Relationships can withstand an enormous amount of pressure, but betrayal is sure to end most. The old English word means to hand over or to deliver. Think of it: while Jesus was about to deliver the world from sin and its destruction, Judas was about to deliver the Savior over to His enemies. If you've ever felt betrayed by someone, this study will have special application to you.
"But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" John 20:31.
Believe:879 is an epic journey through the book of John led by Pastor Skip Heitzig of Calvary of Albuquerque. As we explore each of the 879 verses of this gospel, we'll grow in grace and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. From His pre-incarnate existence, to His public ministry, through His death and His resurrection we'll traverse familiar territory and embark on new adventures of faith.
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Pondering the Principles:
Greek Terms: ταράσσω - tarasso- agitated, troubled
Figures Referenced: John Newton; Peter Miller; George Washington
Cross References: Psalm 41; Isaiah 41:22-23; Matthew 12:22-25; Matthew 26:22; Luke 6:8; Luke 6:12-16; John 4:16-19; Romans 8:28; Hebrews 4:15
Keywords: betray, betrayal, Judas, Last Supper, omniscience
Let's pray together: Lord it's just great to be together, some have gathered in this auditorium and some are next door in the hub a part of us. Some are outside under the sun who are listening. Some are online or on radio. How we thank you that we have the technology that enables all of that. We're even more thankful that your Holy Spirit can go above and transcend any barrier that we might have. If there is a barrier in our heart of any kind we pray it would be removed and you would have the opportunity to share with us with our hearts, your truth, your secrets, and your will, in Jesus name, Amen.
We hate it whenever we hear stories of injustice where the criminal goes free and the bad guy doesn't get caught, the good guy gets victimized. On the other hand we love it whenever we hear stories of the bad guy getting caught and justice being served. I heard a story about a man, from Charlotte, North Carolina who bought a box of very rare and expensive cigars. And then when he bought them he took out an insurance policy on those cigars and insured them among other things against fire. Within one month after having smoked all of those fine expensive cigars and before he had even made one premium payment on his policy he filed a claim against the insurance company. And I'll read you the story.
In the claim, he stated the cigars were lost in a "series of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason: that the man had consumed the cigars in a normal fashion.
The man sued and won. In delivering the ruling the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. But the judge stated nevertheless, the man held a policy from the company in which it had warranted the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire, and was obligated to pay the claim.
Rather than endure a lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000.00 to the man for his loss of the rare cigars in the fires.
We read that and we go "Man, we don't like that but hold on the best part is yet to come.
After the man cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of Arson. With his own insurance claim and the testimony from the previous case being used against him, the man was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000.00 fine.
Yeah, baby. We love those stories. The worst crime ever committed was selling out the son of God for about 25 bucks, 30 pieces of silver. No one in the room that night had any idea that it was Judas. No one had any clue it was Judas Iscariot until this night. On this night Jesus will declare to his disciples at least to one of them, John and the Peter who it was. Now Judas is a wonderful name, Judas comes from the word Judah which means praise; it's a great name to have. I'm sure that when he was born his parents though our hope's is that this child will grow up to praise the Lord. But as time went on the name Judas would appear in dictionaries, they're still there today, as a noun, as synonym for a traitor. A Judas is someone who betrays a friend or a comrade.
Of all the baby dedications I have ever done, I've done a lot. I had never yet dedicated a Judas. There are just certain names people stay away from. No parent in their right mind would name their child Judas because of what this one person did 2000 years ago.
In England there was an old tradition on an Ash Wednesday the beginning of lent of taking a Jack O Lantern figure dragging it out to the streets and then shooting it to pieces. And that figure was called Judas. In Spain and in Portugal, in Latin America there is in some places still the practice of taking a life like straw or wood figure. Taking it to the streets, kicking it, spitting on it, cursing at it, etc. etc. and that is called on Good Friday punishing Judas.
So we're going to read about Judas Iscariot the man who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. And we're going eavesdrop on a conversation that our Lord has with his most intimate friends in John Chapter 13. Judas the man who betrayed Jesus, the betrayer of Christ what a horrible word that, betrayal. Marriages are spilt apart because of betrayal. Friendships are separate because of betrayal. Nations have split and wars have begun because of betrayal.
