John 13:21-30- The Son of Perdition

Explanation- As Jesus finishes His teaching on servanthood, He becomes troubled in Spirit. It is at this time that He announces that one of those sitting with Him at that very moment will betray Him. What is very interesting about this is that not one of the disciples immediately think of Judas. Peter does not turn and say to John, ‘I always knew that Judas was a traitor.’ No, a very different happening takes place indeed. Instead of immediately recognizing Judas as the betrayer, they all seem to be confused and wondered who it could be. This shows the level of comradery that the disciples shared. For roughly the last three years they had enjoyed deep fellowship (as well as disputes and quarrels) with one another. Not one of them would have pointed the finger at another and accused them of this sort of conduct. Even after Jesus tells them that the one who eats the morsel is the betrayer and He passes it to Judas, they are still unaware. As Judas gets up to leave none of them suspect that he is on his way to commit the unthinkable. I would say that this makes sense in light of the necessity of what Judas set out to do. If the other disciples had understood what was happening, surely they would have sought to stop Judas from betraying the Lord by force. But because the son of perdition was raised up for this precise reason there seemed to be a blindness on the other disciple’s part.

Application- When observing this account I can’t help but notice the disciple’s ignorance to Judas’ betraying nature. They were entirely unaware that there was a devil in their midst and it is even recorded in the Gospel of Luke that they questioned among themselves who this traitor could be. Obviously there are deeper applications in this passage than I am able to express at this time, but I believe there is something to be said about the parable of the wheat and the tares when considering this passage. In the parable there are tares sown in the farmer’s field by an enemy. When these tares begin to rise up workers notice and ask whether they should begin to pluck these tares out. To this the farmer says no because in doing so they may pull up a wheat instead. In light of this, it is not our place to pluck out the ‘Judas’ in our lives. Surely we should use discernment and, as Paul instructs the Corinthians, have no fellowship with those who claim to be of the body yet are living in rampant, unrepentant sin. But in most cases we must leave the pruning and plucking to the Lord. If we approach a man as a betraying Judas when he is really a fearful Peter, then we may cause unnecessary damage to one who belongs to Christ. Again, let us practice godly discernment but never at the cost of mistakenly plucking out a grain of wheat.