John 14:1-11 – The Where, The Way and The Force

From the disciples’ perspective, things appear to be unraveling.
·  They just learned:
o   After 3 years of commitment to Jesus
o   After giving up their livelihood for Jesus
o   After seeing their Messiah ride into Jerusalem on a colt instead of a war horse
·  That:
o   Judas is going to betray Jesus.
o   Peter is going to deny Jesus.

They clearly are in need of some timely Words from Jesus.
·  In our text today, the beginning of the Farewell Discourse, Jesus gives them what they need.


John 14:1–3 (ESV) — 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled:
Last week we saw that Jesus was speaking of the coming glorification that would take place when He was:
·  “Lifted Up” to the cross
·  “Exalted” to the right hand of God

He then told the disciples, “Where I am going you cannot come” (vs. 33).
·  And He repeated these troubling words in John 13:36, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now”.
·  However, He did finally add, “but you will follow afterward” (vs. 36).
·  Lump this together with what we saw in our introduction and it has got to be panic time for the disciples.

So, for their benefit, Jesus expands on His destination talk.
·  He gives them some much needed insight into where He is going.
·  And by extension, He gives them some much needed insight into where they are going.

He begins by telling them to, “Let not your hearts be troubled” (vs. 1).
·  In our context, Jesus is telling them don’t have “inward turmoil”; don’t be “unsettled”; don’t be “thrown into confusion” about where He is going – BDAG.
·  And there is also a sense that He is asking them not to doubt (Luke 24:38).

What is interesting here is that Jesus tells them not to be what He was in John 11, 12 and 13.
·  John 11:33 (ESV) — 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.
·  John 12:27 (ESV) — 27Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour.
·  John 13:21 (ESV) — 21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

We can immediately learn from this that there can be good reasons to be “troubled”.
·  Jesus showed us that at least three times.

However, even though there are circumstances that, at first blush, seem to clearly warrant this response.
·  Jesus is teaching that sometimes there are no valid reasons to react this way.
·  And in these cases, the reason it is not valid because it ignores a spiritual reality of God.

So what is the reason they should not be “troubled?
·  Jesus is going the Father’s house – exalted to God’s throne.
·  But there is more in the Father’s house (heaven) than just God’s throne.
·  There are also “many rooms”.
·  And in heaven with its “many rooms”, “I go to prepare a place for you”.
·  And the way you will come with me into this place is because I am coming back for you.
·  So, “that where I am you may be also”.

BTW – this dialogue raises many questions about the relationship between heaven; the second coming; what happens to us after we die, but before the second coming; etc.
·  I might get back to these at some point down the road.

Interestingly, Jesus encourages the disciples with this same technique after His resurrection – “don’t be troubled” with “here is why”.
·  Luke 24:37–40 (ESV) — 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.

However, at first take, it doesn’t appear that Jesus’ efforts to comfort and encourage with truth are successful.
·  As usual, the disciples, as seen in Thomas, have a comprehension problem.
·  Jesus is using categories they simply are not familiar with.
·  So at Thomas’ initiative, Jesus gives more comfort and encouragement.
o   BTW - In time, they will and do get all that Jesus taught or we wouldn’t have the NT.


John 14:4–6 (ESV) —  4 And you know the way to where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

By this time in Jesus’ ministry, the disciples should know what Jesus is talking about – “and you know the way”.
·  However, Thomas makes a profound admission.
·  we do not know where” – The Where
·  How can we know the way?” – The Way

The Where:
What is the where?
·  Jesus had already taught on this “where” numerous times.
·  John 8:14–18 (ESV) — 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. 17 In your Law it is written that the testimony of two people is true. 18 I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”
·  John 8:42 (ESV) — 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
·  The “where” has always been the Father.

Why does Jesus specify “the Father” in verse 6?
·  We often mistakenly soften Jesus’ statement by suggesting He said, “No one comes to heaven except through me”.
o   This waters down Jesus’ words.
·  Jesus is clear that access to “the Father” is the primary issue here and not access to part of creation – heaven.

When Jesus speaks of “the Father” He is purposely referring to a very specific God.
·  The God of the Old Testament.
·  The God who chose the Jews.
·  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
·  The God of the Exodus.
·  The God who covenanted with the Israelites.
·  The God who is Ruler and Creator of the universe.
·  The God among whom there is no equal.
·  The only true and living God.

