Matthew 26:14-25 “The Betrayer”

Translation & Sermon by Nate Wilson for Christ The Redeemer Church Manhattan KS, 06 Oct 2013

Greyed-out text was edited from the 40-minute version of the sermon.


26:14 Then one of the Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the high priests and 26:15 said, “What are y’all willing to give me? For I will betray Him to you myself!”

So, those guys allocated to him thirty silver [coins],

26:16 and from then on, he was seeking for an opportune moment when he might betray Him.


26:17 Now, during the first of the [days of] Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus saying to Him, “Where do you want us to be preparing for you to eat the Passover?”

26:18 And He said, “Go on into the city to a certain man and say to him,

‘The teacher says, “My time is near; I’m doing the Passover at your [place] with my disciples.”’

26:19 So the disciples did as Jesus pre-arranged for them, and they prepared the Passover.


26:20 Now once it began to get late, He was sitting [for dinner] with the Twelve,

26:21 and as they ate He said, “Really, I’m telling you that one of you will betray me.”

26:22 And being very grieved, each of them began to say to Him, “I’m not [the one], am I, Lord?”

26:23 And in answer He said, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl, this man will betray me.

26:24 Then the Son of Man is going under, just as it has been written concerning Him. But woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is being betrayed; it would be better for him if that man had not come into being.”

26:25 Then, in answer, Judas His betrayer said, “I’m not [the one], am I, Rabbi?”
He says to him, “You’ve said it yourself.”


·         After seeing the extreme devotion of the woman Mary toward Jesus at the beginning of chapter 26, we now see the antithesis in Judas the betrayer[1].

·         To enter into the mind of Judas is like entering the mind of a criminal. What would make him do what he did?

·         Last April, two brothers in Centerville, Georgia by the name of Daniel and William Slaton, to­gether with some friends broke into the home of another guy who was involved in drugs with them. They apparently robbed the owner at gunpoint of an Xbox and a Playstation computer game.

·         After the Slaton brothers returned to their trailer home, one of the friends, Justin Klaffka, who was living with them, left, saying that he had to meet with his parole officer.

·         When Justin got back, the Slaton brothers were apparently nervous that Justin had said too much to the parole officer about their crimes, so Daniel drove his brother William, together with Justin and some of the other guys, down to the river, where they murdered Justin.

·         The guilt that Daniel was experiencing was tremendous. He knew he could into all kinds of legal trouble from his life of crime with drug-dealing, armed robbery, rape, and who knows what all else, and now he was an accomplice to murder. He realized that the only way to keep from getting the book thrown at him was to plea-bargain with the police and offer to testify against his own brother and the others who had murdered Justin.

·         After the trial, the judge sentenced William Slaton and one other murderer to life in prison, but the judge only sentenced Daniel to 30 years in prison because he had testified against the murderers, even though he was an accomplice to their crime.

·         I wonder if Judas may have felt sort-of like Daniel Slaton. He knew that Jesus was a wanted man. The religious leaders were out to kill Jesus, and Judas knew that charges of being an accomplice to Jesus would stick. What would the authorities do to Jesus’ disciples when they killed Jesus? Judas didn’t want to end up on the wrong side of this whole sticky situation. He believed Jesus was going to get himself killed, so it was time to do what he could to save himself. He would help the authorities capture Jesus and maybe even testify against Jesus so that he could save his own skin.


26:14 Then one of The Twelve, the one named Judas Iscariot, went to the high priests and

Τοτε πορευθεις ‘εις των δωδεκα ‘ο λεγομενος Ιουδας Ισκαριωτης[2] προς τους αρχιερεις


26:15 said, “What are y’all willing to give me? For I will betray Him to you myself!” So, those guys allocated to him thirty silver [coins],

ειπεν Τί θελετε μοι δουναι καγω ‘υμιν παραδωσω αυτον; ‘Οι δε εστησαν αυτω τριακοντα αργυρια

·         Verse 15 contains the first occurrence in this 12-verse passage of the Greek verb paradidwmi, translated “deliver, betray, or hand over.” It is the same word translated “betray” later on in verses 16, 20, 24, and 25. It is a key word.

