The Glory of Messiah, 13:1-20:31

The Farewell Discourse, 13:1-17:26

ii] One of you will betray me.


In the previous passage, Jesus makes the point that the disciples, being in a state of blessedness, should exhibit that state in humble service, but sadly not all the disciples are in this state; one intends to break fellowship with God's great I AM and betray him. John goes on to recount the events during Jesus' final fellowship meal with his disciples, as they relate to Judas and his act of betrayal.


Whoever accepts Jesus accepts the one who sent him; whoever rejects Jesus is destined to darkness.


i] Context: See 13:1-17.


ii] Structure: One of you will betray me:

Betrayal and the strengthening of faith, v18-20;

"I know those I have chosen."

Judas the traitor is exposed, v21-26;

"One of you is going to betray me."

Judas departs the fellowship, v27-30;

"What you are about to do, do quickly."


iii] Interpretation:

John now focuses on the one disciple who is not "clean" (v10b-11), one who is not in a state of blessedness, and who is unable to access the blessings associated with humble service. Jesus had indeed chosen Judas as one of the apostles, and will still willingly break bread with him (v26), but Judas has set himself against Jesus, and against the fellowship of believers and its mission. John makes sure that the reader knows that Jesus is fully aware of Judas' intentions, intentions which will serve to fulfill the prophecy of messiah's betrayal in Psalm 41:9, a fact that will further confirm to the disciples that Jesus is God's great I AM. Jesus' betrayal is no surprise to him nor is it outside the providential purposes of God.


From v21 John narrates the events that took place during the evening meal, a meal where Judas leaves the fellowship of believers to betray Jesus. The announcement that one of the disciples is going to betray Jesus obviously causes some concern, and so Simon Peter whispers into the ear of the "disciple whom Jesus loved", asking him to find out from Jesus who did he think would do such a thing. They are all lying on cushions around a low table so it is be easy, in the middle of the usual table-talk at a dinner, for someone to make a personal comment. Jesus tells the beloved disciple that he will identify the betrayer by a gesture of special favor. Dipping a piece of bread in the common sauce-dish, Jesus offers the bread to Judas. An act of love can go one of two ways, it can fire up resentment, or it can melt heart; in Judas case, it reinforces his resentment against Jesus, or as John puts it, "Satan entered into him." So, Jesus tells Judas to do what he wants to do, and do it quickly. The disciples don't understand the point of Jesus words, but they will in time. As soon as Judas has taken the bread he heads off into the darkness; "The light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil", 3:19.


iv] Synoptics

The announcement of betrayal in v21 is found in Matthew 26:21, and Mark 14:18, but with only one amhn. Although the disciples are concerned, only Peter moves to find out who the traitor is, whereas is the synoptics they ask in turn "it is not I, is it?", Matt.26.22, Mk.14:19. Luke records a general discussion, 22:23. In John, Jesus tells the beloved disciple the identity of the traitor.

Text - 13:18

One of you will betray me, v18-30: i] Betrayal and the strengthening of faith, v18-20. John now addresses the issue of the betrayal of Judas. Although one of the chosen twelve, Judas has chosen to turn against Jesus. Judas may have acted for his own selfish ends, but his actions serve to further God's eternal purposes. This is evidenced by his fulfillment of Psalm 41:9.

peri + gen. "[I am not] referring" - [i am not saying] about. Expressing reference / respect; "I am not talking about all of you", CEV.

uJmwn gen. "[all] of you" - The genitive is adjectival, wholative.

egw pro. "I [know those I have chosen]" - i [i know whom i chose]. The personal pronoun is emphatic by use and position. Assuming that Judas is included in Jesus' choice of the twelve (a natural reading of the facts, cf. 6:70), then the clause may mean "I know the type of men I have chosen, and that includes Judas, even though I knew his flawed character, but I chose him in order that scripture might be fulfilled", so Fenton, Bruce, Carson, .... A more likely scenario is that Jesus chose 12 good men, but one of them went astray (John has implied that greed got the better of him), resulting in the fulfillment of scripture; "I chose twelve good men, but by abandoning our fellowship Judas fulfills scripture", so Ridderbos, Sanders, ..... Some commentators use the Nelson approach and move to the next point, cf, Kostenberger, Beasley-Murray, Morris, ... The question of Jesus' deity is not impugned by his inability to properly read Judas' character. Jesus' incarnation entails the adoption of genuine humanity with all its limitations, Jesus "being found in human form"- except sin.