And then Jesus dropped the ultimate J-Bomb concerning the “way” to the “where”.
·   “I am the way”

The Way:
What does Jesus mean when He says “I am the way”?
·  Thomas was talking as if Jesus was referring to a physical trip over a certain route.
·  And all he needed was a map to guide him through the mountain passes or waterways.
·  Thomas was close; there were things that needed to be “traveled” through.
·  But only Jesus could do so.

Jesus, to be the Way, He had to navigate through some very specific “landmines” on our behalf.
·  Our depravity.
·  Our sin.
·  Our death.
·  God’s judgment.
·  God’s wrath.

How does this make Jesus the way?
·  All of these “landmines” are mitigated by His work on the cross; His being “lifted up”.
·  We call this Jesus’ atoning work of the cross.
·  The Penal-Substitution Atonement is the reason Jesus is the Way to the Father.
o   Sacrifice (Hebrews 9:26)
o   Propitiation (1 John 4:10)
o   Reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)
o   Redemption (Mark 10:45)
o   Substitution (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Profoundly, for the Jew, this means the Law and sacrificial system is not the way (it never was)!
·  A new covenant is now in force.
·  Jesus is the way because the new covenant is completed with His work on the cross.
·  This is why the bold and Spirit-powered Peter would say:
·  Acts 4:12 (ESV) — 12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Jesus became the object of God’s wrath on the cross where He bore the judgment for our depravity and sin and conquered death on our behalf.
·  No one or thing can be the way unless all of these “landmines” are accounted for.

So the way is not:
·  Knowledge (without belief)
·  Good Works
·  Self-Actualization
·  Buddha
·  Self

And the reason none of these can be a way is because they do nothing to contend with depravity, sin, death, judgment, and a Holy God’s wrath.

And finally, Jesus is the way because of His location at the exalted right hand of God the Father.
·  Romans 8:34 (ESV) — 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
·  Only Jesus in His identity as the second person of the Trinity has the position and power to advocate for us.
·  And he can do so because of His journey through the cross.

BTW – There is a widespread sentiment, even among evangelicals, to suggest that others can “get to heaven” by other means or intermediaries (universalism).
·  This is patently false and contradicts Scripture.
·  Jesus was clear – He is the “Way” and the Father is the “Where”.
·  So even if other “methods” think they have contended with depravity, sin and death
o   Which they haven’t
·  They still have to contend with the “Where” and His judgment and wrath.
o   The God of Israel.
·  There are certainly good questions to wrestle with over this issue, but to reject the truth taught by Jesus is never a legitimate solution.


John 14:7–11 (ESV) — 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.

In dropping His ultimate J-Bomb, Jesus has made a radical claim.
·  Why are Jesus’ words not just a clever, hollow collection of platitudes?
·  Why are they trustworthy and meaningful?
·  Why do they have force?

In our text today, Jesus proceeds to give the disciples the foundational reason for the truth of His words.
·  He refers us to His relationship with the Father.

The Foundation of Jesus’ Claims:
First, He connects a call to believe in God with one to believe in Him.
·  Believe in God; believe also in me.” (vs. 1)
·  Jesus is addressing the disciples’ lack of complete trust in Him.
o   A source of their troubled hearts (vs. 1)
·  He does this by calling them to trust in God the Father and in Him.
·  He is implying that to trust in God is to trust in Him.
·  “If Jesus invariably speaks the words of God and performs the acts of God (5:19ff.), should he not be trusted like God?” – D.A. Carson.

Second, on the heels of this controversial statement, Jesus then makes the following claims:
·  Known Me – Known Father (vs. 7)
·  Seen Me – Seen Father (vs. 9)
·  In the Father – Father in Me (vs. 10 and vs. 11)

This connection between Jesus and the Father has been a primary theme in John’s Gospel.
·  It is the very thing Jesus stakes His entire ministry on.
·  So much so that we have often referred to Jesus as “The Father’s Jesus”.

In John 5, Jesus went into great detail about His connection to the Father and the evidence for it.
·  He specifically discusses the nature of the Father/Son relationship.
·  And the testimony for the truth of this Father/Son relationship.
·  We will review this very briefly.

