The Prediction of Betrayal
Have you ever been betrayed by someone and how did it make you feel?
We have entered the final hours of Jesus' life. In our study of the book of Luke we have seen Jesus' triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem, a humble entry for the King of the Universe. Upon entering Jerusalem Jesus went into the temple and cleaned out His Father's House and cleared out the corruption which has seeped into the religious practice of their day. From there He would enter the temple and teach all the while being challenged by the religious leaders and nationalists of His day, all to no avail. Each time they would challenge Him He would silence their efforts by proving to be wiser in the ways of God, religion, politics and relationships. Now all the challenges have been brought up, Jesus has proven that when it comes to wisdom there is no one wiser then Him and now His public ministry has ended and as we saw last week Jesus now moves into His last hours which are very private between Jesus and His closest followers, His apostles. These again are the men hand chosen by Jesus through an entire evening of prayer to be His sent out ones who were destined to serve God as the leaders of the church.
As we have seen there are twelve but not all twelve are destined to lead the church but one has actually been destined for something else. As we opened out study of Chapter 22 we saw the plan of betrayal which entailed the religious leaders being jealous of Jesus' power and authority plotting to kill Jesus. They wanted Him out of the way so they could regain their corrupt control over the people of God once again. The problem was they were to afraid of the people. So what were they to do. In comes Judas, motivated by greed he conspires with the religious leaders to find an appropriate time to turn Jesus over to them. With the agreement in place Judas goes to be with Jesus for His last hours of life looking for an opportunity to turn Him over.
From the plan of betrayal we moved to the preparation of the Lord's table which is established through the Passover meal. The table was prepared by two of Jesus' closest apostles and it was a meal Jesus had longed to have with them. It was an important meal as we saw last week as we looked at the purpose of the table, that the table is a symbol of celebration, fellowship and sealing. Jesus' prayers of thanksgiving brought out these truths and the table is now a picture of the deliverance of all mankind from their sin due to Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross. The shedding of His blood is the seal of the covenant God has made with the prophet Jeremiah for anyone who places their faith and trust in Him and His finished work on the cross.
We took a very close look at the table last week and this week we will take a look at God's predetermined plan for Jesus once again. Because this morning we will look at Jesus' prediction of His betrayal.
We will see this in Luke 22:21-23;
“But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. “For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.
Luke has us still in the upper room with Jesus and His apostles. Luke still has them at the table and this is sometime during the meal. Jesus has just given thanks for one of the cups of wine and said, "this cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood." So here is Jesus ratifying the covenant God has made and this covenant is in Jeremiah 31:31-34. Let's look at this covenant. God says in Jeremiah 31:31-34;
“Behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. “They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Do you see what this covenant is. It is a covenant that God has provided that fulfills the covenant God has made with Moses. The covenant God made with Moses relied heavily on the observance of the Law which God provided for the nation of Israel. This observance was to set the people apart because they were a holy people called by God to be His chosen race who would worship Him and serve Him. The problem was they didn't obey the Lord or His Law. God was continually faithful to them yet they were continually turning their backs on Him.
So God made a covenant with the nation of Israel that He would put the law on the hearts of man, He would separate them unto Himself in a new and powerful way. This covenant has been made by God and is now ratified by Jesus at the Lord's table. This covenant doesn't depend on us, it doesn't depend on our observance to the Law as it did for the nation of Israel. This covenant depends on God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. God made the covenant, Jesus ratified it and the Holy Spirit seals this promise on our hearts.
This covenant was made by God, confirmed by Jesus and sealed by the Holy Spirit and it was all orchestrated by God as well. God made this covenant and it wasn't for Him, it was for His creation. So now that He has made it He is the One who makes sure it is confirmed. No one else can do this only He can and as Luke continues His account of Jesus' private time with His apostles we find Jesus is in control of the event of the Lord's table. Jesus also knows exactly what is going to happen and how it will happen.
