And while he yet spoke, see, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves…
I. The PATIENCE of Christ's love. The betrayer in the very instant of his treason has that changeless tenderness lingering around him, and that merciful hand beckoning to him still. Sin is mighty, but it cannot make God cease to love us.
II. The PLEADING of Christ's patient love. There is an appeal to the traitor's heart, and an appeal to his conscience. Christ would have him think of the relations that have so long subsisted between them, and of the real nature of the deed he was doing. The sharp question is meant to wake up his conscience. All our evils are betrayals of Christ, and all our betrayals of Christ are sins against a perfect friendship and an unvaried goodness. We too have sat at His table, heard His wisdom, had a place in His heart. It is the constant effort of the love of Christ to get us to say to ourselves the real name of what we are about. "Wherefore art thou come? " Almost all actions have a better and a worse side, prudence is called selfishness; we are clever men of business, he a rogue. It is, therefore, the office of love to force us to look at the thing as it is. He must begin with rebukes that He may advance to blessing.
III. The possible REJECTION Of the pleading of Christ's patient love. We can resist His pleadings. It is easily done. Judas merely held his peace — no more. Silence is sufficient. Non-submission is rebellion. The appeal of Christ's love hardens where it does not soften. The sun either scatters the summer morning mists, or it rolls them into heavier folds, from whose livid depths the lightning is flashing by mid-day. That silence was probably the silence of a man whose conscience was convicted while his will was unchanged.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.