Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. What Jesus left out was that phrase, my friend in whom I trusted.
You know why? Jesus didn't trust Judas. Jesus never trusted Judas. Jesus knew from the beginning it was Judas. Jesus wasn't caught by surprise when Judas betrayed him. And today on Connect with Skip Heitig, Skip shares the conclusion of his message, the long expected traitor, and shows you that Jesus knew all along what would happen and chose Judas anyway. God has revealed himself through his word so that we can know him intimately and personally. That's why we share these messages, to help you connect to God through his word and grow in your walk through an intentional relationship with him. And when you support this ministry, you keep these teachings you love available to you and so many others around the world, so they too can grow and connect with God. Just call 800-922-1888 to give a gift today. That's 800-922-1888. Or visit connectwithskip.com slash donate. That's connectwithskip.com slash donate.
Thank you. Now, we're in John 13 as we join Pastor Skip. With all due respect to Leonardo da Vinci, who gave us that famous painting, The Last Supper. It's a great painting, but it's so inaccurate because if you know the painting, everybody's sort of leaning toward Jesus facing the camera, right? Is it kind of off to one side?
And as nice as that picture is and as lofty in the art world as it has become, it doesn't paint the accurate picture. They weren't sitting on chairs at a table like you and I have a meal. They were at a triclinium, a U-shaped table called a triclinium, three-sided table. And in those days, they would not sit in chairs but recline on their left elbow, typically with their right hand free to grab food, to pass it around. But they were in a relaxed, reclined position so that as they were reclining, John would have been to Jesus' right, leaning left toward Jesus' breast.
And then Jesus would have been reclining toward somebody else. Now, you'll notice in verse 26 that Jesus said, It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread, and having dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Did you know that at a meal like Passover, there were places of honor to be given by the host, typically? The places of honor was the right hand and the left hand. You remember Mrs. Zebedee who came to Jesus one time? She goes, I have a small request. I want my two boys to sit at your right and left hand in the kingdom.
Those were places of honor. So at the Last Supper, John, invited presumably by Jesus to sit at his right hand, was leaning toward Jesus' breast. So all he had to do is cock his head a little bit and go, So who is it? And Jesus could simply look and say, The one to whom I give a piece of bread. Jesus took a piece of bread and passed it to someone.
And in that U-shaped table, the one he could reach would be the person on his left. And I believe that was Judas Iscariot. So you have John leaning left into Jesus' breast. Jesus leaning left into Judas' breast. Judas leaning left into somebody else's bosom. He took the bread and he gave it to Judas, which must have meant that before the evening started, our Lord went not just to John, but to Judas and said, Judas, I want you to sit right next to me tonight. Jesus knew all about this creep, but he invites him right next to him, as if perhaps one final reach out to say, doesn't have to be this way.
You don't have to do this. Reaching for his heart. Now, I can't say that for certain, but I do know this for certain. John was right where Jesus was right where Jesus wants us to be. Leaning toward him, toward his heart, being able to just talk to him so intimately. Jesus does not just want to be in your midst. He wants to be in your heart.
He wants to be in the center of your life. And John was in the right place, leaning toward Jesus. Here's my question for you. Are you like John, leaning toward Jesus? Or are you more like Judas, leaning away from Jesus?
It's a good question for evaluation. Which way am I inclined? Am I leaning? So Judas was among the followers. The second noteworthy thing about this text is he was against the master. He was against the master. In verse 18, we noted that Jesus quotes an Old Testament prophecy, which we'll look at in a moment. But notice it. He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.
What a picture that is of somebody lifting up their heel like kicking you away. I want nothing to do with him. Did you know that there are some people who actually think Judas Iscariot wasn't a bad guy?
He was a good guy. Yeah, he has been recast throughout history. And you will note this around Easter time when they have those kooky television specials about the real story of Jesus and his followers. And they'll make something up from some crazy source that they found. They'll make a whole documentary to subvert any traditional faith in Jesus Christ. And many of them make Judas out to be this misunderstood hero who is trying to save Jesus from himself. But Jesus got himself into trouble, wouldn't listen to Judas. They make him out to be the hero, Judas.