Interesting this week I was in a grocery store getting a few items and as I was waiting to make the payment, my eyes went left and I glanced at those magazines, those very reliable magazines news magazines. And I don't know the names of the magazines but what struck me is that on three different magazines the word betrayal appeared. There were three totally different stories. One was called "Lies and Betrayal." The other one was called "Bachelor Betrayed." And the other one was simply "Betrayal." As we look at our paragraph beginning in John 13 at verse 18, there are three things I want you to notice with me about this paragraph. Number one is the prediction that Jesus makes of the betrayal that is going to happen. Jesus selects an Old Testament scripture of Psalms shows that it was fulfilled and what Judas was about to do, he predicts it, he knew all about it.
Number two I want you to notice the paradox of betrayal. That as bad as it was, it would still be used to serve the disciples, those who didn't betray Jesus. It was going to be used for something good. Third and finally I want you to notice the proximity of the betrayer himself and where he was at the table. Let's begin in verse 18; I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the scripture may be fulfilled, he who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.
What interest us at first is that Jesus was not surprised that Judas was about to betray him, in fact Jesus pulls out a scripture that shows that it was predicted by something that happened in the old testament. Now he is quoting Psalm 41. And let me tell you about Psalm 41, David wrote that song. And he wrote it about a man that he loved, a man that was his friend, a man that sat at his table and had his own bread but a man who betrayed David by the name of Ahithophel. Ahithophel the trusted councilor of David, you remember the story how David had a son named Absalom who rebelled and tried to use usurp the kingdom. But if there was one person David knew he could trust it was one of his closes associates named Ahithophel. But Ahithophel was a traitor and by the way afterwards, went out and hang himself like Judas would.
That's a very interesting story and the idea of lifting up your heel is to kick a person while he is down. If what Absalom would do to David wasn't bad enough, Ahithophel kicked David while he was down. It's a violent kicking, it's like when your enemy is on the ground and you lift up your bow heel and just thrust it into his throat, into his neck, that's the idea of betrayal here.
Now why is this important? Now why does John bring it up? Here is why. Jesus Christ knew everything that was going on around him at all times. He was omniscient, right? One of the things we discover in the gospel of John is he wants us to know that Jesus was in total control, nothing surprised him, he wasn't some helpless victim of a unsuspecting crime, he knew it all in advance. He was omniscient.
And so think back a few chapters to John Chapter 5 when Jesus was interviewing a woman at the well of Samaria. And she was giving him cute little answers and trying to be really smart and terse. Finally Jesus just cut to the chase and said "Hey, go call your husband." And she said "I don't have a husband." And then Jesus went for the jugular, "You're right you've had five husbands in your lifetime and now you're living with a man outside the bonds of marriage with a man who is not your husband." Boy, did she sober up quick? She said "Sir I perceive your profit." Yeah, duh, what gave it away?
In Luke Chapter 6, Jesus in the synagogue and there is people watching him because in that synagogue was a man with a withered hand. And they wanted to see if Christ would heal that man. And the Bible says "Jesus, listen to this, knowing their thoughts" said "Which is it better to do on the Sabbath day? Heal life or to destroy it? To do good or to do evil?
On another occasion Matthew Chapter 12, there was man who is demon possessed. He was mute, he was deaf. Jesus healed him, delivered him of the demon. And as soon as that man was cured and Jesus delivered him, well some of the audience said "Well this man Jesus just cast demons out by the name of Beelzebub the prince of demons." Once again we read this, but Jesus knowing their thoughts said on to them a house that is divided against itself cannot stand.
So once again here he knew that Judas was going to betray him. Can you imagine living like that? Knowing every bad thing that's going to happen to you in the future or around you? Knowing that child is going to get in that horrible traffic accident? Knowing that that parent is going to come down with those diseases? Knowing that Peter is going to deny you? Knowing that Thomas is going to doubt you? Knowing that Judas is going to betray you? Can you imagine living that way? Jesus knew it all.
And here is what I want you to see. Just because Jesus knew what was coming that didn't soften the blow for him, look at verse 21. When Jesus had said these things he was troubled in Spirit. There is that word again, trouble, to be shaken agitated emotionally. And he testified and he said "Most assuredly I would say to you, one of you will betray me.
Sometimes we so emphasize the deity of Jesus Christ that we neglect to think about his humanity. We say, "Well you know he is God in a human body. So he knew everything that was happening and somehow he was detached from all the bad stuff and sort of a he wasn't bothered by some of the things you and I are bothered with. It's not true. He lived in that awareness but he was deeply troubled and agitated. As the writer of Hebrews put in Hebrews 4 he was in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin. So that's what he knew. What I also want you to notice is what Jesus did. Look at one word in verse 18 the word chosen. I do not speak concerning all of you for I know whom I have chosen.
