John 13:18
I am not speaking about all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the Scripture: 'The one who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.'
Sermons
A Clear View of Life's MysteriesJohn 13:1-19
A Great and Solemn HourG. F. Pentecost.John 13:1-19
A Three-Fold MarvelT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 13:1-19
All Light GoodBishop Temple.John 13:1-19
At Best Our Knowledge of God's Designs is FragmentaryT. Adams.John 13:1-19
Christ a MasterW. Anderson, LL. D.John 13:1-19
Christ an All-Round ExampleC. H. Spurgeon.John 13:1-19
Christ Our ExampleC. Hodge, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christ Our ExampleJ. Trapp.John 13:1-19
Christ Our Example not Our ModelF. W. Robertson, M. A.John 13:1-19
Christ Our Master and LordW. Jay.John 13:1-19
Christ the Supreme ExampleW. Baxendale.John 13:1-19
Christ Washing the Feet of His DisciplesD. Thomas, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christian PurityE. L. Hull, B. A.John 13:1-19
Christian Service Should be Rendered ConstantlyH. C. Trumbull, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christian Service Should be Rendered LovinglyJohn 13:1-19
Christ's an Unchanging LoveT. Guthrie, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christ's DeathD. Thomas, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christ's Example Gradually ImitatedW. Baxendale.John 13:1-19
Christ's HourT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christ's KnowledgeT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christ's Love for His OwnW. Bengo Collyer, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christ's Love of His OwnJ. Jackson Wray.John 13:1-19
Christ's Love to His OwnA. Raleigh, D. D.John 13:1-19
Christ's Love unto the EndW. Braden.John 13:1-19
Christ's MissionJ. W. Burn., Bp. Ryle.John 13:1-19
Christ's Transcendent LoveH. W. Beecher.John 13:1-19
Clean Every WhitJohn Milne.John 13:1-19
Communion with the Saviour Inseparable from HolinessW. Jay., T. Whitelaw, D. D.John 13:1-19
Existing Ignorance and Approaching KnowledgeHomilistJohn 13:1-19
Extremes in Christ's LifeJ. W. Burn.John 13:1-19
God's Work in Our BehalfGeorge Elliot.John 13:1-19
Great Principles and Small DutiesJ. Martineau, LL. D.John 13:1-19
Hereafter, not NowDean Vaughan.John 13:1-19
Humility IllustratedJohn 13:1-19
Ignorance and KnowledgeH. H. Dobney.John 13:1-19
Imitation of Christ in SacrificeH. W. Beecher.John 13:1-19
Influence of ExampleT. De Witt Talmage, D. D.John 13:1-19
Jesus Loving His Own that Were in the WorldC. Ross.John 13:1-19
Jesus Teaching HumilityT. D. Witherspoon, D. D.John 13:1-19
Jesus Teaching HumilityJ. Pulsford.John 13:1-19
Jesus Washing His Disciples' FeetC. H. Spurgeon.John 13:1-19
Knowing and DoingW. M. Punshon, LL. D.John 13:1-19
Knowing and DoingJohn 13:1-19
Knowing and DoingS. S. TimesJohn 13:1-19
Knowledge and ObedienceT. Kidd.John 13:1-19
Knowledge and Practice Necessary in ReligionAbp. Tillotson.John 13:1-19
Love in the Face of DiscouragementD. L. Moody.John 13:1-19
Parody of the Foot WashingC. Stanford, D. D.John 13:1-19
Present Ignorance and Future IlluminationJ. Parsons.John 13:1-19
Present Mysteries, Future SolutionsHomiletic MonthlyJohn 13:1-19
Reasons for SubmissionFamily ChurchmanJohn 13:1-19
Rectified Knowledge in the Future StateH. Melvill, B. D.John 13:1-19
Religion Essentially PracticalMatthew Arnold.John 13:1-19
Reminiscences of the Foot WashingC. Stanford, D. D.John 13:1-19
Sceptical Testimony to Christ's ExampleJ. S. Mill.John 13:1-19
Self-Propagating Power of ExampleH. Melvill.John 13:1-19
Spiritual BathingHomiletic MonthlyJohn 13:1-19
Spiritual WashingS. S. TimesJohn 13:1-19
Spiritual WashingsS. S. TimesJohn 13:1-19
The Blessedness of DutyJ. G. Jones, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Changeless FriendGotthold.John 13:1-19
The Changeless Love of ChristH. W. Beecher.John 13:1-19
The Christian a ServantJohn 13:1-19
The Comfort of DutyD. G. Watt, M. A.John 13:1-19
The Connection Between a Sinner Having a Part with Christ and Being Washed by HimT. Boston, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Constancy of Christ's LovePercy.John 13:1-19
The Divine LoveH. W. Beecher.John 13:1-19
The Divine Love Does not Fail When Man FailsJohn 13:1-19
The Example of ChristH. Kollock, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Faithfulness of JesusC. H. Spurgeon., Archdeacon Watkins.John 13:1-19
The Family LikenessNew Testament AnecdotesJohn 13:1-19
The Good PractitionerJohn 13:1-19
The Great GiftS. S. Times., S. S. TimesJohn 13:1-19
The Great Love of Christ for His OwnJ. A. Seiss, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Helpfulness of Christ as MasterJ. M. Randall.John 13:1-19