It goes all the way back to a play and a movie in the 60s called Jesus Christ Superstar and a book that was put out by Hugh Shonfield called The Passover Plot. Those are sources that try to cast Judas as the good guy. I just want you to know Judas was not a good guy. Jesus in John 6 calls him a devil.
How's that for a title? There's a devil among you. In his prayer to the Father in John 17, our Lord Jesus called him the son of perdition. So he's not a good guy. He was a greedy guy, but he was not a good guy. He didn't serve Christ. He sabotaged Christ. He didn't see Jesus as his master. He looked at Jesus as his servant that would help him out. Now we don't know for sure, but we do know that Judas, like many other Jews, expected a political messiah, not a savior who would die for people. They wanted some deliverer who would take them out of the oppression that Rome had brought to them. And perhaps Judas betrayed Jesus to force Jesus into a place where he would have to conquer Rome or be conquered.
We don't know for sure, but one thing we do know for sure, Judas had no place for the cross. He didn't want a cross. He wanted a crown, and he wanted to be one who would have authority. If there's going to be a kingdom, he wanted to be first in line. The thing is you have to go to the cross to wear the crown.
There was no cross in his thinking. But there's more than that. Judas was covetous. He was a money guy. We know that. He kept the treasury.
He kept the glory. But we get insight into who Judas was. A few nights before this, when our Lord, with his disciples, is at the home of Mary and Martha, Lazarus, and they're in Bethany, and you know the story how Mary takes this very expensive vial of oil ointment, breaks it open, and pours it on Jesus' feet. It was very expensive, and it was quite a sacrifice. And the whole room is filled with this beautiful odor, aroma. Well, one of the disciples named Judas pipes up, and he says, now listen to how righteous this sounds.
Why wasn't this oil sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor? Ooh. You think that's the kind of guy we want on staff. He's going to keep everybody accountable to the penny. But John gives us the footnote, tells us why.
He said this. He said not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief. And he had the money box, and he used to take what was put in it. So now we get a better picture of Judas Iscariot, not a good guy, a guy. Here's a guy with a critical eye and a hypocritical heart on Jesus' team. Francis Bacon once said, a bad man is worse when he pretends to be a saint. What I do love about that story is Jesus immediately turns to Judas and rebukes him publicly, and that could have kind of set him off and pushed him over the edge in his betrayal. He said, let her alone.
She has done this for my burial. So he was among the followers, and he was against the master. There's a third and final notable trait of Judas Iscariot. He was anticipated by the Scriptures.
This was all predicted. So go back to verse 18 and notice what Jesus does. He says, I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but that the Scriptures may be fulfilled. Now he's showing that what Judas did was predicted. He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it comes that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am he.
What does Jesus do? He's quoting. He's quoting an Old Testament Scripture.
And who's he quoting? His relative, King David, his ancestor, King David. In Psalm 41, verse 9, David writes this. Now, it is believed that when David wrote Psalm 41, 9, what he was referring to was his own personal feeling of betrayal when a trusted counselor named Ahithophel betrayed him. You that know your Bibles know that Ahithophel was a counselor of David who sided with Absalom the son of David who rebelled against his father.
And Ahithophel, his buddy, his friend, betrayed him and sided with Absalom in that revolt. So David writes about that. So Jesus pulls out Psalm 41, verse 9, because it fit perfectly.
He, like his ancestor David, was also being betrayed. However, there's one part of it Jesus left out. In quoting Psalm 41, 9, he leaves a phrase out, and that phrase is noteworthy. So you look at verse 18. I'm going to read to you Psalm 41, 9.
Notice the difference. Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. What Jesus left out was that phrase, my friend in whom I trusted.
