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JESUS DISCOVERS THE PURPOSE OF JUDAS, AND GIVES A NEW COMMANDMENT.
From John, Chap. xiii.
If ye know these things, said Jesus, happy are ye
I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen ; but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me, hath lifted up his heel against me.
Now I tell you before it come, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me: and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.
When JESUS had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, LORD, is it I?
And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
The son of Man goeth, as is written of him: but we unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed: it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Now there was leaning on JESUS' bosom, one of his disciples whom JESUS loved.
Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.
He then lying on JESUS' breast, saith unto him, LORD, who is it?
JESUS answered, He it is to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.
Then Judas which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot the son of Simon.
And after the sop, Satan entered into him. Then said JESUS unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that JESUS had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast: or that he should give something to the poor.
He then having received the sop, went immediately out and it was night.
Therefore, when he was gone out, JESUS said, Now is the Son of Man glorified, and Gon is glorified in him.
If God be glorified in him, GoD shall also glorify him in himself; and shall straightway glorify him.
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say unto you,
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
How amiable was our LORD's behaviour towards the traitor Judas? Instead of publicly reproaching him for his ingratitude, which would have exposed him to the rage of the other Apostles, he laid aside private rescutment, and supported, to the last moment of his life, the character
character of the MESSIAH. It was proper that our LORD should give those select witnesses who were, after his death, to bear testimony to his life and actions, every satisfactory proof that he was the CHRIST: for this pur pose he told his Apostles, that the hearts of every one of those whom he had chosen to be his intimate companions were perfectly known to him, and that one of them would betray him. Our LORD intimated, that he had power to restrain the malice of this false friend; but since the honour of GoD required the fulfilment of the prophecy concerning the circumstance relating to his being betrayed, he was resolved to let the traitor take his course, after he had done all that was consistent with his own character, for his reformation. And that the rest of his Apostles might be encouraged to maintain his cause, notwithstanding the success of his enemies against him, our LORD assured them, that he would support their interest as his own. It appears, that our LORD's sensibility was greatly wounded by the ingratitude of Judas, and that he felt a benevolent sorrow for the ruin this ordid wretch was going to bring on himself; and our LORD did not reply to the earnest solicitations of his Apostles to tell them the name of the traitor. Those who were innocent, had already been assured by our LORD that he did not suspect them, for he knew all whom he had chosen but he privately gave to his beloved disciple John a sign, with a view to prove that he knew not only that he should be betrayed, but also who the person was that should betray him. We may suppose that ovr LORD's reply to Judas, Thou hast said, was not spoken openly; for it does not appear that any, excepting John, understood that Judas was the man.
Our LORD's presenting Judas with a sop, was an act of kindness and friendship, calculated to recall his affection and gratitude; but he was not disposed to receive
it as such: for the knowledge that his secret was discovered, filled him with rage and indignation; and Satan was ready to suggest, that Judas had best hasten the execution of it, lest it should be counteracted, and himself exposed to the resentment of JESUS and the other Apostles: Judas, therefore, arose in haste, that he might get JESUS apprehended immediately. Our Lord, to convince him that he knew his design, said, What thou doest, do quickly; thus intimating, that he now gave the traitor up to follow his own wicked inclinations, since neither warnings nor kindness could have any effect on him, This expression also implied, that our LORD was perfectly resigned to his approaching sufferings, and wished not to delay them.
We find that the other Apostles did not in the least suspect Judas, but supposed that he was either gone to purchase such provisions as they might want during the continuance of the festival; or that he had a commission from our LORD, to distribute some private benefaction, If Judas had had any goodness remaining in his heart, he certainly must have been restrained by our LORD'S gentleness from taking so cruel a step; but we find that he continued obdurate. When he was departed, our LORD informed his disciples that he should soon be glorified; and that the glory of the SUPREME BEING would be manifested in a most striking manner through him, so as to give a convincing proof of the union which subsisted between him and his Father. Then addressing his Apostles in the endearing terms of parental affection, he informed them, that in a few hours they would be deprived of his presence and conversation; but solicitous to do every thing that could tend to promote their ease and comfort in particular, and the temporal and future happiness of Christians in
all ages of his church, our LORD gave them, before his departure, a positive command to "LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS HE HAD LOVED THEM." This might properly be called a new commandment ; for though our LORD had shewed in his parable of the good Samaritan. that the law of Moses enjoined universal charity, yet no one had yet carried his virtue so far as he, the Son of GOD, was then going to do, in laying down his life for the good of mankind.
To enforce still more the duty of brotherly love, our LORD appointed it to be a sign or badge to distinguish his disciples from the rest of the world: and the history of mankind evinces, that no people have been so remarkable for kindness to each other as Christians have. Let us, therefore, in obedience to our LORD's command, and in imitation of his blessed example, consider Christians of all denomination as our brethren; and as such let us, according to our abilities, interest ourselves for their welfare; instruct, counsel, comfort, and pray for them; vindicate them when they are accused, and compassionately bear with their failings. Thus CHRIST loved his disciples, and thus ought Christians to love their brethren. In one instance we cannot imitate the pattern of our blessed REDEEMER; for who amongst his followers is so perfect, as to have reason to think he can purchase salvation for another, by laying down his life for him, much less for the whole race of mankind? Neither does the world furnish occasions for practising this duty in the slightest degree; for if men are so hardened as to despise the mediation of CHRIST,no man can make atonement for him; and if he avails himself of his Redeemer's mediation, he will stand in need of no other.
From our LORD's behaviour to Judas we are instructed to avoid all bitter reproaches towards those who have injured us; to use our endeavours to disarm their malice; and, if we fail of success, to leave them to pursue their