The Imitation of ChristJohn 13:1-19
The Importance of HumilityT. D. Witherspoon, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Inscrutable Character of the Divine DispensationsThe EvangelistJohn 13:1-19
The Love of the Departing ChristA. Maclaren, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Method by Which We Become Christ's OwnJ. Culross, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Next Life an Interpreter of ThisH. W. Beecher.John 13:1-19
The Night-Flowering CereusJohn 13:1-19
The Patient Waiting and Obedience of FaithA. Bell, B. A.John 13:1-19
The Perfection of Christ's ExampleA. Maclaren, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Perfection of Christ's LoveW. Baxendale.John 13:1-19
The Present Obscure Because UnfinishedW. Hamma, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Reciprocal Relations and Blessedness of Knowing and DoingJohn Smith, M. A.John 13:1-19
The Secret of a Happy LifeJ. Vaughan, M. A.John 13:1-19
The Sign of the Feet WashingW. B. Pope, D. D.John 13:1-19
The Sine Qua NonC. H. Spurgeon.John 13:1-19
The Strangeness of Our Lord's ProcedureJ. L. Nye.John 13:1-19
The Teaching of the Foot WashingC. H. Spurgeon.John 13:1-19
The Union in Christ of Precept and ExampleG. Chandler, LL. D.John 13:1-19
The Universality of Christ's MastershipJohn Burton.John 13:1-19
The Unknown Ways of LoveC. H. Spurgeon.John 13:1-19
The Washing of Peter's FeetHomilistJohn 13:1-19
Uncertain FriendshipJohn 13:1-19
Washing the Disciples' FeetNehemiah Boynton.John 13:1-19
Washing the Disciples' FeetBoston HomiliesJohn 13:1-19
WhatS. S. TimesJohn 13:1-19
What Christ Requires of His DisciplesD. Thomas, D. D.John 13:1-19
What I DoJ. Jackson Wray.John 13:1-19
A Four-Fold Theme for ThoughtD. Thomas, D. D.John 13:18-30
A Last AppealT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 13:18-30
A Specially Loved DiscipleS. S. TimesJohn 13:18-30
A Title that was Better than a NameJohn 13:18-30
Can We Now Lean on Jesus' BosomBp. Stevens.John 13:18-30
Christianity not Responsible for the Words or Deeds of its ProfessorsH. C. Trumbull, D. D.John 13:18-30
Christ's Special Affection for St. JohnJohn Milne.John 13:18-30
Familiarity with ChristD. Thomas, D. D., S. S. Times., W. Denton, M. A.John 13:18-30
Horror of Treachery NaturalC. J. Brown, M. A., S. S. Tinges.John 13:18-30
IngratitudeJ. Brown, D. D.John 13:18-30
Jesus and the TraitorJ. Jowett, M. A.John 13:18-30
Judas, John, and PeterMonday ClubJohn 13:18-30
Leaning on Jesus' BosomJ. Morgan.John 13:18-30
Lying on Jesus' BreastG. J. Brown, D. D.John 13:18-30
Nearness to JesusT. Thomas.John 13:18-30
The Apostacy of JudasBaptist Noel.John 13:18-30
The Beloved DiscipleT. Summerfield, M. A.John 13:18-30
The Conspicuousness of ApostatesC. H. Spurgeon.John 13:18-30
The Dramatic Interest of the ActMonday ClubJohn 13:18-30
The Final StepJ. A. Froude.John 13:18-30
The History of Judas in Relation to the Divine DealingsG. T. Keeble.John 13:18-30
The Practical Uses of Christ's TroublesBp. Wordsworth.John 13:18-30
The Sacred BreastE. M. Golburn, D. D.John 13:18-30
The Saviour's TroubleBp. Ryle.John 13:18-30
The Sin and Folly of the Crime of JudasC. Stanford, D. D.John 13:18-30
The Successive Steps by Which the Traitor Reached the Climax of His GuiltC. Ross.John 13:18-30
The Sufferings of the Soul of JesusH. Kollock, D. D.John 13:18-30
The Timid Encouraged to CommunionJ. N. Norton, D. D., Bp. Ryle.John 13:18-30
Titled Believers; the Disciple Whom Jesus LovedC. H. Spurgeon.John 13:18-30
Warnings as to the Conduct of the TraitorC. Ross., D. Thomas, D. D.John 13:18-30
Why Did Christ Choose JudasW. J. Dawson.John 13:18-30
Why Jesus Roved JohnF. W. Robertson, M. A.John 13:18-30
Our Lord Jesus taught, practiced, and commanded. His teaching was perfectly true and wise; his conduct was perfectly good and right; his directions were perfectly just and authoritative. His instructions were sometimes verbal, sometimes by example, and sometimes symbolical. Christ taught the lesson of humility not only by words, but in his whole demeanor and conduct; nor was this all, for he illustrated his lesson, now by setting a little child in the midst of his disciples as an example, and again by washing the feet of his apostles. Many were the means he used to impress this and other lessons of moral excellence upon his disciples. But he always insisted that true discipleship was not in an intellectual acquaintance with his teaching, but in a cheerful compliance with his will. As Lord of all, he sought to bring the whole nature under his control; and as their Master and Lord, he assured them with authority that their true welfare lay in their not only knowing, but in their doing, his commandments.