·         The Greek grammar of Judas’ statement is not as “iffy” as most English translations render it. He is making a declaration that he actually will betray Jesus and do it himself. It’s rather emphatic.

·         What has led Judas to this extremity? Why would he betray Jesus?

o       The Bible does not tell us explicitly, but I do have to wonder if he had finally realized that Jesus meant it when He said He was going to get himself crucified, and Judas wanted to disassociate with Jesus as quickly and completely as possible so that he didn’t get put to death too.

o       Some hurt feelings may have also played into it: Jesus had just sided with the woman who poured the perfume on Him rather than agreeing with Judas’ criticism of her.

o       Perhaps he was also nervous about being exposed for embezzling the group’s funds.

o       The vice Judas held in his own heart of greed/covetousness also must have encouraged Him to betray Jesus for more money.

§         “Such is covetousness, it renders men fools and senseless, yea reckless, and dogs instead of men…” ~John Chrysostom (Homily LXXXI)

§         “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1 Timothy 6:10, NASB)

o       The parallel passage in Luke 22:3 also tells us that Satan entered into Judas.

§         John’s gospel (13:3) tells us specifically that this happened through “putting it into [Judas’] heart to betray” Jesus. Putting thoughts into our heart or mind is an important strategy of Satan.

§         The Father of Lies reinforced all kinds of false ideas about Jesus, getting him thinking resentful thoughts about how Jesus had wasted the last three years of his life, fueling fearful thoughts about the horrible things the disciples would do to punish him for stealing their money, reinforcing the sense of dread that Jesus was going to die and that Judas’ life was also going to crash and burn as a result – anything to keep Judas from trusting God to turn it all into good.

§         It’s possible that Satan could fill your mind too with resentment and despair. When we believe what is not true, we can do things we really regret later. That’s why God says to “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5), to hide “God’s word in our heart” (Psalm 119:11), and “walk in the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).

§         “Although Satan pushes us into faults day by day and reigns over us when he hurries us into a major course of sin, yet he is finally said to enter into the reprobate when all fear of God is overthrown… Let us learn to repent in good time in case, as our hardness increases, the reign of Satan becomes established in us.” ~John Calvin

·         When Judas offered to help the priests, “they allocated 30 silvers to him.”

o       The parallel passages in both Mark and Luke add that the priests were really excited about this turn of events.

o       The Greek verb histemi simply means “to stand,” so maybe it means that they “set up” an account, or maybe it means that they set them on a scale to weight them outNAS. The verb in Mark 14:11 is “promise” (επηγγειλαντο), and in Luke 22:5 the verb is “covenantedKJV together” (συνεθεντο).

o       A couple of Greek manuscripts (D, f1) add that these were Greek “staters” – coins equal in value to a Jewish shekel. If this extra information is accurate, it would be payment with “dirty” gentile money rather than “holy” temple money.

o       How much is 30 pieces of silver worth? Some scholars estimate it at around four months wages. It was also the value of a slave that had gotten himself killed messing with somebody else’s ox. (Ex. 21:32) This was far less than what a healthy man would be evaluated at for a temple vow, which was fifty shekels (Lev. 27:1-3)[3].

o       However, this is in fulfillment of the prophecy of Zecheriah 11:12b-13 “…So they weighed out (וישׁקלו/ἔστησαν) thirty shekels of silver as my wages… I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (NASB)

o       Indeed, Judas later did throw the thirty pieces back into the temple, and the money was used to buy a potter’s field, just as the prophecy foretold, but that’s getting ahead of our story.


26:16 and from then on, he was seeking for an opportune moment when he might betray Him.

και απο τοτε εζητει ευκαιριαν ινα αυτον παραδῳ[4]

·         LookingNASB/watchingNIV/seekingKJV for a good time to betray Jesus. The parallel passage in Luke 22.6 explains the sort of opportunities he was looking for, and that was specifically times when Jesus was away from the crowds.

·         You know, we’re all looking for opportunities. What kind of opportunities are you looking for?


26:17 Now, during the first of the [days of] unleavened bread, the disciples approached Jesus saying to Him, “Where do you want us to be preparing for you to eat the Passover?”