These twelve here who are with Jesus are the representatives of the nation of Israel. They are represent the twelve tribes. So as God is saying in Jeremiah 31, He will make a covenant with the nation of Israel that is exactly who Jesus is making a covenant with here it is the nation of Israel. This covenant is for all mankind still just because Jesus has made this covenant doesn't mean all mankind will automatically be saved from their sin.
Jesus tells the apostles the cup is a picture of His blood being poured our for them them but He continues. As we look at the beginning of verse 21 we see this word 'but' and I don't usually make a big deal about a conjunction like this, but this word is very strong here it is a strong contrast here. Jesus is painting this picture of fulfillment in this meal and how He is the ratifier of the covenant God has made and these men are the representatives of the nation.
'But' there is a problem, one of you is a traitor. This peaceful, pleasant celebration is now turning. These men have been enjoying a wonderful time of fellowship with a man they trust and admire. They have followed Him for three years, all across the nation of Isreal. They have seen Him heal the sick, bring the dead to life, teach with great power and authority confound the religious leaders of the day. They have eaten with Him on numerous occasions. They were as close as they could be to another living person and now Jesus drops a bombshell on them, "the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table."
See here is the thing when it comes to betrayal. Betrayal isn't done by a stranger. If it is a stranger it is deception or malice but it is not betrayal. The Lexham Cultural Ontology Glossary provides a good definition of betrayal.
Opposition or harm that befalls someone at the hands of someone they trusted.
This is exactly what betrayal is and Jesus is telling us in verse 21 that one of the twelve will betray Him, one of those He has poured the last three years of His life into. It is one of the men who has not only watched Jesus heal the leapers and teach with great power and authority but is one of the ones who was even given authority himself to go out and do the same. This is a man who sat next to Jesus had his feet washed by Jesus, was entrusted to watch over the money, he is one of them, and Jesus tells them, tells the twelve one of you will betray me.
Jesus is well aware of what is about to happen and who it is that will betray Him. He isn't surprised by this. Jesus knows what is about to happen and Jesus has always known what was going to happen. He even knew what would happen before He called Judas as one of His twelve.
Jesus is for the first time telling His disciples by what means He will die, it will be by betrayal, through the disloyalty of one whom He has been deeply loyal to. This is all part of a Predetermined Plan.
Look with me at the first half of verse 22, verse 22, "For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined;" Jesus going to the cross was always the plan. His death was always the means for deliverance of all mankind. This was never a secret and in fact it should not have taken the apostles by surprise either. They should have known what was written in Genesis 3:15. Right after Adam and Eve's betrayal of God in the garden, God pronounced the curse that Adam and Eve brought upon themselves for not listening and obeying but in this curse God provides the cure as well. We find it here in Genesis 3:15.
And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
This is pointing to the cross, it is pointing to the serpent, Satan, giving a minor wound to Jesus but Jesus being victorious over Satan by bruising his head. The apostles would have known this.
They also would have known Isaiah especially Isaiah 53. Isaiah 53 is a very clear picture of what God has planned for the Messiah. Let's look at Isaiah 53,
Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him. He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due? His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth. But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities. Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.
God has had this plan all along. God knew Jesus would go to the cross, not only did He know it who predetermined it, He planned it out before hand. Jesus is God, Jesus was aware of the plan. Jesus is also aware of how the plan will be carried out and who the players are. This entire evening was appointed. Remember Jesus in verse 15 said, "I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." He know this night was coming and He knew who would be there and He knew when the betrayer was going to go out and turn Him over to the religious leaders for 30 silver pieces.
Jesus was well aware of Judas' heart He was well aware of Judas would do which in Judas' actions brought about the ratification of the covenant because Judas' actions put Jesus on the cross.
Even though Judas was a part of God's plan to bring Jesus to the cross and ratify the covenant God has made with the nation of Israel doesn't mean Judas would go unpunished for his evil act. What Judas does is a Punishable Offense.