You know why? Jesus didn't trust Judas. Jesus never trusted Judas. Jesus knew from the beginning it was Judas. In fact, he announces that it is Judas. All the way up he gives hints until he finally gives the bread and shows the hand of Judas Iscariot. Way back in John, chapter 6, Jesus said, some of you do not believe, for Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. And then in John 13, verse 10, he says to them, you are clean, but not all of you, for he knew who would betray him, therefore he said, you are not all clean. So Jesus didn't trust him, so he didn't quote the part, the one in whom I trusted.
He didn't trust him because he knew him, which brings up a question. If Jesus knew him so well, why did he pick him to begin with? And I'm not going to try to unravel all the Calvinistic and Arminian arguments and predestination and free will and all that.
I'm just going to answer it two simple ways. Number one, he picked him to fulfill Scripture. Jesus had complete and total knowledge, complete awareness of prophecy, of his situation, of Judas Iscariot, and to fulfill prophecy, he did it. Like he says here, that the Scripture may be fulfilled. In John 17, he prays to his father. He goes, father, of those you gave me, I lost none of them, except for one, the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I'm going to take it off that divine plane and take it to the human level for a moment. Just the second reason, and that is this, to love anyone at all is to make yourself vulnerable. Anytime you will give your love away to anyone, you are taking a risk. You are becoming vulnerable, and it means the possibility, almost the guarantee, that you're going to be hurt. I had somebody ask me, skip, how can I love and not be hurt? I said, don't love. Don't even get involved with any person on any level, in any relationship. Have no trust, be a recluse, live in the desert, have a dog, but no person, because you can't.
Because you can't. To love at all, to commit at all, to have any relationship at all, is to bring with it the possibility and almost the guarantee that somewhere along the line you are going to be hurt. And I'm sorry to be so cliche about this and quote that old song that I never really liked, but love hurts. I was from, what, Nazareth, this is a group, and I will not sing it. It would ruin it all.
I tried it at the previous service, it was a bomb. When people stand up in front and give their vows at a wedding, no one says, for better or for best, for richer or for richest, in health and prosperity till rapture do us part, it's in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, till death do us part. There's a lot of pain built into those words. Anybody can love an ideal person, the challenge is to love the real person. Jesus chose Judas, knowing all along who this man was and what he would do, but he chose him anyway. Can I just say to you, those of you who have been betrayed by someone, and I know there's a lot of you who have, and because of that betrayal, because your heart has been broken and even crushed and trodden, you over time have learned to develop mechanisms around your life to become harder, maybe even bitter, to stay people away, and I just want to say don't stop, love anyway.
Knowing in advance you could be hurt and probably will be, love anyway. I read a testimony of a man, a Christian man, whose wife was an alcoholic and she admitted to him that she had an affair 10 years before this confession she gave to him, 10 years before with his best friend, best friend. His heart was broken, crushed, it almost destroyed their marriage, turned the kids against her, their friends isolated them, it was almost the end of their marriage, but he said, I remembered something that Jesus taught his disciples to pray, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. He said, I knew that at some point I'm gonna have to forgive, I have to do that. He said the first time he met that man, his best friend, he hadn't seen in a while, when he first time he saw him again, he said something within me made me thrust my arm out toward him and grab him and shake his hand and extend forgiveness to him. And he writes this, for the first time in my life, I knew what it was to forgive.
I felt a tremendous sense of release as an unbearable weight of bitterness was lifted from my heart. He said it was that experience of forgiveness to that man that helped him to fully forgive his wife and the relationship was reconciled. So Jesus quotes Psalm 41 9 of Ahithophel's betrayal of David, applies that now to himself with Judas Iscariot to show that the scripture was being fulfilled. It was anticipated by scripture. And there were other parts of this betrayal that were also predicted.
We don't have time to have you turn to them all, but I'll make mention of them. For example, the exact amount of betrayal is given and the kind of metal used in that betrayal is given. In Matthew chapter 26, I'll read a couple of verses to you. It says, Then one of the twelve called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests and said, What are you willing to give me if I deliver him to you? And they counted out to him 30 pieces of silver.
So from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. What's amazing about that is 520 years before that event, a prophet named Zechariah wrote this poetic prophecy in chapter 11 of the book of Zechariah, talking about money being given to betray and end the ministry of what he calls a good shepherd. And this is what Zechariah writes.