I. KNOWLEDGE. Man is made to know. It is his privilege and prerogative to exercise his understanding and reason. Truth is within man's reach - not all truth, but certainly such as is most necessary for his well-being. Of all knowledge, none is so valuable as the knowledge of God in Christ. The highest truth is presented in our Lord's life, his deeds arid words, his sufferings and glory. He is the one great Lesson for mankind to study and to learn. The twelve had abundant means of knowing Christ, of becoming acquainted with his character and his will. But through our possession of the New Testament we have sufficient opportunities of learning Christ. In order that our knowledge may be complete, as far as our position allows, we must study the Savior and his revelation of himself, his declaration of his will, with reverence and meekness, with faith and prayer.

II. PRACTICE. Our nature is not only intellectual; it is also active. Our life is not one of pure contemplation; it is eminently practical. Knowledge without corresponding conduct is vain, is even worse than ignorance. It is like steam which is generated in the boiler, but which is not brought to bear as motive power upon an engine. It is like the blossom which in itself is beautiful, but which is followed by no fruit. Those who believe that there is a revelation should receive it. Those who are convinced that Christ is the Son of God should live by faith in him. Those who are persuaded that Christ's law is the highest standard of morality should obey that law and conform to that standard. Those who believe that there is a future life, and that they are accountable to a righteous Judge, should prepare for judgment and for immortality. Knowledge without corresponding conduct is seen to be useless in every department of life; how reprehensible must it be in religion! A young man may study law through a long series of years, and under the superintendence of able practitioners; of what avail is his knowledge if, when the time comes for him to act for himself, he cannot draw a deed in chambers, or construct a defense for a client in court? The pupil of an engineer may have a good knowledge of mathematics, may be able to make accurate drawings of other men's work; but is his theoretical ability of service to him in practice? That is the important question; for no one will employ a man to build a bridge, or to bore a tunnel, unless he has shown himself capable of carrying out such works. A cadet may pass the preliminary examinations, may study the art of fortification, the laws of projectiles, the tactics adopted by famous generals in historical campaigns; but all this is preparatory to actual warfare, and he will have studied to good purpose only if, when the time comes, when some unexpected responsibility falls upon him, he is able to lead a force or to defend a city. In like manner young people are taught the Scriptures, are made familiar with the doctrines, the principles, the laws of Christianity. To what end? Surely with the intention that they may not merely call Jesus Master and Lord, but that they may do the things which he bids.