Τῃ δε πρωτῃ των αζυμων προσηλθον ‘οι μαθηται τῳ Ιησου λεγοντες αυτω[5] Ποῦ θελεις ετοιμασομεν[6] σοι φαγειν το πασχα;

·         God commanded in Exodus 12:18, “Beginning the fourteenth day of the first month, ye shall eat unleavened bread from evening, till the twenty-first day of the month, till evening.” (Brenton)

·         Matthew doesn’t actually have the word for “feast” or “day” or “bread” in this verse, but the word “day” is in the parallel account in Luke 22:7[7].

·         All the Bible commentators I read affirmed that this first day of unleavened bread was Thursday, as we would reckon days of the week. The seven days of getting rid of all leavening was done as part of the Passover with the feast on the seventh day. However, the Passover feast was attached to a certain day of the month, the fourteenth day of the month Nissan, rather than to a certain day of the week, so the day of the week that the Passover fell on that month was Friday, which the Jews considered began at sunset on Thursday.

·         But Rabbinical tradition held that if the Passover fell upon a Friday, the Passover could be celebrated instead on Saturday. They figured that since it fell so close to the Jewish Sabbath day, they might as well roll them together and celebrate on the Saturday Sabbath instead. Jesus apparently didn’t think much of that tradition, so He celebrated His Passover on the Biblically-correct day of Friday, which began on Thursday night. (Calvin)

·         Notice how similar the question the disciples asked of Jesus is to the question Judas asked of the priests, and yet how profoundly different: Judas asked, “What would you pay me to betray Jesus,” but the faithful disciples asked, “What can we do to serve your will, Jesus?”


26:18 And He said, “Go on into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The teacher[8] says, “My time is near; I’m doing[9] the Passover at your [place[10]] with my disciples.”’

Ο δε ειπεν υπαγετε εις την πολιν προς τον δεινα και ειπατε αυτῳ Ο διδασκαλος λεγει Ο καιρος μου εγγυς εστιν προς σε ποιω το πασχα μετα των μαθητων μου

·         Just as the donkey seemed to be divinely pre-arranged by Jesus before His triumphal entry, so the dining hall for the Passover also seems to be divinely pre-arranged[11].

·         Mark and Luke’s parallel accounts tell us that Peter[12] and John, who were the two disciples sent on this errand, were to look for a man carrying a water pitcher, follow him to the house, and ask the head of the household, “Where is my Lord’s guest-room?”[13]

·         Now, I’ve heard that a man carrying a water pitcher would have been a unique sight, as it was usually the women who carried water. This makes for a good explanation, but I don’t know for sure if it’s true, because, although the Samaritan at the well was a woman, it was men who filled the water pitchers at the wedding in Cana[14].

·         We can only guess who that “certain man” was – my guess is that it was a member of the household of Mark, the gospel-writer (and his mother Mary), and that this would be the “upper room” used later on for the disciples’ meetings.

·         In his book, Jesus Through Middle-Eastern Eyes, Kenneth Bailey reports that most homes were one-room structures with a floor that sloped downhill to the front door. Families with the means to add on to this structure would build a room on the uphill side and use it to entertain guests[15].

·         Whoever the host was that Jesus had in mind, the pattern in Exodus 12 was that families too small to eat a whole lamb were to combine with other people so that there would be enough people to eat the whole lamb that night, so perhaps Jesus knew that this man needed 13 more guys to come over and help him eat his Passover lamb! Perhaps he was a follower of Jesus who had invited Jesus earlier to share the feast together and Jesus was confirming the invitation.


26:19 So the disciples did as Jesus [directed/appointed] pre-arranged for them, and they prepared the Passover.

Και εποιησαν ‘οι μαθηται ‘ως συνεταξεν αυτοις ‘ο Ιησους και ‘ητοιμασαν το πασχα.

·         The traditional Passover dinner includes wine, lamb, unleavened crackers called Matzoh, egg dishes, bitter herbs, sweet fruit salad, saltwater dip, and hot horseradish dip, among other things.

·         There would also be cups and plates to acquire too.

·         Remember, no plumbing or refrigerators or electricity – it took a bit of doing, but the disciples got it all ready.