all (alla) "but" - Adversative / contrastive.

iJna + subj. "this is to" - that [the scripture may be fulfilled]. A final clause expressing purpose is unlikely. Again John uses iJna with a more consecutive sense expressing result. Judas' action results in the fulfillment of scripture. Turner suggest an imperative, "Let the scripture be fulfilled", but this is unlikely.

oJ trwgwn (trwgw) pres. part. "he who shared [my bread]" - the one eating [the bread of mine]. The participle serves as a substantive, subject of the verb "to life up."

ep (epi) + acc. "against [me]" - [lifted up] against [me the heel of him]. Expressing influence / opposition / control; "against". Describing a gesture of contempt, "Expressing repudiation of companionship once enjoyed", Harris.


It is important for the disciples know beforehand that Jesus, the Suffering Servant, will be betrayed as prophesied in scripture, so that their belief in him as messiah, God's great I AM, is not undermined. The sense may be that Jesus reveals his coming betrayal beforehand so that faith in him as God's I AM may come later, but this seems unlikely.

apo arti "now" - from now. Temporal construction, "from now on"; "I warn you now", Rieu.

uJmin dat. "you" - [i say] to you. Dative of indirect object.

pro tou + inf. "before [it happens]" - before [the to become = the event]. This construction serves to introduce a temporal clause; "I am telling you this before it happens", CEV.

iJna + subj. "so that" - that [you may believe]. Introducing a final clause expressing purpose, "in order that."

oJtan + subj. "when" - when [it may become = it happens]. This construction introduces an indefinite temporal clause.

oJti "that [I am who I am]" - that [i am]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what they "may believe", namely, that Jesus is God's great I AM, cf., 8:24. A predicate is often added, "I am he", NJB, but "I AM" is probably intended, so Brown.


How does this saying of Jesus, which looks forward to the commissioning of the disciples, 20:21, relate to the betrayal and its fulfillment in scripture? Harris suggests that Jesus is making the point that although his ministry is curtailed by the betrayal of Judas, it will continue through his disciples. They will represent Jesus, and in representing Jesus they will represent God the Father, cf. Matt.10:40, Mk.9:37, Lk.10:16. Harris' observation is convincing and may well be behind John's inclusion of this saying. Carson makes three observations: First, the statement "whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me" aligns with the "I AM" claim; Second, the saying serves as a foil for the failure of Judas by highlighting the continued role of the disciples; Third, the saying aligns Jesus' mission with the mission of the disciples. Schnackenburg thinks that the saying is an illogical insertion of a Matthean saying of Jesus, but Harris identifies its logic, and as we know, John likes to insert key sayings of Jesus into a dialogue in order to drive a point home.

uJmin dat. pro. "[very truly I tell] you" - [truly truly i say] to you. Dative of indirect object. This expressing is commonly used to introduce an important saying of Jesus in the gospels; see 5:24.

an (ean) + subj. "-" - if, as may be the case, [i may send a certain person, then the one receiving him receives me]. Introducing a 3rd. class conditional clause where the proposed condition has the possibility of coming true.

oJ lambanwn (lambanw) pres. part. "whoever accepts" - the one receiving. The participle serves as a substantive, nominative subject of the verb "to send."

de "and" - but/and. Transitional, indicating a logical step in the saying.

ton pemyanta (pempw) aor. part. "the one who sent [me]" - [the one receiving me receives] the one having sent [me]. The participle serves as a substantive, accusative direct object of the verb "to receive." "Receive" is probably used in the sense of "welcome"; "Anyone who welcome me, welcomes the one who sent me", CEV.


ii] Judas the traitor is exposed, v21-26. Jesus is confronted by the full weight of unbelief found in Judas and it breaks him - there is nothing more painful than the treachery of a friend, cf., Ps.42:6. The full weight of Jesus' oblique comments on one not being "clean", one who has "turned against" Jesus, hits home to the disciples when Jesus calls out one of their number as a traitor.