Zechariah 11, verse 11 and 12. Then I said to them, If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages, and if not, refrain. So they weighed out for me my wages 30 pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, Throw it to the potter. That princely price they set on me. So I took the 30 pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter.
Did you hear that? There are some amazing details in that. Number one, it suggests there'll be a haggling over the price. And there was, Matthew tells us, Judas was saying, Well, what are you going to give me for this?
And there was some kind of an agreement and disagreement and they settled on the price. Number two, that the metal involved would be not gold, not copper, which were common in metallurgy at the time, but silver, 30 pieces of silver. Number three, the amount, 30 pieces, not 20 pieces of silver, 30. Is that significant, 30 pieces of silver? Again, you Bible students will remember that in the Old Testament, 30 pieces of silver was the price to repay somebody whose servant had been gored by an ox. So here's how it worked. Let's say I have an ox.
You're out in the field. You send your servant out to keep my ox away from your field, and the ox turns around and gores him. The law requires me to give you 30 pieces of silver. That's the price for a servant being gored by an ox.
So what much? Again, is that significant? Well, Jesus is called the servant of God. Paul the Apostle in Philippians said he became a servant and served God's will to the point of death, and he was treated as such. And then the final detail is that once the money was paid, it would be thrown down in the house of the Lord and used to buy a potter's field.
Matthew 27 tells us Judas was remorseful afterwards. He threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed and went out and hanged himself. The priest said, what are we going to do with this money?
We can't put it in the treasury. It's blood money. So they went and bought a potter's field. An amazing set of prophecies.
Now I want to close on a personal note. I've been in the ministry long enough to know that there are people that come to churches, not all of them, thank God, but there are some who come to churches who do exactly what Judas did 2,000 years ago. Oh, they play the game. They know the rules. They sit right down.
They fit right in. But outside the church, they lie. They curse. They scheme. They gossip. They grumble. They complain. They bar hop. They party. They cheat on their wives. They cheat on their husbands. All the while, like Judas, in effect, they deny their Lord.
That's the spirit of Judas. What I'm thankful for is they are the exception, not the rule. Now, when you go out at night and look up at the heavens, if you ever see one of those shooting stars, a meteor, falling star, what do you do? Well, I tell you what I do. I go, wow, ooh, ah, hey, look, check it out. I just saw a falling star.
Now, why do we do that? Because they're rare. Because stars normally don't fall. For every one falling star, there are billions of others who hang in there and shine brightly. And I am honored and thankful for the solid believers who don't fall, who love their husbands, love their wives, love their family, love their church, live in integrity, keep their promises. Honored for those people, thankful for those people. I see so many around. Keep hanging in there.
Keep being that example. That concludes Skip Heitzig's message from the series Against All Odds. Find the full message, as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Now, we want to tell you about a resource that'll help you answer the tough questions about Jesus' life, ministry, and divinity. Josh McDowell has written books that rank among the bestselling Christian works of all time. Now, with his son, Sean, Josh has released Evidence for Jesus. God gave us our mind and our heart to work in unity.
To what? To glorify him. The Bible, I call it fact, fiction, or fallacy. I want to answer two questions about the Bible.
This is what I struggle with as a non-believer. One, is what we have written down the same as what was written down 2,000 years ago, or has it been changed? Second, was what was written down true? In Evidence for Jesus, Josh and Sean McDowell have adapted and updated the Evidence for Jesus section from their classic apologetics book, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, into a concise, readable, and accessible resource for those seeking answers about Jesus. This powerful new resource is our thanks for your gift of $50 or more to support the broadcast ministry of Connect with Skip Heitzig.
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Give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer, or call 800-922-1888. Remember that you can find a treasure trove of resources to help you go deep into God's word at connectwithskip.com. Check it out today and connect with more life-changing truth from Scripture. That's connectwithskip.com. Be sure to come back next week as Skip continues his series, Against All Odds. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, a connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
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