Father/Son Relationship:
·  John 5:19 (ESV) — 19 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.
·  John 5:20 (ESV) — 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.
·  John 5:21 (ESV) — 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
·  John 5:22-23 (ESV) — 22 The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
·  John 5:26 (ESV) — 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.

Testimony about Father/Son Relationship:
(1) John the Baptist
·  John 5:31–35 (ESV) — 31 If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not deemed true. 32 There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he [God the Father] bears about me is true. 33 You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

(2) The Father
·  John 5:32 & 36–38 (ESV) — 36 But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, 38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.

(3) Scripture
·  John 5:45–47 (ESV) — 45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

(4) Works
·  And Jesus even points to His miracle working as a testimony of this connection.
·  Believe on account of the works themselves” (vs. 11)
·  John 10:37–38 (ESV) — 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38 but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

So the reason Jesus’ words to the disciples have force and thus can serve to comfort and give truth is because of Jesus’ real connection within the Triune relationship to God the Father.
·  So when Jesus tells them to “let not your hearts be troubled” or “I am the way” these words carry weight because:
o   I am in the Father and the Father is in me” (vs. 11).
o   And is entire ministry has testified to this truth.

Lessons for Us:
With His Words, Jesus made radical and controversial claims.
·  He gave reasons to not be troubled.
·  He made claims about the “Way” and the “Where”.
o   As well as the “Life” and the “Truth”.

Yet, He did not ask the disciples to believe for no good reason.
·  He grounded the force and truth of His words in His relationship with the Father.
·  He gave evidence of how this relationship He shared with the Father had been testified to.

For our purposes, we need to examine the disciples’ response to the testimony of Jesus’ Words.
·  Did they die to save face for something they knew to be bogus?
·  Or did they die because they came face to face with the Truth in a risen Jesus and the Holy Spirit?
·  Did they exalt Jesus to the Father’s right hand or did the Father?
·  Did they boldly proclaim a risen, exalted Jesus because the psychological trauma of His death?
·  Or did they boldly proclaim because they encountered a risen Jesus and a Holy Spirit that crystallized all that Jesus had taught them?
· Do Jesus' Words have force in our lives?


John 13:31-38 – The Cross and Glorification

We saw last week how Jesus revealed and explained the betrayal of Judas.
·  Immediately on the heels of this He makes a profound statement about His glorification.
·  We need to understand the significance of His statement.
·  And we will also see a striking contrast being made in our text today.
·  The contrast between the majesty of a glorified Jesus and the weakness of a dedicated follower.

Today’s text is typically seen as the introduction/beginning of Jesus’ Farewell Discourse.
·  The setting for this discourse is the Last Supper.
·  Jesus begins the discourse by teaching about glorification.
·  The discourse ends at the end of chapter 14 with Jesus’ words, “Rise, let us go from here”.


John 13:31–32 (ESV) — 31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.

As we near the crucifixion, John continues to bring to our attention the events that signal that Jesus’ “hour has come”.
·  The Greeks, previously.
·  Judas’ departure and coming betrayal, today.

John showed us the Greeks in John 12.
·  John 12:21 & 23 (ESV) — 21 So these [the Greeks] came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

And in today’s text, we see the significance of Judas’ departure and coming betrayal.
·  When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified…

In each instance, Jesus’ own words tell us exactly what is meant by “hour has come”.
·  The coming hour is the Son of Man’s glorification.
·  Glorification of the Son of Man, as we have learned previously, took place on the cross and the events that followed.
·  Son of Man” was Jesus’ favorite term for Himself and it comes from Daniel 7.
o   Daniel 7:13 (ESV) — 13 “I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him.

This glorification is so important that in today’s text Jesus cites three ways this glorification will take place.
·  Before we explore the three ways, we need to get a little OT background.

OT Background for the Glorification:
·  Psalm 110:1 (ESV) — 1 The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.”
o   Most quoted OT text in NT - 21 quotes or allusions.
·  Isaiah 52:13 (ESV) — 13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted.

In these two verses, which the NT writers’ see as directly referring to Jesus Christ, we see four things emphasized.
·  He is called “Lord” (Yahweh)
·  He sits at the right hand of the Father
·  He will be lifted up
·  He shall be exalted

These four things lay the foundation from which we can understand the 3 ways Jesus speaks of glorification in our text today.