Now that's a word of sovereign election. He knew that not everybody in that group believed and Judas was that one. I know whom I have chosen. But -- and I don't want to get sidetracked on that because we talked about divine election on other occasions. But Jesus certainly gave Judas lots of opportunities to believe and Jesus had chosen Judas to be in that elite group called Apostles. Of all of the disciples he was one of the Apostles.
Listen carefully as I read a portion of Luke Chapter 6. Jesus went out to a mountain to pray and he continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day he called his disciples to himself and from them he chose twelve whom he also named apostles. Simon, who he named Peter and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who also became a traitor.
Question, if Jesus knew what Judas was going to do to him why did Jesus chose him as an apostle to begin with?
If Jesus spent all night in prayer to the father before choosing the twelve, why was Judas on the list? Well there are two reasons; reason number 1 is what stated in the text to fulfill scripture. Jesus lived in that total awareness of what is happening and he knew this was to fulfill scripture. Here was the mechanism, this betrayer, this betrayal by which Jesus would go to the cross to pay for the sin of the world.
Number two reasons number two more on a human level. To love anyone at all is to be vulnerable. To love anyone at all is to take risks even if it means being hurt. I had someone asked me one time, well Skip I really want to love someone but how can I know if I make a commitment in love to another person I want to make sure I don't get hurt, how can I be certain I don't get hurt? My answer, good luck with that one, in fact I think that's impossible because as the old song says "Love Hurts." And if you're going to commit yourself in a relationship to any other person, like let's say a marriage relationship there is going to be pain somewhere along that road. That's why people say vows to each other. They don't say "For better or for best, for richer or for riches, until we all live happily ever after on the white picket fence."
Now because to love and ideally anybody can love and ideal person. The challenge is to love the real person. And in that giving of love there is vulnerability and pain that you incur, I suppose Jesus could have been like Donald Trump and said "Judas you're fired." And all the apostles said "Yeah, at least we're not." now celebrity apostle. The truth is you will be betrayed, somebody will take advantage of you, here is the question, what do you do? Answer, choose to love them anyway, chose to love them anyway. I'm choosing Judas, I know he is going to betray me it fulfills the scripture. Nobody knew that Judas was betraying Jesus until that night which means Jesus continually showed loved overtly, outwardly, publicly to Judas so that nobody caught on, amazing.
Let me tell you a true story about, the alcoholic wife of a Christian husband. This wife had an affair with this mans best friend ten years prior. He didn't find out about it for ten years when he found out about it he was angry, he as bitter, he felt betrayed by his wife and betrayed by his best friend. And he thought my family is falling apart because of her. The kids are distanced to her. Everything that I've loved is broken apart because of this horrible situation. He felt so angry and so betrayed.
I want you to listen to this man and what his reaction was the first time he met his best friend after knowing this information. He said "I suddenly remembered the words father, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." And so he said "With a sob in my soul, I reached out my hand and grabbed his, and for the first time in my life I knew what it was to forgive. I felt a tremendous sense of release as the unbearable weight of bitterness was lifted from my heart. This freedom enabled me to renew my love for my wife, and to overcome the barrier that had arisen between us. When I said to her, 'I forgive you and I will accept you just as I did when I pledged to love and cherish you until death,' it was then that the healing process began its wonderful work."
Do you understand that that man had to make a choice that he didn't feel like making? But he made that choice and that began a healing process in his life. So here Jesus knowing all about Judas, showing it's been predicted even in the Old Testament choosing to love anyway, that's number one, the prediction of betrayal.
Second thing I like you to notice is the paradox of betrayal. Look at verse 19, now I tell you before it comes that when it does come to pass you may believe, he's saying to his disciples around that table. You may believe that I am he most assuredly I would say to you, he who receives whom ever I send receives me and he who receives me receives him who sent me.
Now these are amazing words. These are Romans 8:28 kind of words.
There are such tremendous lessons in them. There are three benefits Jesus would say to me telling you this in advance. Reason number or benefit number one, is that it will produce a greater trust in Me, your Savior. Notice that Jesus said, "When it does come to pass you may believe that I am He." He didn't say, "Now I'm going to tell you who the betrayer is so that when you find out you can take him outside and beat the living daylights out of him." Peter would have loved that.
Now, I'm going to tell you in advance so that when you understand and see this thing coming to pass before your very eyes, all of the claims that I have made about myself, all of these years I've been with you, you'll know they're true. Basically, this is exactly what God and the Old Testament does. God in the Old Testament challenges all of the false gods and goddesses the people who worshiping who were false gods. And He basically says, "Okay, can you guys predict the future? Because I can and people can know that I am real because of my ability to predict the future before it happens."