26:20 Now once it began to get late, He was sitting [for dinner] with the Twelve,

Οψιας δε γενομενης ανεκειτο μετα των δωδεκα[16]

·         The Passover lamb was slaughtered on the 14th day of the month of Nissan, which would have been a Thursday, and at sunset, the day was technically over and it was considered the 15th of Nissan, the day of the Passover feast, so they reclined for their special Passover dinner that Thursday night[17]. This was every bit as big of an occasion socially and religiously for the Jews as Easter is for Christians.

·         One of the things they had to do was to iron out who would sit where[18], which necessitated figuring out who was the greatest. Luke (22:14ff) describes this in his account, and then John’s Gospel (13:4ff) gives us Jesus’ response of taking the role of servant toward them all and washing their feet. I think that Jesus’ statement in v.21 should be considered in light of the disciples’ prideful jockeying for position at the table.


26:21 and as they ate He said, “Really, I’m telling you that one of you will betray me.”

και εσθιοντων αυτων ειπεν Αμην λεγω ‘υμιν ‘οτι[19] ‘εις εξ ‘υμων παραδωσει με.

·         Talk about dropping a bombshell! What do you say after that? “Pass the salt, please”?

·         Why would Jesus have said this at this time? The Bible doesn’t explain why, but consider:

o       The disciples needed to be deflated of their pride by getting this reality check. “You think you’re so great? Well, one of you will betray me!”

o       Furthermore, the betrayal and crucifixion is on Jesus’ mind, so it’s natural that He talk about it.

§         Before embarking on the journey to Jerusalem, He had told His disciples that He would be betrayed and killed (17:22-23).

§         Just before entering Jerusalem, Jesus had pulled His disciples aside to warn them that He was going to be betrayed and crucified there (20:19).

§         Then at the end of the Olivet discourse, perhaps on Wednesday afternoon, He had said that He was going to be crucified around Passover (26:2).

§         Then when the woman anointed Jesus with the perfume that night, He had said it was for His embalmment (26:12). This is a growing weight on His mind.

o       The disciples also needed to hear this because they needed to be prepared for Jesus to die. It shouldn’t take them by surprise and throw them into a panic.

o       These prophetic statements by Jesus prove that it was no accident that Jesus died.

§         The hostility of Judas and the chief priests didn’t take God by surprise. In fact, God had planned for this to happen a long time ago, according to Eph. 1:4.

§         The whole tragedy was not a set of events wildly spinning out of control; rather it was tightly under the providence of God with eternally-good purposes behind all the awful happenings. Jesus died for the purpose of saving sinners.

§         It was the only way we could be made right with God, because every sin must be paid for by the death of the perpetrator (Rom. 6:23) or else God cannot be a just God (Psalm 51:4). Only by becoming sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21) and dying instead of us could God save us from eternal death, and that’s what Jesus did.


26:22 And being very grieved, each of them began to say to Him, “I’m not [the one], am I, Lord?”

Και λυπουμενοι σφοδρα ηρξαντο λεγειν αυτω[20] [‘εις] εκαστος [αυτων[21]] Μητι εγω ειμι κυριε;

·         The disciples were also “very grieved” when Jesus said this kind of thing before in Matt. 17:23.

o       This time they are upset at the thought of betraying Jesus. They loved Jesus. They thought the world of Him. Never in a million years would they betray Him. It was an insult to even be accused of this.

o       Have you ever had that feeling like you were punched in the gut because somebody whom you would never have tried to hurt accused you unjustly of trying to insult or harm them?

o       In Greek grammar, a question with the negative followed by a verb in the indicative mood expects a negative answer. In English, we might say, “It’s not me, right?” The way they worded their question implies that they were expecting Jesus to say, “No, it’s not you.”

o       They had no idea who it could be. The parallel accounts in John and Luke say they were “uncertain” (John 13:22) and wondering “who could have done such a thing” (Luke 22:23).

·         It speaks well of the humility of most of the disciples, though, that they would question their own capacity to do evil rather than assume that that they could never fail in their loyalty to Jesus. “Is it I, Lord?”

o       How about you? Are you willing to open your life to God’s searching gaze and allow for the possibility of Him to convict you of sin, or will you keep things shallow with God to prevent these kind of uncomfortable situations?

