Skip to content

John 13:21 Betray Jesus

Print or Share

Betray Jesus

Jesus identified Judas as the one who would betray Him by giving a piece of bread dipped in the wine. This was after Jesus washed His apostles’ feet.

John 13:21-38 Betray Jesus

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to or another online Bible.

21. Jesus’ spirit was troubled because He knew what was to come.

He announced that one of you shall betray me.

“It is important to recognize that in the incarnation Jesus experienced human senses of need (cf. his thirst 4:9; 19:28) and deep feelings or emotions (cf. 2:17; 11:33,38; 12:27).” (Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002], 91)

22. The apostles were confused, looking at each other wondering who Jesus could be talking about.

“You can imagine the shock wave that went over that room. Judas had been so clever that not a person believed he was the traitor: Each one thought it might be the other; and each one thought it might be himself.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 455)

Who would Betray Jesus?

23. John was leaning on Jesus’ bosom.

“That disciple is also identified by his place at the supper as lying or reclining in the bosom of Jesus. The implication is obvious that just as the Son was in the bosom of the Father (1:18), so the beloved disciple was in the bosom of Jesus (13:23).” (Borchert, 91)

24. “Peter signaled to John, who was the closest to Jesus at the table, and asked him to find out who the traitor was.” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 348)

25. John asked Jesus who the traitor was.

26. “The host at a feast (whose role was filled by Jesus) would dip into a common bowl and put out a particularly tasty bit and pass it to a guest as a special mark of honor for friendship…Jesus was demonstrating a final gesture of His love for Judas even though he would betray Him.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1402)

“Although the Lord knew what Judas would do, the Lord did not force him to do it. In fact, He offered His friendship to Judas to the very last.” (McGee, 455)


27. Satan entered Judas after he ate the bread.

Jesus told him to do what he was going to do, quickly.

“Satan took over this man Judas gradually…There are many little falls that permit Satan to move in gradually. Then finally he takes over. The Lord gave Judas an opportunity to accept Him, but Judas turned his back on the Lord. Then Satan moved in and took him over completely.” (McGee, 455)

28. “No one at the table even suspected that Judas was the betrayer.” (McGee, 455)

29. “At the Passover season donations were given to the poor; so the disciples thought this may have been what the Lord asked him to do with the money.” (McGee, 455)

Compare this with Christmas or with a major holiday in your religion when the poor are more likely to be given money or gifts.

30. John’s little phrase ‘and it was night’ carries a tremendous impact when you remember that light and darkness are important spiritual images in his gospel. Jesus is the Light of the World (John 3:18-21), but Judas rejected Jesus and went out into the darkness, and for Judas, it is still night!” (Wiersbe, 348)

Are you in darkness?

Glory of God

31-32. “The theme now changes to the glory of God (John 13:31-35). From the human perspective, the death of Christ was a dastardly deed involving unspeakable suffering and humiliation, but from the divine perspective it was the revelation of the glory of God.” (Wiersbe, 348)

“The Lord Jesus is now moving into the spiritual realm. The Son of Man is going to be glorified, and this will be accomplished through His death and resurrection…God is glorified in Him because the salvation of the world will be wrought through the cross.” (McGee, 456)

“This is the way all of us glorify God, by faithfully doing what He calls us to do.” (Wiersbe, 348) (Italics Mine)

33. Jesus will be with His disciples only a short time.

“Judas is gone now so He can address them as His little children.” (McGee, 456)

“He suffered alone, and there is a suffering of Christ which you and I cannot fully comprehend.” (McGee, 456)

Love One Another

34-35. “Jesus’ command regarding love presented a distinctly new standard for two reasons:

(1) it was sacrificial love modeled after His love (‘as I loved you’; cf. 15:13), and
(2) it is produced through the New Covenant by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit
(cf. Jeremiah 31:29-34; Ezekiel 36:24-26; Galatians 5:22).” (MacArthur, 1403)

“Now if spies came to your church, what would be the verdict? Would they go back to report how these Christians love each other?” (McGee, 456)

36. “Jesus’ work was nearly finished, theirs was just beginning (Matthew 28:16-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47).” (MacArthur, 1403)

“Only Jesus, as the sinless sacrifice for the trespasses of the world, could go to the cross and die(1 Peter 2:22-24).” (MacArthur, 1403)

Jesus is saying, child you can’t follow me now.

37-38. “The only thing that he [Peter] heard of all that Jesus had said was that Jesus was going away. He acts like a child who says, ‘Where are you going Daddy? I want to go too.’” (McGee, 457)

Peter told Jesus and he meant it; I will lay down my life for thy sake.

Jesus answered, Will you really lay down thy life for my sake?

“Peter…would in the moment of trauma not lay down his life for Jesus but in fact would deny him three times. (cf. 18:17-27.” (Borchert, 101)

“According to Jesus, heaven is a real place. It is not a product of religious imagination or the result of a psyched-up mentality, looking for ‘pie in the sky by and by.’ Heaven is the place God dwells and where Jesus sits today at the right hand of the Father.” (Wiersbe, 350)


In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Borchert, Gerald L., The New American Commentary Volume 25B, John 12-21. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2002
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Foot Washing                                                                                       I Am the Way

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Print or Share