The Three Ways God’s Glory is Manifested:
1) EXALTATION – “God will also glorify him in himself” (vs. 32)
·  This glorification will take place with the events after the resurrection.
·  It “looks beyond the cross to His exaltation to the Father’s right hand” – MacArthur.
·  Jesus put it this way in Matthew.
o   Matthew 26:64 (ESV) — 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

And in the NT, Luke explicitly links this exaltation of Christ to His right hand to the will and action of the Father.
·  Acts 5:31 (ESV) — 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.
·  This exaltation of Jesus by God the Father to his right hand after the cross and resurrection is how God glorified “him in himself”.

Why is this exaltation a glorification of Jesus?
·  There, seated with God on God’s throne, Jesus exercises or participates in God’s unique sovereignty over the whole cosmos” – Richard Bauckham.
o   This is powerful Jewish symbolism of the Messiah’s divinity.
o   Only God is Ruler and Sovereign over creation.
o   And the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, is pictured in these verses as being at the place where only the Ruler and Sovereign of creation is.
·  Notice how all this relates to our OT background text.
·  The Father’s exaltation of Jesus is powerful glorification indeed.

The significance of this exaltation/glorification is underscored by how many times the NT writers referred to it.
·  Mark 16:19 (ESV) — 19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
·  Luke 22:69 (ESV) — 69 But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”
·  Acts 2:33 (ESV) — 33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.
·  Acts 7:55-56 (ESV) — 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”
·  Romans 8:34 (ESV) — 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
·  Ephesians 1:20 (ESV) — 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
·  Hebrews 1:3 (ESV) — 3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
·  1 Peter 3:22 (ESV) — 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

2) LIFTED UP – “Now is the Son of Man glorified” (vs. 31)
·  As we have said, this refers directly to the crucifixion.
·  How is the Cross part of Jesus’ glorification?
·  To answer this question, we need to look at how Jesus referred to the cross.
·  Notice how it relates to the OT background text. – Isa. 52:13.

Jesus’ view of the cross:
·  John 3:14–15 (ESV) — 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
·  John 8:28 (ESV) — 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me.
·  John 12:32–33 (ESV) — 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

Jesus’ referred to His going to the cross as being “lifted up”.
·  Jesus characterized the “lifted up” as:
o   Necessary for the “whoever” to have eternal life.
o   Evidence that He is the “Son of Man”.
o   Evidence that He operates at the direction and “authority” of the Father.
o   An event that will draw “all people”, Jew and Gentile alike.
·  And, importantly, scholars tell us that, in Jesus’ language, to be “lifted up” is another form of exaltation.

In John’s Gospel, then, “the exaltation of the Servant of which [Isaiah 52:13] speaks is the whole sequence of humiliation, suffering, death…” – Richard Bauckham.
·  “The glorification of the Son of Man takes place in his ‘lifting up’ on the cross and to the throne of heaven” – Beasely-Murray.
·  So the glorification is not just (1) the exalted right hand of God; but (2) also “lifted up” on the cross.
·  The Jew would have found it more difficult than us to see the cross as an exalted place of glorification.
o   They thought it was a curse.
·  But it is even more than that.
·  Profoundly, “the witness, the humiliation, the death and the exaltation of the Servant of the Lord is the way in which God reveals his glory and demonstrates his deity to the world” – Richard Bauchkham.
o   In other words, Jesus on the Cross = I am God.

So, God the Father glorifies Jesus through the events that flow from the Cross and the Cross itself glorifies Jesus.
·  The Cross intersects with the glory of Christ and God’s glorification of Christ.
o   1) Exalted and on the Throne – Ruler and Creator
o   2) Lifted up and on the Cross – Servant and Savior
·  What is the third way?

3) ATTRIBUTES REVEALED – “God is glorified in him” (vs. 32)
·  How is God the Father glorified on the cross?