·         In some sense, however, they were still missing the point. The disciples interpreted Jesus’ prophetic statement as a description of a problem to be solved. Their minds go immediately to fixing the problem of a betrayer by trying to figure out who is struggling with this problem so they can stop this person and keep Jesus alive and free. But that was not Jesus’ intent. Even though in hindsight the disciples could realize that Jesus was speaking of Judas, it was not Jesus’ intent to stop His betrayer.

o       Brothers and sisters, this is a hard doctrine to accept. How many times do we see something that is bad and then appoint ourselves the savior to swoop in and fix the problem, when it was actually God’s will for that bad thing to stick around and bring about an ultimately greater good?

o       There is a balance here which requires wisdom to navigate: On the one hand, God does not teach us to ignore evil like the Hindus and Buddhists teach, but on the other hand, God does not teach us that we are the answer to all our problems like the Humanists teach. Only a mind informed by God’s word can decide what evils to attack, and what evils to wait on God to remove. Ask Him for that wisdom and He will give it to you (James 1).


26:23 And in answer He said, “The one who dipped his hand with me in the bowl, this man will betray me.

‘Ο δε αποκριθεις ειπεν ‘Ο εμβαψας[22] μετ’ εμου εν τω τρυβλιω την χειρα ‘ουτος με παραδωσει

·         The trubliw – dishKJV,ESV/bowlNAS,NIV is, according to the Septuagint translators, the same utensil made of 130 shekels (or, if my estimate is correct, about three pounds) of silver in Numbers 7. Which still doesn’t tell us much more than that it was more likely the size of a washing or serving bowl rather than the size of an individual salad bowl or finger bowl.

·         From the context of the traditional Passover ceremony, we know that the liturgy before the meal involved dipping unleavened bread in bitter herbs as a symbol for remembering how bitter it was to be a slave, and dipping parsley in saltwater as a symbol for remembering how many tears they shed when in slavery, and then dipping bread in a fruit salad mix to remind them of the sweetness of the providence of God.

·         In Mark 14:18, this “dipping” is equated with “eating” with Jesus (in that culture they didn’t use forks and spoons), and in John 13:26ff, Jesus actually dips the bread in the “sop” and hands it to Judas, then tells him, “What you are doing, do quickly.”

·         This statement lets us know that Jesus knew who would betray Him, because He identifies Judas, and yet at the same time, Jesus does this in a way that leaves the rest of the disciples uncertain. Jesus does not intend for them to successfully stop the betrayal; He is apparently just demonstrating His sovereignty over the situation. Jesus is in complete control; the Gospel of John records that Jesus even told His betrayer when to go gather His enemies!


26:24 Then the Son of Man is going on, just as it has been written concerning Him. But woe to that man through whom the Son of Man is being betrayed; it would be better for him if that man had not come into being.”

‘ο μεν ‘υιος του ανθρωπου ‘υπαγει καθως γεγραπται περι αυτου Ουαι δε τω ανθρωπω εκεινω δι’ οὗ ‘ο ‘υιος του ανθρωπου παραδιδοται καλον ην αυτω ει ουκ εγεννηθη ‘ο ανθρωπος εκεινος

·         What does it mean that “the Son of Man is going on”?

o       While it’s possible that the hupo- prefix indicates that Jesus is “going under,” as in, being killed and buried, the rest of Matthew[23] uses this word hupagei in the sense of “going your own way,” and the parallel account in Luke 22:22 seems to confirm that by using the synonym πορευεται, which means to “go/proceed.”

o       Therefore I take this to mean that Jesus is “going on” with His plan and that He does not see Himself as the victim of the plan concocted by Judas and the priests. This betrayal is not a wrench in the works; it is the way the sovereign God will accomplish His plan. Jesus is just saying, “Don’t worry, guys, this betrayal is not the problem it seems to be; I’m moving forward with my plan!”

o       This plan was communicated by God to the prophets who wrote it down in the scriptures. Which scriptures? John’s Gospel tells us it is Psalm 41:9 “He that eats my bread lifted up his heel against me.” (ATR)

o       The fact that it had been written of beforehand indicates it was God’s predetermined plan, which is the very word we find in the parallel passage in Luke 22:22 – ωρισμενον “it has been determined” (ATR).[24] It was no accident.