eipwn (legw) aor. part. "After he had said [this]" - having said [these things]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal, as NIV.

tw/ pneumati (a atoV) dat. "in spirit" - [jesus was troubled, disturbed] in the spirit. The dative may be local, sphere, "in the spirit", reference / respect, "with respect to his spirit", or adverbial, modal, expressing manner, "spiritually troubled" = "inwardly agitated", Harris; "Jesus became visibly upset", Peterson. This is not a reference to the Holy Spirit.

oJti "-" - [truly truly i say to you] that. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of direct speech expressing what Jesus says to the disciples.

ex (ek) + gen. "[one] of [you]" - [one] from [you will betray me]. The preposition is being used in the place of a partitive genitive, "one of you."


Obviously the disciples were totally unaware of Judas' intentions.

eblepon (blepw) imperf. "[the disciples] stared" - [the disciples] were looking [into one another]. The use of the imperfect may serve to underline a durative sense, as NIV. Harris also suggests an incepted sense may be intended, "they began to look at each other."

aporoumenoi (aporew) pres. mid. part. "at a loss to know" - being uncertain. The participle is adverbial modifying the verb "were looking", probably modal expressing manner; "the disciples looked at one another, wondering whom he meant", Rieu.

peri + gen. "-" - about. Expressing reference / respect, "wondering about what he said."

tinoV gen. pro. "which of them" - who, what [he said]. Interrogative pronoun, indirect speech. Either "who?", or "what?" Most commentators and translations opt for "who", but Harris suggests "wondering about what he said."


This is the first mention of the "beloved disciple", "the disciple whom Jesus loved." He is mentioned four times and is identified as the source of the gospel tradition for this gospel. A process of elimination leaves us with the apostle John, although some have argued for Lazarus. Note that John is probably not actually leaning on the chest of Jesus, but just to the right of Jesus, possibly resting his head on Jesus' leg. It would be very uncomfortable for Jesus if the beloved disciple was resting his head on Jesus' chest or stomach. Each person around the table would be lying on a cushion on the floor, leaning on their left elbow, with their right hand free to take pieces of flat bread and scoop up a portion from one of the dips. So, the beloved disciple is immediately to the right of Jesus and easily able to say something privately to him.

ek + gen. "[one] of [them]" - [one] from [the disciples of him]. The preposition is used in the place of a partitive genitive.

hgapa (agaph) imperf. "[whom Jesus] loved" - [who jesus] was loving. The imperfect tense is probably being used to express the durative nature of Jesus' love, or even for emphasis, "whom Jesus particularly loved", TH. Here John uses the verb agapaw, and later filew, indicating no distinction between the words with respect to "the beloved disciples." So, "particularly liked" may be the sense - Jesus and John got on well together!

h\n anakeimenoV (anakeimai) pres. mid. part. "was reclining" - The participle with the imperfect verb to-be forms an imperfect periphrastic construction, possibly emphasizing durative action.

en + dat. "next to [him]" - in, on [the chest of jesus]. Local, expressing space. Possibly "on", but "close to" is more likely. "Close beside Jesus", HCSB.


John implies that Peter is using signals to communicate with the beloved disciple, "singled by nodding his head", Harris. Eyes, eyebrows, mouth movement and a finger or two can play a part in non-verbal communication.

oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection; "So Simon Peter motioned to him (the beloved disciple) to find out from Jesus who he is talking about."

toutw/ dat. pro. "[motioned] to this disciple" - [simon peter nods] to this one. The verb "to nod" takes a dative of direct object; "nod to someone as a signal", BAGD. Of course, given the assumed "head", "nod the head to this one", we could classify it as a dative of indirect object.

puqesqai (punqanomai) aor. inf. "and said, 'Ask him'" - to inquire, ask. The verb neuw, "to nod", often takes a dative of persons, + an infinitive specifying content (object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech), "nodded to him to ask = that he might ask ...", or intent (adverbial, expressing purpose), "in order to ask him."

tiV pro. "which one" - who? Interrogative pronoun.

a]n ei[n "he means" - might, could it be. Here the particle an + the optative verb to-be serves as a potential optative, used for modest assertion in a question, here indirect, "Simon Peter nodded to him to ask who it might / could be about whom he said", Zerwick #356. "Peter signed to him to find out which one he means."

peri + gen. "-" - about [whom he says]. Expressing reference / respect, "with respect to whom he speaks."