John MacArthur suggests that the cross glorifies the Father in at least (5) ways.
·  The Cross glorifies the God the Father because it highlights the attributes of God:
o   God’s Power
o   God’s Justice
o   God’s Holiness
o   God’s Faithfulness
o   God’s Love

God’s Power:
·  God demonstrated His power of death by raising Jesus.
·  Acts 3:15 (ESV) — 15 and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.
·  Acts 13:30 (ESV) — 30 But God raised him from the dead,

God’s Justice:
·  God dispensed justice by sending Jesus to the cross to take the judgment for our sin.
·  1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) — 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

God’s Holiness:
·  God showed the depths of His holiness by demonstrating the extent of His hatred for sin by cursing Jesus.
·  Galatians 3:13 (ESV) — 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

God’s Faithfulness:
·  God showed His faithfulness because He promised to redeem the sinner and did so through Jesus Christ.
·  Genesis 22:17–18 (ESV) — 17 I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, 18 and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
·  We know from Paul that this blessing finds ultimate fulfillment in Jesus.
·  Galatians 3:16 (ESV) — 16 Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, “And to offsprings,” referring to many, but referring to one, “And to your offspring,” who is Christ.

God’s Love:
·  God showed His love for us because He sent His Son to the cross for us.
·  Romans 5:8 (ESV) — 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

It is telling that, hours before His death, Jesus directs the disciples to the Father, Himself and the glory they will share in the coming events.
·  This tells us, once again, that the focus of our lives and efforts is to be God and not ourselves.
·  And as we are about to see, His glory is a stark contrast to our weakness.
·  This helps explain why His glory serves as the introduction to His Farewell Discourse.


John 13:33 & 36–38 (ESV) —  33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’” 36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

This text is similar to a conversation Jesus had with the Jews.
·  John 7:34 (ESV) — 34 You will seek me and you will not find me. Where I am you cannot come.”
·  John 8:21 (ESV) — 21 So he said to them again, “I am going away, and you will seek me, and you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.”
·  However, unlike those conversations, Jesus assures the disciples that “you will follow afterward”.

Peter, however, wants to demonstrate his willingness to follow now.
·  He boldly claims, “I will lay down my life for you”.
·  In this exchange, John’s irony comes out again.
·  Peter will give his life following a risen Jesus – “afterward”.
·  However, at this time Jesus tells Peter that not only
o   He can’t follow Jesus
o   But, He will even deny Jesus.

We don’t know exactly why Peter denied Jesus.
·  Perhaps fear, or a lukewarm commitment.
·  But we do know why it is that no one, not even the disciples, could follow Jesus to the cross.
·  Only He was the unblemished lamb fit for sacrifice.

Lessons for Us:
·  It is interesting to me that the introduction of the Farewill Discourse contrasts the power and majesty of a glorified Jesus with the weakness of a dedicated follower.
·  This contrast brings our attention to the assurance found in Jesus’ choosing us before our believing.
o   Something taught in John so clearly.
·  Jesus chose the twelve as we saw last week.
·  This work of God, this choosing, is something they (and we) could trust and be confident in.
·  However, to place confidence in our own actions, as we see here, is tenuous at best.


John 13:18-30 – God Is Sovereign Over Betrayal

Today our text is about Jesus’ disclosure of Judas’ coming betrayal.
• Jesus uses this moment to provide a number of things to the disciples.
• And, importantly, it is how He initiates the immediate sequence of events that lead to His crucifixion.
    o “What you are going to do, do quickly” (vs. 27).
• We will also see that there is a lot to learn about sin.


John 13:18–21 (ESV) — 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.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 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.” 21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

Before Judas’ betrayal plays out in John 18, Jesus addresses it here in two ways for the benefit of the disciples.
• He sets the Context and gives Comfort.
• His Context is Psalm 41:9.
• His Comfort is Prophecy, Providence and Pentecost.

The Context – Psalm 41:9:
Psalm 41:5–10 (ESV) — 5 My enemies say of me in malice, “When will he die, and his name perish?” 6 And when one comes to see me, he utters empty words, while his heart gathers iniquity; when he goes out, he tells it abroad. 7 All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. 8 They say, “A deadly thing is poured out on him; he will not rise again from where he lies.” 9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. 10 But you, O LORD, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them!

Jesus pointed to this Scripture to frame the betrayal He was about to reveal.
• David’s words, a petition to God against his enemies, were also a prophecy of betrayal against the Messiah.
• “Scripture will be fulfilled”, Jesus said.
• Someone who broke bread with us will lift “his heel against me”.

