Troubled in Spirit, John 13:21-30

“When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’” John 13:21.

A first impression of Jesus being troubled in spirit would be that He was stressed as He thought of His betrayal and impending crucifixion. But the greater likelihood is that He was troubled by the knowledge that Judas was going to betray Him.

Hard as it is to grasp, Jesus loved Judas Iscariot, and was truly troubled knowing that this man had resisted all of the love, kindness, and trust heaped upon him.

“Jesus answered him, ‘The first of all the commandments is: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’” Mark 12:29-31.

“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Galatians 5:14.

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well…” James 2:8.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8.

“And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16.

The law is a reflection of who God is, it is meant to show us how impossible it is for us to merit God’s favor on our own.

The entire law is meant to be kept and if one fails on just one point:

“For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10.

However, even though man is incapable of meriting God’s favor by being righteous enough to come into His presence; God, because of His great love for us, reached out to man and made a way to give us the righteousness of Christ.

All that remains for us to do is to reach out and take His hand and allow Him to pull us out of the mire.

“But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and Prophets, even the righteousness of God which is through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…” Romans 3:21-24.

If Jesus is God incarnate, God the Son, as He has consistently maintained throughout the gospels; if Christ is absolutely sinless as maintained throughout the entire New Testament; if as it says, we break one of the commandments, we break them all; if to love one’s neighbor as one’s self is the royal law, and the whole law hangs on love for one another; then Jesus had to have loved Judas Iscariot.

Love will be mentioned sixteen times between here in chapter 13 through 17; only one will not be in reference to God’s love, or love for one another.

“Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to Him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.’ And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” John 13:22-26.

After announcing that one of them would betray Him, the disciples were perplexed about whom He spoke. They must have looked around the room at each other, wondering who it might be. But there was not a trace of guilt of the face of Judas Iscariot, no flushed cheeks, no downcast eyes, so the mystery remained, as they questioned the Lord.

“And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, ‘Lord, is it I?’” Matthew 26:22.

“Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, ‘Rabbi, is it I?’ He said to him, ‘You have said it.’” Matthew 26:25.

The Apostle John who wrote the gospel of John refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, here in John 13:23, also in 20:2, 21:7 and in 21:20; an indirect reference is made in John 19:26.

Did Jesus love John the disciple more than the others; or us, for that matter? No, He did not; it was John’s closeness to the Lord that made him feel the love of Jesus more than most.

Jesus cannot love John, you or I anymore than He does at this moment; God is infinite, His love is infinite, you have all you can handle right now.

It is the devil’s lie that you must be good, work harder, serve in the church, be a missionary, dress a certain way, read only your Bible constantly, or lie flat on the floor begging Him to forgive you for your sins over and over, or He will not love you.

None of that will make God love you more; you already have all of His love, you cannot merit more, and you cannot lose it, just accept it.

However, there are things that will bring you into a closer relationship with God and as you study the New Testament you will find out what they are.

When you practice them, your relationship with God will have fewer hindrances on your part, and will become like that of John and Jesus.

While God will not love you more than He does now, you will feel His love more and more as you progress and soon enough you will realize that you are the disciple that Jesus loves.

A good place to start is to practice keeping the royal law.

“If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ you do well…” James 2:8.

Your neighbor is not just the person next door; your neighbor is your spouse, children, other family members, best friend, and those in your church. Begin with these, and ask yourself, do I really love them as much as I love myself?

“Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” John 13:23.

I realize that every time this verse comes up, I harp on it, but there are those who see a lewd relationship between these two men and I want to make sure that it is clear that there is nothing wrong going on between the sinless Creator of all things and His disciple John.

John is generally conceded to be a teenager at this point and emotionally probably still very young. When I say that, I do not mean that he had not taken on the responsibilities of an adult.

Being a fisherman it is likely that John had endured hardships at sea and worked harder than most young adults today and as such was far more adult than any of them.

Children today are brought up in filth, everything from condom dispensers in high schools to explicit sex education in elementary school.