·         This raises the question of whether men can really be held responsible for their sin if all their actions were predestined by a sovereign God.

o       On the one hand “it has been written” that the Messiah will be betrayed by a close comrade, yet on the other hand, Jesus approves as just and fair the punishment for Judas’ betrayal of suffering and wishing he had never been born.

o       I appreciate the ancient Greek preacher John Chrysostom’s comments on this topic, that this is too much “curiosity” into the secret counsels of God: “O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to Him that formed it, ‘Why hast Thou made me thus?’ But if thou still demandest reasons, we would say… [it is] on account of their own wickedness; wherefore also they are punished.”

·         This also teaches us that rebellion against King Jesus has dreadful consequences. “It would be better if he had never been born[25].” Thus Jesus pronounces a woe upon Judas.

o       At this point, could Judas have repented? I think so. Throughout history, it has been God’s practice to give warnings and second chances to repent of rebellion against Him.[26]

o       I believe that this threatening curse was an opportunity at which Judas could have confessed his sin and begged for mercy, but his heart was so hard that his stubborn will did not collapse under the weight of Jesus’ rebuke.

·         This also gives the other disciples some sense of what to do with Judas later on.

o       Because Jesus called Judas the “Son of Perdition” (John 17:12), the disciples are settled on what happened to him, and we do not find them wringing their hands and grieving over him when they get together in Acts 1; instead we find that they treat the late Judas Iscariot discretely, yet matter-of-factly, saying that when he died he went to his own place – and most infer that this means he went to hell.

o       “In the person of Judas, the Lord wished His people in all ages to be warned not to be shattered or knocked lifeless at traitors in the household, for what He, who is the common Head of the Church, experienced, must happen to us who are His members.” ~John Calvin


26:25 Then, in answer, Judas His betrayer said, “I’m not [the one], am I, Rabbi?”
He says to him, “You’ve said it yourself.”

Αποκριθεις δε Ιουδαςο παραδιδους αυτον ειπεν Μητι εγω ειμι ραββι; Λεγει αυτω[27] Συ ειπας.

·         Judas, knowing full well that he is the one who is betraying Jesus, attempts to use deception as a cover-up, so he asks the question in the same Greek grammar as all the other disciples did, implying that it isn’t him either.

·         Notice, however, the one difference between Judas’ question and the rest of the disciples’.

o       They all called Jesus “Kurios/Lord/Master,” but Judas only calls Him “Rabbi/Great one/Teacher.”

o       This title fits with the fact that he has decided to part ways with Jesus and no longer call Jesus his Lord and Master. He can still call Jesus a great teacher while not following or obeying Him, which is what many people in rebellion against God are content to do.

o       Is Jesus just an influential historical figure to you, or is He the one that you follow and obey and trust will save you?

·         Jesus apparently answered none of the apostles but Judas. His reply is interesting: “You said it” – the singular “you” is emphatic – “yourself.”

o       This reply is characteristic of the way that Jesus affirmed controversial statements (26:64, 27:11).

o       By replying in this way, Jesus seems to be keeping the answer obscure so that Peter didn’t get upset and kill Judas and mess things up, and yet, at the same time, Jesus seems to be inviting Judas to think about what he just said and repent of it.


I want to stop here and treat the Lord’s Supper separately, but here are 3 applications in closing.

1.      Jesus taught and demonstrated the one thing that Judas needed to combat the temptation to betray Jesus, and that was the doctrine of the sovereignty of God.

o       If Judas had believed that Jesus’ prophecies of His death were preparatory statements from an all-knowing God rather than the fretfulness of a weak man,

o       If Judas had stopped to think of what a miracle it was that Jesus had the prescience to predict the man carrying the water pot to the location of their Passover dinner,

o       If Judas had realized that all the Passover dinners throughout all of history were pointing to the sacrifice Jesus would make of Himself to atone for human sin with God,

o       If Judas had realized what it meant for Jesus to know the secrets of his heart that he, Judas, was looking for an opportunity to betray Him,

o       If it had dawned on Judas that Jesus was fulfilling a plan that He had made in eternity past to save mankind through dying for them,

o       If he had seen the fulfillment of prophecy in the events of Jesus’ life as proof that Jesus was acting out a divinely-crafted plan of salvation revealed through prophets,

o       And if Judas had remembered the myriad other miracles of Jesus, he would have been able to trust Jesus that even in these threatening circumstances, Jesus would take care of him and would turn everything to good.