Significance of the Heel:
• Lifting a heel against Jesus is a sign of contempt for Him.
• In the Middle East it is a stark contrast to the intimacy of breaking bread together – “he who ate my bread”.
• Joining the two together paints a clear picture of “a betrayal by a close friend” – Kostenberger.

Using one’s feet as a symbolic display of contempt is still practiced today in the Middle East.

An obvious question arises as Jesus reveals His coming betrayal.
Would the real Messiah be betrayed by a close companion?
• This revelation is troubling, embarrassing and needs explanation.
• Jesus next words both answer this question with an explanation.
• And they provide needed comfort to the disciples for the pain it would cause them emotionally.

The Comfort and Explanation:
• We must remember that the disciples’ grasp of the Passion Week events was somewhat tenuous.
• They still don’t get much of what Jesus had taught about His death.
• In the midst of this, to be faced with the betrayal of Jesus by a close companion makes it even worse.
    o Maybe Judas knows something we don’t?
    o If he saw what I saw and bailed, maybe I misunderstood?
    o Are others of us going to betray Jesus too?

Jesus, understanding this, tells them in verse 19, “I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.
So what does He tell them?
• He tells them at least three things that both explain and simultaneously comfort.

(1) Fulfillment of Prophecy
Scripture will be fulfilled” (vs. 18)
• This is not Plan B.
• It was ordained by God.
• It is not a surprise or hiccup in God’s plan of redemption.
• Jesus’ role as the suffering servant is not a change in plans initiated by the betrayal.
• For these reasons, when it happens, you can look back to this moment and know that “I am he” (vs. 19).
    o Another example of faith rooted in knowledge!

(2) God Is in Control
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen” (vs. 18a).
• These words of Jesus relate directly to His teaching from John 3, 6 and 10.

Judas is not “chosen” by Jesus and so in his depravity Judas rejected Jesus (more on this soon).
• John 6:44 (ESV) — 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
• John 6:64–65 (ESV) — 64 But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”

In fact, Jesus included Judas in the Twelve knowing full well what he was and what he would do.
• John 6:70 (ESV) — 70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”

God is God of everything; every atom, every purpose, every decision.
• There are no surprises.
• And not just because He knows the future.
• But because he ordains the future.

(3) Confirmation at Pentecost
Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (vs. 20)
• Jesus points to a coming historical event that will confirm everything He has ever taught the Eleven.
• He tells them that when they receive the Holy Spirit, they have confirmation that they were received by Him – the “I am he”.
• This language is the same language He has used earlier to describe His relationship to the Father.

It is telling here how Jesus uses explanation to comfort.
• He doesn’t show them how to “make everyday a Friday”.
• He doesn’t tell them everything is going to be O.K.
• He doesn’t tell them to “find themselves” or “self-actualize”.
• He points to Himself, His Word and His Action in history!

With His words, Jesus armed the disciples with the proper context, comfort and explanations for the betrayal.
• And, when the time came, the disciples could now make sense of their companions’ betrayal.
• As we are about to see, however, the one “whom Jesus loved” is apparently the only one who knows the betrayer at this time.
• We also want to take note that in the coming text there are two dimensions in play.
    o Physical – what happened at dinner
    o Spiritual – what happened in the heart


John 13:22–26 & 28-29 (ESV) — 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.

The scene described apparently played out the following way.
• Peter, as usual, wants to get more info from Jesus.
• He gets the attention of the disciple “whom Jesus loved” who was seated at a place of honor at Jesus’ side (vs. 25).
• Somehow Peter “motioned” to this disciple to ask Jesus who the betrayer was.
• Jesus told the disciple “whom Jesus loved”, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread”.
• Jesus gave the bread to Judas.
• Judas was also apparently sitting at Jesus side seated at a place of honor.
    o They reclined at a “U” shaped table.
    o So if Jesus handed bread to Judas, and the rest of the disciples were clueless, it makes sense that Judas was right beside Jesus.
• In verse 27, Jesus told Judas to go do what He has to do.
• We are told in 28 that no one knew what had just happened, except of course of the disciple “whom Jesus loved”.
• They only knew Judas left because Jesus asked him to do something.
    o They would all know in just a few hours, however, what just happened.