So listen to Isaiah Chapter 41. God says to the false gods and goddesses, "Declare to us things that are to come, tell us what future holds, so that we may know that you are gods." In other words, put your prophecy where your mouth is. If you think your god and we're to believe in you, you tell us the future because that's what I can do. And by the way, that's the purpose of prophecy. Purpose of prophecy isn't to satisfy curious minds about the future so they can draw colorful charts as catalogical charts at the end of books. But rather to drive us to trust God even more.
There's a second reason that sort of follows us up on the first one. Not only will that produce the greater trust in the Savior, it produces a greater trust in the Scripture. Jesus quotes Psalm 41, says He, "This has been predicted long before it happened. This happened to David with Ahithophel. And so it was Ahithophel who betrayed David so Judas will betray me Jesus." Now this is what happened to the Apostles. After all the smoke cleared, after Jesus death and burial came His resurrection and then His ascension into Heaven and after all of that emotional smoke cleared, all of that confusion, you got to know that those Apostles went right back to their Old Testaments Scriptures and started studying them.
What else could be fulfilled, well, what else is written about? And as you start listening to their sermons in the book of Acts in reading their letters in the New Testaments, that's exactly what they did. They start realizing that so much of this was spoken of in advance and their love for the Scripture went sky high. And that's one of the side benefits here. Fulfilled prophecy transforms the way we look at the Scripture. It showcases its reliability.
I think it's safe to say that everybody in this room right now realizes that we're in pretty unstable times in the world. Right? And if you've seen the news broadcast in the last month, even one of them, you realize that we've been in economic down turn in our country and around the world for sometime, number one. And number two, there seems to be political freefall happening over in the Middle East, nation after nation after nation, can't even keep tract of it. And there's an earthquake and a tsunami in Japan and experts are saying depending on what happens with those four reactors, it could become the worst catastrophe in our recorded history. It has that potential. So what do you do in unstable times like that? What, what enables you and I to marshal through this times with confidence and a smile knowing where we're going? It's this book, it's the Scriptures. It's the words of God. It drives us back to the scriptures. It drives us back to the word of God and we see, "Hey this was talked about." And we're seeing a fulfillment of it around us.
Parents, let me encourage you, if you're going to leave something to your children, leave them the confident lifestyle that comes from believing the book that God has given. Leave them that. Pass that on to them. Well, I want to make sure they have a good education and a healthy bank account. Okay, cool, that could be lost tomorrow. But give them something that will outlast and that is a confidence in the word of God.
One of my favorite stories is about John Newton. John Newton raised in a Christian home, his parents died when he was a child, six years of age, both parents died. His parents, up until age six have been giving him Scriptures helping him memorize Scriptures.
Parents die at age six. At age six, he goes to live with a relative. Didn't get along with the relative, has a hard teenage life, as you can imagine the loss of both parents. He decides to join the British Navy as a teenager. So he's in the British navy, he's' really not good, he went AWOL, left the Navy joins the slave trade. Now he's trafficking in human slave trade around the world making money out of them. Long story short, after years of working with slaves, he's coming home to England on a boat, the boat encounters a storm, he thinks he's going to die, as he's going under all of those Scriptures that his parents taught him as a young child come flashing into his mind. He hadn't thought about them for years.
Not only do those Scriptures come to mind but he understood what they meant for the first time and he cries out to God. God spares his life, he gets home to England, gives his life to Christ and John Newton gave us one of the most amazing songs, Amazing Grace. How the sound that saved a wretch like me. What his parents planted in that young man's heart blossomed later on. Greater trust in the Savior, it'll give you a greater trust in the Scripture.
And number three, the paradox of this betrayal. The side benefit, the third one, a greater trust in their service. Look at Verse 20. "Most assuredly I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." What on Earth is that statement doing there? That -- that's what I said when I first read it this week, I thought, "That didn't seem to fit here. This is sort of disconnected." It doesn't seem to fit what has gone on before and what comes afterwards. I mean He just -- He just predicted who's going to betray Him and then it says, "Now, whoever I send" -- excuse me, what's going on here? Now follow this. Jesus has been announcing His death, that didn't settle well with the disciples. Now, he announces His betrayal among that group that cast a discouragement upon the group, a wet blanket of emotional discouragement. And they're probably thinking, "Oh man, there's a betrayer in our group, well this whole thing that is going down?" I mean, maybe there's no future, there's no hope at all, I mean, there's no chance at all for any kind of service beyond this. We're going down. And if one man, if one person among us can betray Jesus, maybe all of us could do that. Maybe it's all over.