A quiet question to Jesus gets a direct reply, and so the betrayal progresses.

oun "-" - therefore [that one]. Inferential, establishing a logical connection; "So that disciple .....", ESV.

ouJtwV adv. "-" - thus, in this way, accordingly, so. Adverb of manner, possibly relating to the position of the beloved disciple, "so he, thus = without moving from his place, leant back on Jesus' breast and said", so Rieu, or to the request for information by Peter, "so he, thus = without further ado, leant back .....", BDAG, 742.4, "action to the exclusion of other considerations", Novakovic.

anapeswn (anapiptw) aor. part. "leaning back" - falling back, reclining. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "to say"; "he leant back ........... and said."

epi "against" - upon, on [the chest of jesus]. Spacial; "So that disciple moved closer to Jesus", TEV.

autw/ dat. pro. "[he asked] him" - [said] to him [lord who is it]. Dative of indirect object.


Jesus is simply identifying his betrayer and is not determining or prompting Judas' actions. Dipping the bread and offering it to Judas is something someone would do for a friend, or privileged guest - a mark of special favor; it is a gracious act encouraging Judas to remain part of the fellowship and its mission. Barrett notes that if this meal is the Passover Haggadah, then bread is not used, rather bitter herbs are dipped in the source, although given v18, bread would seem more likely. As to how this meal relates to the Lord's Supper, it may be a preliminary vegetable dish, or a sweet dish following the main meal, but it is clear that John has no interest either way. When it comes to the Passover, John aligns its celebration on the next day, Friday, the day of Jesus' crucifixion - Jesus is the passover lamb.

w|/ dat. pro. "to whom" - [jesus answers, that one is] to whom. This relative pronoun introduces a headless relative clause serving as the nominative predicate of the verb to-be. The pronoun itself is dative of interest, advantage; "that one = he is the one for whom I will give ..."; "I will dip this piece of bread in the source and give it to the one I was talking about", CEV.

egw pro. "I [will give]" - i [i will dip the piece, morsel, broken off piece of bread]. The personal pronoun is emphatic by use.

autw/ dat. pro. "-" - [and will give] to him. Dative of indirect object.

oun "then" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection, "so, consequently", or transitional, "then".

bayaV (baptw) aor. part. "dipping" - having dipped [he takes the morsel]. The participle is adverbial, best treated as temporal; "So when he had dipped the morsel", ESV.

Ioudia/ (a aV) dat. "to Judas" - [and gives the morsel] to judas. Dative of indirect object.

SimwnoV (wn wnoV) gen. "Simon" - The genitive is adjectival, relational; "Judas, son of Simon."

Iskariwtou (hV ou) gen. "Iscariot" - The genitive is adjectival, attributive, idiomatic; "Simon who was a native of the town of Iscariot (Kerioth in Judah / Moab.)


John does not record the prior deal Judas makes with the authorities, Mk.14:10ff. Judas may be mulling over the issue; like Tom in the Loony Tunes Tom and Jerry cartoons, he is caught between the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Yet, irrespective of any prior arrangement Judas may have made with the authorities, John implies that Judas makes up his mind then and there. Jesus has offered him love and loyalty, but Judas gives himself to Satan. So, Jesus dismisses him with a blunt, "Do quickly what you want to do."

meta + acc. "as soon as" - [and] after [receiving the morsel]. Temporal use of the prepersition; "after he had taken the piece of bread." The elliptical nature of the clause has prompted the addition of words like "took" in most translations, given the use of the verb "to receive" in v30.

tote "-" - then [satan entered into that man]. Temporal adverb introducing a temporal clause.

oun "so" - therefore [jesus said to him]. Inferential, drawing a logical conclusion, "therefore".

o} pro. "what" - what [you do, do quickly, without delay]. Introducing a headless relative clause which serves as the direct object of the verb "to say." Somewhat elliptical; Zerwick suggests "what you have to / are about to do." If "about to do" the present tense is expressing contemplated action, tendential / conative, which, given the context, seems likely. Note that Barrett thinks that the inaction of the beloved disciple at this point is reprehensible. "What you are bent on doing do quickly", cf., Barrett.

tacion comp. adj. "quickly" - quicker. Rather than the adverb tacewV, "quickly", John has used the neuter comparative adjective for the adverb; "do it quickly /without delay", Novakovic. Harris suggests it could also be elative, "do it as quickly as possible."