So this was how the physical dimension of Jesus’ revelation of betrayal played out.
• Now we need to see if we can get at how the spiritual dimension unfolded.


John 13:27 & 30 (ESV) — 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

What does John mean when he tells us that “Satan entered into him”?
• TDNT says the classic meaning for the Greek is “to come” or “to go”.
• The BDAG says that in our context the “coming to” or “going to” is based on a sense of ownership.

What we are about to find out is that Satan “came” to Judas because Judas “went” to Satan.
• The ownership is a two way street.
• Judas was not a passive victim.
• To see this, we need to uncover what we know about Judas.
• I am going to frame what we know about Judas around the desires of the heart.

What we know about Judas:
(1) Like all humans, Judas did what his heart desired.
• Matthew 26:14–16 (ESV) — 14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
• And His heart desired, at a minimum, money.

(2) Judas’ desires were not mitigated by a born again, regenerated heart; He had not trusted Christ.
• John 13:11 (ESV) — 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
• As we saw a few weeks ago, the context here is salvation and sanctification.
• Jesus excluded Judas from the saved.

(3) Judas’ father was Satan and not God.
• John 8:42–44 (ESV) — 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
• There is no neutral ground – you are either God’s or Satan’s.
• Therefore Judas’ desires aligned with Satan’s.

Important Point before we move on:
• “Satan could not have entered into him had he not granted him admission. Had he been willing to say “No” to the adversary, all of his Master’s intercessory power was available to him there and then to strengthen him. But when a disciple’s will turns traitor, when the spiritual aid of Christ is refused, that person’s condition is desperate indeed” – F.F. Bruce.
• MacArthur even points out that much of Jesus’ “teaching applied directly to him” – love of money; greed; pride.
• But, Judas refused Christ and His teaching.

Summary of Judas relationship with Satan:
• Judas was not “chosen” by Jesus and Judas rejected Jesus.
• Judas acted out of the desire of his heart.
• And from God’s perspective, Judas willingly desired what his father Satan desired.

Finally, we need to really get at what was happening with Judas and his desires.
• To do this, we turn to James who lays it all out for us.
• James 1:13–15 (ESV) — 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Judas was “lured and enticed” by his desire for money – greed.
• His desire was “conceived” and “gives birth” with his decision to go to the chief priests and negotiate.
    o Where are you going Judas?
    o “I have to take care of some ministry business.”
• His desire and sin was “fully grown” when he betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
• And it brought “forth death” with Jesus’ crucifixion and Judas’ own suicide.

This was the spiritual dimension that night.
• A devastating cycle of selfish desires running rampant.
• It started inside his heart and mind and matured into a kiss of betrayal.

But our text tells us it was so much more awful than that.
• “Satan entered into him”.
What does this mean?
The depraved desires of Judas’ heart intersected with the purposes of Satan.

Lessons for Us:
• Judas had witnessed 3 years of the miracles, signs, wonders and teaching of Jesus.
• And yet, led by the desires of his heart, he betrayed Jesus.
• We can learn a great deal from this.

1) We should never be surprised by the sin of others.
• Judas had a front row seat to Jesus.
• Yet, Judas chose himself and rejected Jesus.

2) Selfish desire is dangerous.
• Judas was selfish.
• His selfishness led to love of money.
• His desire for money aligned with the establishment’s desire to be rid of Jesus.
• A deal was struck and money changed hands.
• At any point in this process – the “conception”, “birth” and “maturity” of sin – Judas could have made different decisions.

Where are you on the road to devastating sin - “conception”, “birth” or “maturity”?
• Wake up and see.

Satan is eagerly waiting for your selfish desires to cross paths with his purposes.
• Ah, but the cleverness we use to justify our selfish desires is scary-effective.
    o “I am not respected in…”
    o “I deserve better than…”
    o “My needs aren’t being met in…”
    o “I am bored and need excitement in…”
• So we refuse to pay attention to the warnings of this coming collision of selfish desire and Satan’s purpose.

So how do we combat the selfish desires of our hearts?
• Do not trust your feelings – they are inclined to selfishness.
• We give too much power to them.
• We think they tell us the truth about what we need.
• What matters is the Work and Words of God!
• We are to look to them not to us!
• They tell us the truth about us.
• Peace and Joy come when we realize this.