o       The question is, do you believe these things, or are you, like Judas, convinced that God cannot fix the problems you are up against and Jesus cannot be trusted?

o       The events to come proved that Judas was dead wrong and that every disciple who trusted Jesus was right on.

o       Will you trust that God is in control of the events of this world and that everything is working according to His plan? Nobody is able to throw a wrench in God’s plans. “He will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes” (Romans 8:28, NAW).

o       When things look the most desperate and we are the most tempted to abandon Jesus and save ourselves, that is when we need to hang on and trust Jesus! It’ll be worth it in the end.

2.      We can also learn of the importance of resisting the devil, just as the Bible instructs us in Ephesians 6. When thoughts of fear, anxiety, mistrust, or panic, fill your mind, it’s time to stand against them, recognize that they are coming from Satan, the father of lies. Hide “God’s word in [your] heart” (Psalm 119:11). “Take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5). Confess your sins and “submit to God” (James 4), and “walk in the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4). That’s how Judas should have resisted Satan, and that’s how we can resist Satan, too.

3.      Finally, instead of asking, “What will you pay me if…” like Judas did, follow the example of the disciples who instead said, “What your will, Jesus? How can we serve you?”

·         “For when … in youth we do not practice sobriety, and when grown to manhood do not get the better of covetousness, coming to old age as to a hold full of bilge-water, and as having made the barque of the soul weak by all these shocks, the planks being separated, we shall arrive at that harbor, bearing much filth instead of spiritual merchandise, and to the devil we shall furnish laughter, but lamentation to ourselves, and bring upon ourselves the intolerable punishments. That these things may not be, let us brace ourselves up on every side, and, withstanding all our passions, let us cast out the lust of wealth, that we may also attain unto the good things to come, by the grace and love towards man of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever…” ~John Chrysostom

[1] “She freely spending in love; he willing to sell his Master for money.” ~Alexander Bruce

[2] Proper names are at particular risk for variant spellings when they cross language barriers, and a number of Latin manuscripts of this verse drop the first letter of the name Iscariot – some also drop the second letter too! No big deal.

[3] Again, the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When a man makes a difficult vow, he shall be valued according to your valuation of persons belonging to the LORD. If your valuation is of the male from twenty years even to sixty years old, then your valuation shall be fifty shekels of silver, after the shekel of the sanctuary.’” (NASB)

[4] A couple of manuscripts (D, Θ, 892) add autois “to them.” It doesn’t change the meaning, since the indirect object is already obvious from the context.

[5] Critical editions omit this word, but it is in the majority of Greek manuscripts. Neither Nestle-Aland nor the UBS mentioned in their critical apparatus any manuscript basis for their omission.

[6] The majority of Greek manuscripts spell this word in the Future Indicative as above, but the T.R. and Critical editions change one letter to make it Aorist Subjunctive (‘ετοιμασωμεν). Neither Nestle-Aland nor the UBS gave a manuscript basis in their critical apparatus for this variant spelling, so I kept the Future spelling, despite the fact that all the English versions seem to render it as Aorist, but that’s understandable because they all follow the T.R. and Critical editions, not the Byzantine majority here. It doesn’t make any difference in the story, though.

[7] Cf. Acts 12:3 and 20:6. It is unusual that the word “feast” (heorte) does not occur here to modify “unleavened bread,” for it occurs in most other verses in the Greek Bible which refer to this week: Deut. 16:16, 2 Chron. 8:13, 30:13-22, 35:17, Ezr. 6:22, Ezek. 45:21, Luke 22:1, 1 Cor. 5:8.

[8] KJV “Master” in the sense of “schoolmaster” cf. Mat. 8:19; 9:11; 10:24,25; 12:38; 17:24; 19:16; 22:16,24,36; 23:8

[9] Literally “I make” or “I do.” There are other more-specific words in Greek which mean “keepKJV” or “celebrateNIV.”

[10] The word “house” is not in the Greek text, which instead reads literally “towards you.”

