18 I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, 'He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'
This verse explicitly defines the doctrine of election (that God ordained some to everlasting life); and it strongly infers by way of negation the doctrine of reprobation (that God ordained who would be damned): Judas being essentially being one who is “not chosen.”
The doctrine of reprobation is much disputed. People can’t believe that a good and loving God can actively choose to consign people to hell.
How do we answer someone who suggests this?
I believe that Scripture (particularly Romans 9) leans towards the latter. One might even look at it from a rational point of view: When a coach selects his starting lineup, even though he "actively" names the starters, he just as "actively" non-names the bench players. –Todd Pedlar
Let’s look at a couple other Scriptures dealing with reprobation. What do we learn from them?
Let’s back up. What does John 13:18 have to say about reprobation? (Reprobation is actually to be a doctrine of comfort to the disciples!)
19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.
Jesus here acts as a prophet foretelling the future. What attribute does this display? Why was it important that they know ahead of time that all this was going to transpire?
Answer: It is a comfort that not one thing was outside his preview. All of this was orchestrated by his design. He planned his own death and was bringing it to pass. All this is for the purpose of strengthening our faith
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."
After having talked about reprobation, he reminds them of the gospel. He who betrays Christ betrays the one who sent Him (and think of the evil that will befall Judas for it!). Now think of the flip side: The disciples will have the opportunity to bear witness to Christ (they will not fall away). They also will have communion with the Father. The contrast is quite sharp, and comforting.
21-26 Jesus' reveals his betrayer
It is interesting that Jesus knew which would betray him. But it is not like this was a revelation that just came to him. John 6:64 tells us that He knew it from the very get go. Whether he knew it by divine intuition or by his supreme understanding of the scripture & his messianic office doesn't really matter. What matters is that he knew it. What’s more, He lived 3 years alongside Judas with that knowledge!
How do you think this affected Him? How does that knowledge affect you? Is there any practical benefit from this?
Answer: Think of it like this, Jesus loved and served his greatest enemy. As one of our members said-- None of the disciples even had a clue that Judas was the betrayer. That seems to indicate that Jesus didn’t treat him any differently than the rest. Jesus loved him just as much as the others.)
27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "What you are going to do, do quickly."
Some commentators say that Jesus not only predicted his betrayal, but he “sealed it.” What do you think?
Answer: You may quibble with whether or not Jesus sealed his betrayal, but at least we can agree that Jesus hurried Judas along. Yes, Satan entered Judas, but Jesus pushes him out the door and sets it into motion. If He doesn't seal his betrayal, t is certainly evident that Jesus “commissions” Judas to stop piddling around and get it done.
In all reality, Jesus is acting out his priestly office. He is not only sacrifice, but sacrificer. He brings the knife to his own throat, so to speak. In doing this we see Christ’s control over all the affairs and (most of all) understand that he freely willingly becomes our savior. None of this comes about accidently. He brings it about with unflinching resolve.
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Matt is blessed to be a husband, father, and pastor in Ashland, Ohio.