Barrett suggest that this is a secondary statement serving to exonerate the disciples from Judas' sin - a bit cruel!

touto pro. "-" - this. The demonstrative pronoun is forward referencing to proV ti eipen autw/, "toward what he said to him"; "this, namely, why he had said this to him, none at the table understood."

twn anakeimenwn (anakeimai) gen. pres. part. "[no one] at the meal" - [no one knew = understood] of the ones reclining. The participle serves as a substantive, the genitive being adjectival, wholative; "none of those reclining at the table understood."

proV + acc. "why" - toward = for [what he said to him]. Here the preposition expresses purpose, "for"; "the purpose for what he said to him" = "why he said this to him." "None of those at supper understood what he meant by saying this to him", Rieu.


Johannine irony may be at play here with another reference to Judas and money. He looks after the bank account and according to John he is a swindler - he can't keep his hands out of the cooky jar! Even more, there is the assumption that he leaves the fellowship meal to buy the necessary food for the Passover feast on the next day, Friday, and indeed he does just that, he purchases a pure sacrificial lamb for the passover at the cost of thirty pieces of silver, a sacrifice which certainly gives "something to the poor", namely, salvation.

gar "-" - because [some were thinking, supposing]. Introducing a causal clause explaining why the disciples didn't understand what Jesus had said, namely, because of the numerous options that presented themselves.

epei "since" - because [judas has the money bag]. Causal conjunction serving to introduce a causal clause. "Since Judas was the treasurer of the group", Harris.

oJti "-" - that [jesus]. Introducing an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what the disciples may have thought, namely, "that Jesus was telling him ........ or ......."

autw/ dat. pro. "[was telling] him" - [says] to him. Dative of indirect object.

wJn gen. pro. "[to buy] what was needed" - [buy] the things of which [we have need]. The genitive is adjectival, partitive, limiting an assumed "the things", although Novakovic has it limiting creian, "need", "the things we have need of which", verbal, objective; "Some of them thought that Jesus had told him to buy something they needed for the festival", CEV. Note the use of the tense used at the time of thinking these things. Note again that John does not align with the Synoptic gospels when it come to the celebration of the Passover.

eiV + acc. "for [the festival]" - into [the feast]. Here the preposition expresses, goal, end-view, purpose; "for the festival."

h] "or" - Disjunctive.

iJna + subj. "-" - that [he may give certain = something]. Serving to introduce a dependent statement of indirect speech / command expressing what Jesus may have said to Judas. Given that the verb "to buy" is an imperative, the dependent statement here virtually serves as an imperative, expressing what Jesus may have commanded Judas to do.

toiV ptwcoiV adj. "the poor" - The adjective serves as a substantive, dative of direct object. Jeremias notes that a gift to the poor at Passover is particularly appropriate.


So, Judas slinks off into the night. It is likely that the reference to "night" is driven by theological concerns - darkness = evil. An evening meal is held in the late afternoon, not at night. The Passover meal is held at night, some time before midnight, so some commentators use this fact to indicate that the dinner is the Passover meal, although theologically John ties it to the next day, Friday, the crucifixion; See Barrett.

oun "-" - therefore. Inferential, establishing a logical connection, "So, after receiving the morsel of bread", ESV.

labwn (lambanw) aor. part. "as soon as Judas had taken [the bread]" - having taken [the morsel, piece of bread].

ekeinoV pro. "he [went out]" - that one [went out]. Nominative subject of the verb "to go out." The distant demonstrative pronoun is possibly derogatory, although commonly used by John for a personal pronoun.

euquV adv. "-" - immediately. Temporal adverb. Often used to give urgency in a narrative.

de "and" - but/and [it was night]. Transitional, narrative transition to an ominous statement, "It was night." This is not just a statement of fact. Nicodemus emerged from the dark into the light to see Jesus, Judas leaves the light and goes out into the dark. "Judas was swallowed up by ...... outer darkness", Carson, so Morris.


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