[11] Note the similarity between Matt. 21:6 and 26:19.

[12] See my notes on 21:6, as to why I suspect Peter was one of the two disciples sent to get the donkey also.

[13] Hendricksen suggested that Judas was thus left unaware of the location so that he could not betray Jesus too soon.

[14] John 2:7 “Jesus said to them [αυτοις – Masculine], ‘Fill up the jars of water’” NAW

[15] Bailey (pp. 27-36) also suggests that this “upper room” is the word translated “inn” in Luke’s account of the birth of Jesus and interprets the situation that Mary and Joseph had a host home, but their host was already entertaining other guests in their guest-room, so Mary and Joseph were welcomed into the host’s own living quarters, which typically included an area for the livestock to be brought indoors at the downhill side, separated from the family living space by mangers. If this were not the case, he argues, the scandal of guests not having good quarters would have sent the shepherds scurrying to find lodging for them in their own homes.

[16] A sizeable minority of Greek manuscripts (incl. א, A, L, W, Δ, Θ) add the word “disciples,” but that does no harm to the text. We know who “the twelve” are in this context, and the editors of the Patriarchal, Textus Receptus (T.R.), and modern Critical Greek New Testaments all seem to be agreed on not including this word, although the NASB includes it.

[17] For more detail on the days and timing of Passover relative to Christ’s observance of it, see A.T. Robertson’s Harmony of the Gospels, p.279ff.

[18] Calvin argues that since they were sitting, they couldn’t have been observing the Passover, since the original feast was eaten standing, but the traditional Passover liturgy approves of sitting to symbolize that the Jews had escaped from Egypt and entered into God’s promised land.

[19] A couple of 3rd century papyri omit this word, but it does not change the meaning because the context makes clear enough that a quote follows.

[20] Several Greek manuscripts and most Latin versions omit this word, but the editors of the Patriarchal, T.R., and Critical editions of the GNT are agreed on keeping it. Once again it does not change the meaning because the context makes clear what’s going on.

[21] The eis “into” and the autwn “of them” in this phrase are debated among the manuscripts. Critical editions of the Greek New Testament omit the latter, and Patriarchal and T.R. editions omit the former. There is a fair amount of ancient manuscript support for both their omission and their inclusion, although the majority of the Greek manuscripts omit the former and include the latter. The sense of the phrase, however, is the same, although almost no two English versions translate the phrase alike! The parallel passage in Mark 14:19 is also slightly different: εἷς καθ᾿ εἷς “one by one.”

[22] This word “baptize into” is only found in the Greek Bible here and in the parallel passage in Mark, where it is Present instead of Aorist, indicating more than just one dip.

[23] The word hupagei only shows up once in the Greek Old Testament, and that’s in a passage about the parting of the Red Sea (Ex. 14:21), which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Jesus being betrayed.

[24] Cf. Act 2:23, which uses the same word that Luke 22:2 does: “this Man, delivered over by the predetermined (ωρισμενη) plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” Consider also other prophecies of Jesus’ death, such as: Psalm 22:16 “For many dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked doers has beset me round: they pierced my hands and my feet,” (Brenton) and Isaiah 53:9 “And His grave was given to be with wicked men, however, in His martyrdom, it was with a rich man, because He had done no violence, and there was no deceit in His mouth” (NAW).

[25] This hypothetical situation is framed grammatically as a second class conditional (ei + Aorist) which assumes that the condition is false, and that stands to reason, since Judas obviously had been born!

[26] “Yes, in God’s incomprehensible and all-comprehensive decree there is room even for solemn admonitions given to those who ultimately are lost… Before one is ready to deny the possibility of earnest warnings even for the reprobate, he should study Gen 4:6-7, Prov. 29:1, Luke 13:6-9 and 34-35.” ~William Hendriksen

[27] A few Greek manuscripts, including two of the earliest-known, add “Jesus” as the subject of the verb “said,” but the vast majority, including many just as old do not have an explicit subject here. Although not even the Critical editions include Jesus’ name, the NASB and NIV add it in. This would contradict the claims of the KJV-only enthusiasts who claim that a problem with the modern English versions is that they avoid including Jesus’ name. Either way, however, the context makes clear enough that it was Jesus who made this response.