III. BLESSEDNESS. It is wrong to make happiness the one great end of life. Yet happiness is a merciful addition to life - an ornament and a recompense appointed by a benevolent Providence. It is remarkable how often the Lord Jesus pronounced those happy who shared his character and obeyed his will. The pursuit and acquirement of knowledge are attended with happiness; but the truest happiness is the fruit of obedience.

1. This appears from the consideration that those who know and do Christ's will employ all their powers in true harmony. The capacity for knowledge and the faculty for action in such a case work together towards an end, and such co-operation he who made our nature has designed to be productive of a tranquil joy. "This man," says James, speaking of the doer of the work, "shall be happy in his doing."

2. They who know and do Christ's will are happy, because they have a good conscience. If a man feels and says, "I know that I ought to follow such a line of conduct, but I confess that I do not carry out my convictions," how can he have peace? The conviction and reproof of the inward monitor will not let him rest. On the other hand, when there is no schism between knowledge and practice, the voice of conscience speaks approval, and such approbation is blessedness indeed.

3. Obedience as the fruit of knowledge is accepted and commended by the Lord Christ. His approving smile rests upon his true and loyal disciple and servant, who takes up his cross, when so summoned, and follows his Lord. Hereafter the blessedness shall be perfect, for Christ shall say to the faithful servant, "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." - T.







I speak not of you all.
I. A SOLEMN ANNOUNCEMENT.

1. The reason of it.(1) To indicate Christ's knowledge of the human heart, and to show that He had not been mistaken in Judas (ver. 18). Had it not been made it would have appeared as though Christ were not omniscient.(2) To direct the disciples' minds to an impressive fulfilment of Scripture (ver. 18).(3) To confirm the faith of the disciples in Himself (ver. 19).(4) To arrest, and if yet possible rescue, the soul of Judas.

2. The certainty of it (ver. 21). "Amen, amen." Had any other made the announcement it would have been rejected with scorn.

3. The effect of it.(1) It filled the Saviour with horror (ver. 21), just as He had been perturbed at Lazarus's grave (John 11:33).(2) It plunged the disciples into consternation and dismay (ver. 22).

II. AN ANXIOUS QUESTION (ver. 25).

1. Moved by Peter, with characteristic impetuosity, who thought perhaps that John was in the secret, but he was equally ignorant.

2. Proposed by John —(1) With affection — leaning back till his head rested on Jesus's breast.(2) With reverence — "Lord."(3) With pity for Christ, who should suffer, and the disciple who should inflict so sad a fate.(4) With humility and self-examination — as if he dreaded it should be himself; and yet surely —(5) With conscious innocence — though Judas had the effrontery to ask, "Is it I?"

III. AN EXPLICIT ANSWER (ver. 26).

1. Clearly given.

2. Defiantly accepted.

3. Strangely misunderstood (ver. 28).Lessons —

1. Christ in His Church a searcher of hearts.

2. The possibility of sitting at Christ's table without being a true disciple, of enjoying religious ordinances without possessing grace, of falling from Christ so far as to lift the heel against Him.

3. Apostasies, though they do not affect Christ's position in the Church, are occasions of pain.

4. John-like spirits are most likely to obtain from Christ revelations of His grace and truth.

5. Christ loves those who hate Him; but he who will not be won by that love must eventually fall into the devil's grasp.

(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)

I. A SOLEMN TRUTH (ver. 18) — "I know whom I have chosen." Christ knows His disciples — the true and false — their works and their hearts — all they have been, are, and shall be. "He knew what was in man." Then —

1. He does not require of us what will out measure our faculties. He loves us too much, and is too just for this.

2. The services that are not rendered Him from the heart are of no value in His sight. Formality and insincerity are worse than worthless.

3. Every one that names His name should depart from evil.

II. A LAMENTABLE FACT. "He that eateth bread," etc. Judas was guilty of —

1. The basest ingratitude.

2. The grossest avarice.

3. The most daring impiety. Such a fact as this shows —(1) Possibility that should lead us all to the most rigorous heart scrutiny. Here we see that a man may be in close contact with Christ and yet have no spiritual connection with Him.(2) That Christ coerces no man into His service. He leaves each to act for himself.

III. A BENEFICENT WARNING (ver. 19).

1. Against a probable danger to the other disciples. Had the conduct of Judas broken suddenly on them, they might have received a moral shock which would have imperilled their faith.