And what Jesus is saying to them is, "Oh no, this doesn't change things one bit, in fact I'm going to send you out, so that anybody who receives you it says, if they have received me personally and my Father personally." Your position is so important. Jesus lifts them up, right, before their eyes. And says, your position, your importance to my plan is so valued, that the people receive you it says, if they receive God Himself.
The betrayal of one person should not diminish our responsibility or our calling. You see that sort of what happened to till we go, "Oh there's so many hypocrites in the church." I've heard that for so long. Yeah, I went to church 40 years ago and one Sunday I met a hypocrite. That's all I needed, I've never back since. Are you nuts? Yeah, I agree, one hypocrite is one to many. But rather than seeing a hypocrite or somebody who have betrayed Jesus rather than running away, what it should cause you to do is run toward Him. To sort of dig your heels in and then go, "Man I want to serve the Lord with even greater trust than ever before."
Let me tell you little personal story. When I was going to college for radiology, I had a friend who went to seminary. He shows up with my house one day, my apartment. Knocks on the door, opens his trunk, pulls out a bunch of books that he have gotten in seminary and decides he's going to give them to me. Oh, I was in -- I was stoked. I wanted all the books that he had to offer but I said, "Now, why are you giving them to me, is that that you're done with them?" He goes, "I don't believe anymore." What do you mean you don't believe anymore? He had gone to this liberal seminary that told them why he shouldn't believe all the books he was reading. And why he shouldn't believe the Bible, and why he shouldn't believe Christ and he emerged from that liberal institution not knowing what he believed and so confused, he just said, "I don't believe anymore you can have all these stuff."
When he left, I bowed my head and I said, "Lord, I want to stay closer to Jesus and serve Him more and tell more people, because I don't want to end up like that."
And so what Jesus is telling them after He says there's a betrayer here and the Scripture even predicts it. Before they can go, Oh! man, He just lifts them up and says, "Ah, but in the midst of a betrayer there are ambassadors that I will send out." And He acknowledges the importance of that position.
Now let me close with one final piece of this. We've seen that prediction of betrayal, the paradox of betrayal. I want to close with this, the proximity of the betrayer. Now, watch this, Verse 21, "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, one of you." According to Matthew when they heard that, they started asking, "Is it I? Is it I? Lord is it I?" Even Judas said, "Is it I?" Hypocrite! And the disciples looked to one another perplexed about whom He spoke? Now, there was leaning on Jesus bosom. One of His disciples whom Jesus loved, who's that? That's John, he's the author of the book. And the guy that Jesus loved. Not saying Jesus didn't love anybody else, He just wrote that Jesus loved him.
Simon Peter therefore motioned to Him, to ask who it was, of whom He spoke. Sounds just like Peter. "Find out who it is." 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've dipped it." And having dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now, after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly." But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him, nobody's suspected Judas. For some thought that because Judas had the money box that Jesus has 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.
Now to understand this, remember what I told you last week and maybe a couple of weeks before that, that rather than thinking of the last supper like Leonardo da Vinci painted it with Jesus standing or sitting there on a chair and all the disciples sitting next to him on His chairs, that they reclined when they ate. They laid on the left on a pillow or on a couch of some kind. So, they were leaning on the left arm, their head would be leading toward the left, their right hand would be free to eat. And they were all around a U-shape table known as the triclinium, the triclinium. The host, Jesus, would have been right in the middle of that U at the bottom or the top depending on how you want to look at it, He'd be right there in the middle. On His right hand side was John. Now whoever sat at the right hand and the left hand of a host at the Passover were the guest of honor. And John, his mother a couple of days before that said, "Jesus, I want to make sure my two boys sit one at your hand and one at your left hand in the Kingdom." They might not get that wish but at least John is sitting at the right hand of the Last Supper. And so, John is leaning on his left toward Jesus and if you're at one under the table looking down, it would appear as if John's head was leaning against Jesus breast. That's why when John wanted to talk to Jesus all he had to do is do this and he was right at His heart, right at his face, real close. They were leaning toward each other.
