any one among us who is secretly siding with Christ's enemies, while he appears to be his friend?

With what compassion Jesus regards such a miserable creature!

He foresees the sorrows that his sins will bring upon him.

He knows what remorse will one day tear him; what despair will take hold of him!

~Favell Lee Mortimer~ (1802—1878)


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