2. For the purpose of fortifying their faith in the Messiah by the very means of the betrayal as foreannounced.

IV. A GLORIOUS ASSURANCE (ver. 20). This shows that His faithful disciples were —

1. Identified with Him. The treatment they receive is regarded as being rendered to Him.

2. As He was identified with the Father —

(1)By official work.

(2)By vital sympathy.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

The history of Judas is but the record of a human life. He was a man like ourselves, subject therefore to temptation and struggle, and one with the freedom and responsibility which belong to us all. This will save us from fatalism, and in the face of many dark problems here is our safe starting point. Learn that —

I. MEN MAY FRUSTRATE CHRIST'S PURPOSES CONCERNING THEM. Christ gave Judas responsible work and a noble calling, and educated him for it all. But the training was worse than useless, the privileges were abused, and the sacred trust betrayed. Yet Christ would have had delight in Judas's wellbeing and success. But all was frustrated, and the bitter lament over Jerusalem had its reference to Judas. We all share this terrible power, and could we see how we have used it we should live much nearer to Him for the rest of our lives.

II. THE MERCY OR GOD WHICH WOULD SAVE US MAY RUIN US. Judas had gifts: Christ employed them. His very position brought its dangers: Christ trusted him. Not indeed without warning him (John 6:70, 71). And as the besetting sin was yielded to, and the downward course became more and more marked, where was Judas so likely to be kept from evil as in Christ's company. Accordingly he was retained at his post and was still trusted. Yet the mercy which would have saved ruined him. For, turning from the source of Goodness, he said, "Evil, be thou my good." Each of us may apply this principle.

III. MAN'S SIN IS OVERRULED TO DISPLAY THE DIVINE GOODNESS. Thomas doubted: We obtain an additional proof of Christ's resurrection. Judas betrayed: Jesus died. It did not require a Judas to save the world, or the hatred of the Sanhedrim to fulfil God's promises. Yet the sin of the world runs up into typical acts, and in a profoundly representative sense the sin of Judas was ours. This sin was overruled for God's glory and man's good. And through it all Judas was free, as is every sinner, as proved from common consent, conscience, and such words as "can," "ought," etc. Christ too is free and maketh the wrath of man to praise Him.

IV. THE BEARING OF ALL THIS ON THE PRESENCE OF JUDAS IN THE CHURCH. Men may know not that they are there: but Christ knows them. Each service in the upper room repeated. John is there, and it may be Judas, so is Christ. If so the love that spares is the love that would save. How must Christ have looked on Judas, yet he went out madly from that saving Presence. "And I saw there was a way to hell from the gate of heaven." Two apostles sinned grossly. Judas went out from the presence of Christ to meet the night; Peter, broken-hearted, to meet the dawn. Which will you follow?

(G. T. Keeble.)

Once, I think, there was great joy in a certain house in Kerioth, because there a child had just been born. I think this joy broke out in the name given to the child. Call him "Praise," that is, Judah. But the parents were not prophets; and years after this, Jesus said of him, "It had been good for that man if he had not been born!" This saying darkly intimates that the sin of Judas was unparalleled. "Esau for one morsel of meat sold his birthright." But Judas sold Christ! For a man to sell his soul for some passing paltry profit is enough to make him infamous. But Judas sold Christ! John Bunyan tells us that long after he loved Christ he was tempted for the space of a year to sell and part with the blessed Christ for the things of this life. The tempter, he says, "would intermix in such sort with all I did, that I could not eat my food, nor stoop to pick up a pin, nor chop a stick, without hearing this whisper — Sell Christ — sell Him for this — sell Him for that. Sell Him! sell Him!" But Judas actually sold Christ. You may have had some moment of spiritual delirium, when some one sinful gratification seemed to be so irresistible that your heart swore that you would have it, come what might; but God's hand snatched you back just in time, and His Spirit showed the truth in its light, and made you resolve not to buy bliss that was only for a moment, at the cost of bliss everlasting. The temptation was fearful; for it was to part with your portion in Christ. But the sin of Judas was that he sold Christ Himself. Sometimes men treat Christ with profanity, partly because they are steeped in ignorance; and all the while they are sinning the Intercessor's plea for them is "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." Judas knew what he did. He had heard Christ say, "Before Abraham was, I am;" "I and My Father are one." He had witnessed His grand manifestations as King of the air, of the water, of the dead, of spirits; and yet Judas sold Christ! What did he sell Him for? The old German story reports that the astrologer Faustus sold his soul to the evil one for twenty-four years of earthly happiness. What was the bargain in this case? The auctioneer had tempting lists to show; what was it that tempted Judas? He sold his Lord for thirty somethings. What things? Thirty years of right over all the earth, with all the trees of the forests, all the fowls of the mountains, and the cattle upon a thousand hills? For thirty armies, or thirty fleets? Thirty stars? Thirty centuries of power to reign majestically on hell's burning throne? No, for thirty shillings, i.e., £3 10s.