Look with me at the rest of verse 22, Jesus continues, "but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!" The "woe" here is a statement of grief and sorrow for the person who will commit this act. Jesus not only knows who it is that will betray Him but Jesus being the judge of the world also knows what fate befalls him for such a dreadful act. Judas, even though, he is fulfilling the predetermined plan of God to bring Salvation to all mankind is not going to receive Salvation himself. We looked at this a few weeks ago when we looked at Judas planning the betrayal. His heart is not motivated to follow after Jesus but to follow after the world and the pleasures the world offers instead of following Jesus all the way to the grave.
I want to take a look at a lengthy text in Romans, I want us to make sure we understand that man is responsible for their behavior, man is responsible for disobeying God. Judas at the judgment seat can't say Satan made me do it or it was God's plan so I should still get in.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Who is to blame for any evil deed you do?
Look I have said it before we are born in sin our natural inclination is to chase after the things and pleasures of this world. That is it. It is only by the grace of God that we are saved from our sin. He has called for His sake and for His purpose and through the New Covenant that Jesus has ratified once He opens our eyes to His truth and His ways He saves us by the power of His Holy Spirit and seals us to serve Him. There are those who are destined to be saved but there are those who are not. There are event those who will say they are and really are not. Those who are not saved those who live in willful disobedience do so because God has left them to their depraved state. They doesn't mean they get a pass, they will still be judged. Sin must be punished. Either you accept your sinfulness and believe Jesus paid the penalty for your sin and took your punishment for you or you live in willful disobedience and take the punishment yourself.
Would you rather Jesus take the punishment for your sins or you take the punishment for your own sins?
One more thing about Jesus saying "woe' to Judas here. There are people who will never believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior but it doesn't mean Jesus and God don't care about them. They do, they still love them and Jesus' offer of forgiveness on the cross for the sins of the world was still offered for them, even if they never accept and believe.
So Jesus is aware of the betrayal and He tells us it was God's predetermined plan. Judas' will not go unpunished but one thing we need to keep in mind is even when evil things are happening around us we can't have preoccupied hearts
Let's look at verse 23 at the apostles reaction to Jesus' prediction. Verse 23 says, "And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing." Here we have the apostles sitting with Jesus, Jesus has washed their feet, and inaugurated the new covenant. He has told them He will be betrayed, turned over to His enemies. And all the apostles do here is worry about who it could be that would do such a thing. They are so preoccupied with who could do such a thing and pointing fingers that they are missing the big picture. God is working in all of this, God is working toward bringing about the fulfillment of His plan of redemption and the apostles instead of praying with Jesus and checking their hearts they begin to point fingers.
These men have had Passover meals before and Jesus just added two new elements to the meal and they are missing it, God is doing something grand in this event and their focus is on others, not on their own relationship with the Lord. They hear what Jesus says that this is God's predetermined plan and they show their lack of faith in what it means for them.
All to often this is the truth with just about everyone and even very faithful followers of Jesus. An evil event my happen in our lives. Someone might stab us in the back or gossip about us, lie to us or even about a family member. What is the first thing you want to do, revenge. You are so preoccupied with what the person did that you completely miss out on your own relationship with Jesus.
People look at the situation they are in and they like to preoccupy their mind and heart with what the other person is doing instead of looking at what God is doing. Did the apostles have foreknowledge of the cross, yes. Jesus told them He would die and Scripture points to it. Did they have a full understanding, no. The reason why is because as they are to focused on the here and now instead of on what God is doing. Even if they don't know exactly what is going to happen they should just trust that God has a plan.
Man's hearts are always preoccupied with the evil other men do. How many times have your heard a sermon and thought, "oh I know someone who could use this" or maybe even studying a passage of scripture and think, "this is exactly what so and so is doing to me. We are just like these apostles, we are preoccupied and when something evil is happening or God is trying to teach us something about what He is doing the first thing we do is point to figure out who fits this and you don't look at yourselves.