The vast majority of thirteen year old boys and many girls have seen pornographic images on the internet that those from the thirties, forties, and fifties would not have even conceived of.

Once these things enter the mind, they can never be erased and in time, the viewer becomes more perverse in their thinking which affects their actions.

Children are being robbed of their childhood by sick degenerate social engineers who have a godless agenda.

“Be not deceived: Evil companionships corrupt good morals.” 1 Corinthians 15:33, American Standard Version.

It could be said that this includes the things we see with our eyes, read, or hear. In fact the J.B. Phillips Translation puts it this way; verse 34 is included here.

“Don’t let yourselves be deceived. Talking about things that are not true is bound to be reflected in [your] practical conduct. Come back to your senses, and don’t dabble in sinful doubts. Remember that there are men who have plenty to say but have no knowledge of God. You should be ashamed that I have to write like this at all!” 1 Corinthians 15:33-34.

The point here is that before all of this took hold, and it did not just start with the internet, but years before; prior to the beginning of the destruction of childhood, children matured sexually much later.

Boys loved to play sports and ride their bikes while girls still played with dolls and could walk down the street holding hands without someone snickering.

It is hard to imagine that now, and for that reason it is hard to imagine John leaning on the breast of God the Son.

Mothers, are you being lewd when you embrace your teenage child? Somewhere someone with a lewd filthy mind will snicker.

Fathers, are you being lewd when you embrace your teenage son or daughter? Somewhere someone with a lewd filthy mind will snicker.

Are you being lewd when you embrace your mother, father, grandchild, when you embrace a grieving friend or relative? Somewhere someone with a lewd filthy mind will snicker.

The so-called progressives have taught the last generation to think filthy and to be filthy, and they are teaching children today to think filth.

Do not let any of these perverts tell you that the sinless Christ was a sexual deviate; it is a blasphemous slander conceived by Satan himself.

“And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” John 13:26b.

Giving the bread to Judas was the last time the Lord reached out to him, because traditionally it was an honor to receive the dipped bread from the host.

But there was no softening of a heart hardened by sin, Judas had never accepted Christ’s invitation to believe on Him for the remission of sin and remained nothing more than a godless sinner of the worst kind.

God will work diligently with the vilest of sinners in an effort to turn them from their ways, but there will come a time when they will say no for the last time.

When that happens, God gives them over to their sinful ways and allows it to take its course until they are turned in to hell.

This is why we can say that Christ died for Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Vlad the Impaler, and any number of evil persons, including, Marx, and Lenin.

Jesus did indeed die for them but at some point in their lives they said no for the last time, became even more hardened and were given over to Satan.

“Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways!’” Ezekiel 33:11a.

“Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’” John 13:27.

Having already put it into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus, Satan sinks to his lowest depths when he infests a man like a common demon as he did the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

But the opportunity to be an instrument in the torture and murder of the Son of God is too much to pass up, so he himself possesses Judas.

“What you do, do quickly.” The idea here is, supper is over, you have fulfilled your religious obligations, and you do not need to sit around looking innocent, go do your task.

The fact that he was free to leave is corroborated by the fact that aside from being mildly curious, no one blinked an eye when he left.

“But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, ‘Buy those things we need for the feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.” John 13:28-30.

“And it was night.” What an ominous phrase!

“Then Jesus said to them, ‘A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.’ These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.” John 12:35-36.

Judas stepped out into the darkness and within hours entered everlasting night. Scriptures that tell us of men like Judas give us a picture of his horrific fate in the cold desolation of darkness forever.

“These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, to whom the gloom of darkness is reserved forever.” 2 Peter 2:17.

“Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves; they are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” Jude 11-13.

Cain rejected God’s provision for his salvation and decided to do it his own way. Balaam was a greedy, deceitful prophet for hire. Korah rebelled against God’s designated authorities.

Judas and these godless men were all of these things. They are all “wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.”

Troubled in Spirit, John 13:21-30 taken from posted on 3-6-13, updated on 1-15-18.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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