(C. Stanford, D. D.)

I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled.
Christ chose him for what he was, and what he might have been, not for what he became. Christ chooses men not for their attainments, but for their possibilities. Do you suppose Christ chooses men for their ability or their character? He chooses them that He may give them character and inspire new capacities within them. He chooses twelve men, and one was a traitor; the average of treachery in human life is usually higher than that. Moreover, the election of Christ does not fetter the free will of a man. In a certain high and almost inscrutable sense it is true that it all happens "that it may be fulfilled;" for though the bad man may seem an accident he is not, but in some way fits into a Divine order. The wild wind roars through the troubled heaven, but somewhere there is a sail to catch it, so that all its fierceness is yoked to fairest uses, and transformed into a mysterious helpfulness. There are no accidents in the Divine order; the harvest of today is the fruitful child of the storm weather of a century ago; it was all that it might be fulfilled. But whatever may be the ultimate issue of events, the will of man works freely within their circumference. Christ has chosen every living soul, and called him; yet few there are that shall be saved. You are as free to work evil in an apostleship as in a fisherman's boat. Nay more, if this man was so cursed and burdened with evil aptitudes, was it not an act of Divinest mercy to call to him an apostleship? There are some men who never would be Christians at all unless they were Christian ministers. They need the constraint of solemn responsibilities; the only chance of saving them is to set them to save others. And, looked at in this light of human experience, how Divine was that discernment which chose Judas, and gave him this unique opportunity of making his calling and election sure beneath the very eyes of Jesus! For the evils which destroyed Judas had not ripened in him when Jesus called him. He came in the untainted freshness of faith, perhaps in the unbroken energy of youth. He had more than ordinary capacity, for at once he became the organiser of the little society, its steward, its financier, the custodian of its means. To paint him therefore in the light of the after event, as most painters have done, disfigured with the leer of low cunning, scowling with the meanness of baffled craft and delayed cupidity, is altogether false. He who paints Judas must put into his face the dying light of what was once noble enthusiasm — the shadowed eagerness of what was once heroic faith. He must paint a face full of the anguish of remembrance, the traces of perished nobility, the tragedy of overthrown ideals. In a word, we must remember Christ called him, and not in vain; Christ loved him, and not without cause; and howsoever dreadful the end may be, there was once a bright, a brilliant, and a beautiful beginning.

(W. J. Dawson.)

He that eateth bread with Me
In considering this prophecy show —

I. IN WHOM IT MAY BE SAID TO BE FULFILLED.

1. The Atheist.

2. The infidel.

3. The hypocrite.

4. The apostate.

II. WHAT WE MAY LEARN FROM ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT.

1. That Christianity must be true.

2. That the falls of its professors afford no just argument against it.

3. That no man can tell what evil he may perpetrate, if Satan be permitted to assault him.

4. That God's conduct towards us is the very reverse of ours towards Him.

(C. Simeon, M. A.)

The devil had already put it into his heart to betray the Lord (ver. 2). Wounded pride (Matthew 26:14), Satanic influence (Luke 22:3), and the love of money — these were the great evils that lay at the root of his conduct. And yet, who can tell what struggles he must have gone through ere he brought himself to carry his resolution into effect?

(C. Ross.)

1. And, first of all, do we not see here what a hateful, detestable thing hypocrisy, treachery is in the sight of God. Oh see, only see, the Lord of Glory troubled in spirit as He approaches the painful subject. And let us remember, that hypocrisy is equally offensive to Him still.

2. Further, do we not see here that sin — that hardness of heart is a gradual, a progressive thing? Judas did not reach the climax of his guilt by a single leap, but step by step.

3. But still further, may we not learn from this narrative, that though the hypocrite and the hardened sinner may for a long time escape detection, yet at last he shall be disclosed. The Lord may indeed, in His long suffering, allow him to pass unknown, just to give him space and opportunity for repentance.

4. Finally, let the Lord's true-hearted ones seek John's place — leaning on the Master's bosom. What a contrast between John and Judas — John leaning on Jesus' breast, Judas proposing in his heart to betray Him!