So, here's Jesus on His right hand is John, next to John is Peter because Peter was first to John's find who it is or that would have been a sin, we find out what Peter did when Jesus was arrested in the garden of Gethsemane and he cut off the guys ear, he'd have been all over Judas to that night. He'd jumped over the table and been all over him like white on rice. And Peter wants to find out who it is. John says, "Lord who is it?" Jesus says, "The one that I dipped the morsel and give it to." Who would that be?
Verse 26, "It is he to whom I give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And he dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot the son of Simon. What that means is that Simon or is that Judas was sitting was sitting at the left hand of Jesus. If John was leaning in toward Jesus breast, Jesus was leaning his head in toward Judas's breast. Now, those two places of honor have to be given by the host. So I presume before the dinner began, Jesus walks up to John and says, "Johnny, I want you to sit in my right hand tonight.
I know your mom wants you to have that in the Kingdom but tonight you're going to sit next to me in the Last Supper. And He walked over to Judas, Judas, he knew all about Judas he knew all about the betrayal. "Judas I want you in this place of honor at my left hand right next to me."
So, that Jesus Christ was leaning in toward Judas's heart which is where He wanted to be. It was Jesus' way of reaching out to Judas all the way until the end, giving him His love, His mercy, His forgiveness. Friend I want you next to me tonight. And he would have as a -- as a token of honor, given him the morsel. And Judas would have taken it and then passed it down the line.
If you were to describe where you are with God right now, would you say that you're like John leaning towards Jesus? Or you're like Judas leaning away from Jesus? Where are you at? Notice how it ends in this paragraph, having received the piece of bread, he then went out and out immediately and it was night. I don't think John just threw that, and it was night and because he wants you to know that the sun had set and if you're going outside tonight bring a torch with you. Knowing the way John writes, he uses the metaphor of light and darkness a lot, right?
Chapter 1, "In Him was life and the life was the light of men and the light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not." And he uses this, he's the only who points out that Jesus said I'm the light of the world. So, for John to say and it was night, I think what John wants you to know is that darkness had settled on Judas's soul and that any movement away from Christ to stepping in the darkness, Satan had entered him, he left the room and it was night. Question as we close, is darkness creeping over your heart, over your soul, is it night in your soul? If so, let me just say that, Jesus like with Judas is still reaching out and will ever reached out until the very bitter end.
I close with a story I read this week, comes from the revolutionary war. There was preacher, during the revolutionary war named Peter Miller, very effective Godly man. Well, he had an enemy. He have several but there was one that stood out, he was unbelieving man who hated Peter Miller's preaching, hated his testimony. And this unbeliever was eventually arrested and charged with treason and sentenced to hang. When Peter Miller found out about this, he walked 60 mile, 6-0 miles to appeal that man's case before the President, President George Washington. Washington looked over the appeal and he says, "I'm sorry, based on the evidence for treason, I cannot release your friend." Peter Miller said, "My friend? He's my worst living enemy." Washington put his pen down looked up and said, "You mean to tell me you walked 60 miles for the release not of your friend but of your enemy?" The reverend said that's right. Washington said, well, that puts it in whole different light, I'll grant your request, I'll release him into your recognizance.
Miller went to the place where the execution was about to take place, got there just in time they were putting the man upon the scaffolding. The news was set. And when that unbelieving man saw that preacher out on the crowd, he said, "Ah! Old Peter Miller comes to take revenge and watch his enemy die." Not knowing that in his hand was a signed pardon for his released. And he walked up on that scaffold and gave it to him.
Whatever you think of Jesus Christ, all He wants is just sort of mess my life up and ruin everything, I'm all about, my fun. Know that in His hand is your pardon. And it could change your life, that you got to receive it. And I don't know if you're leaning toward Him today, if you're leaning away from Him. But if you're leaning away from Him, He still seeks to draw you in to His heart and get inside your heart. Let's pray for that.
Father in Heaven, as we close our service we think of what could this personally mean to some here who aren't walking with Christ. Who have heard the name and have even decided to be among the company of those who believed and loved that name.
But they themselves have not personally trusted in Jesus. And so, Lord I pray, that as You reach out Your pardon to them this morning, wanting them to be brought to that place of honor, You're guest of honor. I pray that some would receive Jesus. Some would come back to Christ that they have been moving away from Him, they would come back to Him. Some perhaps have just played the part. They played the religious part, singing the songs, owning a Bible, coming to the place of worship. It is just not real in their daily life. Would You do Your work of drawing that man, that woman, that boy, that girl, that young one, that middle age one, that older one to You, to Your side to Your heart. I know that You stand at the door of our hearts and You knock and I pray that someone open the door, in Jesus name, Amen.