(C. Ross.)

Jesus...was troubled in spirit and testified.

I. CHRIST IN SADNESS (ver. 21). This was the distress —

1. Of intense holiness in the presence of sin. The more holiness, the more sensitiveness to sin. Sometimes the optic nerve becomes so sensitive that a sunbeam will produce the greatest pain; and the auricular nerve so tender that the softest sound yields agony. And in some diseases a breath of air will throw the whole writhing frame into anguish. And so Judas sent a quiver through all the nerves of Christ's pure soul.

2. Of the highest benevolence in the presence of a lost soul. The more love a being has, the more he feels the sufferings of others. Christ's love was immeasurable, and He knew what a lost soul meant. We wonder not then that He was troubled as a lost soul stood before Him.

II. THE DISCIPLES IN ANXIETY (ver. 22). Matthew and Mark tell us that they were exceeding sorrowful, and asked each, "Is it I?" The question implies two things.

1. Self-suspicion. Had they been certain of their incapability they would not have made such an appeal. None of them was confident of His impeccability. This self-suspicion is well founded in all souls, and is a help to our spiritual progress and safety. "Let him that thinketh he standeth."

2. A desire to know the worst. Cowards close their, eyes on the worst, and delude themselves with the idea that all is right. It is to the spiritual interest of every man to know the worst here and now, for here and now it can be rectified. "Search me, O God! and know my heart," etc.

III. THE TRAITOR UNMASKED.

1. The means of his detection (ver. 26).

2. His domination by Satan (ver. 27). Before we read that Satan had put the wicked deed into his heart; now he took possession of his soul.

3. His defiance by Christ, "What thou doest," etc. "I defy thee to do thy worst. Do it and have done with it."

4. His lamentable doom (ver. 20).

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

These verses describe the last scene between our Lord and Judas before the betrayal. They never met again, excepting in the garden. Within a short time both the Holy Master and the treacherous servant were dead. They will never meet again till the trumpet sounds. What an awful meeting will that be! Let us mark —

I. WHAT TROUBLE OUR LORD WENT THROUGH FOR THE SAKE OF OUR SOULS.

1. Our Master's troubles are far beyond the conception of most people. The cross was only the completion of His sorrows (Isaiah 53:3).

2. But this trouble was an exceptional one — that of seeing an apostle becoming an apostate. Nothing is so hard to bear as ingratitude." Sharper than a serpent's tooth is a thankless child. Absalom's rebellion was David's heaviest trouble, and Judas's Christ's.

3. Passages like these should make us see —(1) The amazing love of Christ to sinners. How many cups of sorrow He drained to the dregs in working out our salvation, beside the mighty cup of bearing our sins!(2) How little reason we have for complaining when friends fail us and men disappoint us.(3) The perfect suitableness of Christ to be our Saviour. He can sympathize with us. He has suffered Himself, and can feel for those who are ill-used and forsaken.

II. THE POWER AND MALIGNITY OF OUR GREAT ENEMY, THE DEVIL. First he suggests: then he commands. First he knocks at the door and asks permission to come in: then, once admitted, he takes complete possession, and rules the whole inward man like a tyrant. Let us take heed that we are not "ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11). He is still going to and fro in the earth, seeking whom he may devour. Our only safety lies in resisting him at the first. Strong as he is, he has no power to do us harm, if we cry to the stronger One and use the means which He has appointed (James 4:7). Once let a man begin tampering with the devil, and he never knows how far he may fall.

III. THE EXTREME HARDNESS WHICH COMES OVER THE HEART OF A BACKSLIDING PROFESSOR OF RELIGION. One might have thought that the sight of our Lord's trouble, and the solemn warning, "One of you shall betray Me," would have stirred the conscience of this unhappy man, or the words, "That thou doest, do quickly." But like one whose conscience was dead and buried, goes out to do his wicked work, and parts with his Lord forever. The extent to which we may harden ourselves by resisting light and knowledge is one of the most fearful facts in our nature. We may become past feeling, like those whose limbs are mortified before they die. We may lose entirely all sense of fear, or shame, or remorse.

(Bp. Ryle.)

What a spectacle! He who is inseparably united to the source of life and felicity, in sorrow; He who is the unfailing fountain of consolation to His children on earth, and of joy to the redeemed in heaven, in trouble and distress! We in vain look for external causes of this woe. Entering upon His last conflicts, He cries, "Now is My soul troubled." These inward sufferings of our Redeemer were no less necessary than His external woes; the anguish of His soul was as requisite as the tortures of His cross.

1. Sin had defiled our souls as well as our bodies: nay, the soul had been the first source of disobedience; in it the throne of sin and Satan was erected, while the body was used only as its instrument. When Jesus, therefore, appeared as surety to expiate for our offences, it was needful that the agonies of His soul should unite with the pains of His body, in order to pay down a full ransom for us.

2. Besides, one great end of His incarnation and death was, that He might set before us a perfect pattern of holy conduct, a complete example of every virtue; so that in every circumstance we might cast our eyes upon Him, and learn our duty. But this great end could never have been accomplished, had our Redeemer experienced no sorrows of the soul, had He been a stranger to inward troubles.

3. And, finally, had only the body of Jesus suffered, we should have been deprived of a large portion of that consolation and support which is now afforded us by remembering the events of His life. Every afflicted Christian has been comforted by recollecting, that "we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities," but one who "was in all points tempted as we are," and who will therefore sympathize with us in all our sorrows. The inward sorrows of men are, it is true, often criminal. Christ's sorrows were ever holy: for in their source they were pure; in their degree, they did not transcend the measure which reason and religion required; and their effect never was to suspend His communion with His Father, to make Him pause in His laborious beneficence, or recoil from those sufferings which He was to undergo for our salvation. Under this trouble of spirit, Jesus has recourse to prayer. And how exalted is this testimony to the sublimity of the Redeemer's character, and the benefits of His mediatorial work: "I have glorified My name." In the incarnation of Immanuel, the wisdom and the faithfulness, and the love of God, had already been illustriously displayed. Yes, in these and in other modes the honour of the Divine name had been promoted by the Redeemer. But the voice from heaven added, "I will glorify it again," more remarkably by Thy death and the great effects of Thy sacrifice. And has not this been fully verified? Had we time to display the Divine glory, as manifested in the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension of Jesus; in the gift of the Holy Spirit; in the conversion of the Gentiles; you would instantly acknowledge that this declaration has been accomplished.Look upwards, and see how there especially in the Cross the name of God is glorified.

1. The Divine perfections are there displayed in a degree infinitely greater than they are elsewhere manifested. You admire the goodness which shines in nature and providence; but what is this to that love which induced the Father to give the Son of His bosom to undergo such agonies for your salvation? You shudder at that justice and holiness which are announced in the Scriptures, which are heard in the thunders and glitter in the lightnings on Sinai; but they are more manifested in the tremendous sacrifice of Immanuel.

2. It is there that those perfections, which appeared irreconcilable, beautifully and completely harmonize. Holiness is exalted, while grace triumphs.The rights of the Divine government are unimpaired, while the sinner is saved.

1. Careless and impenitent man, this subject should alarm thee! The woes which Jesus endured were suffered for the guilty. Refuse the gospel method of salvation, and thou sacrilegiously attemptest to rob God of His glory manifested in it. But wilt thou succeed?

2. Believer, in the anguish of Jesus, see the foundation of thy joy! He suffered that thou mightest triumph.

3. Communicants, approach the holy table. Contemplate the glories of God in the crucified Saviour. Retrace the mercy of your Redeemer.

(H. Kollock, D. D.)

Away with the argument of philosophers who say that a wise man is not liable to be troubled. Let the soul of the Christian be troubled with fear lest others perish, with sorrow when others perish, with desire that others may not perish, with joy when others are saved from perishing, with fear lest we ourselves perish, with sorrow because we are absent from Christ. And let us not despair when we are troubled by the prospect of death, for Christ was troubled by it. Thus He cheers infirm members in His Body — the Church — by the voluntary example of His own infirmity; thus He encourages Christians, if they find themselves troubled by the defection of friends or the prospect of death.

(Bp. Wordsworth.)

Monday Club.
I. THE TREACHERY OF JUDAS OR SEPARATION FROM CHRIST. We speak of close corporations and sacred fellowships, but there are none so close, so sacred, as to shut out intruders. Curiously assorted guests sit down side by side at the same feast. The Son of Man did not exclude a traitor.

1. This treachery occasioned our Lord poignant sorrow.

2. Our Lord in love and mercy interposed between the traitor and his doom.

3. The interposition being ineffectual the traitor leaves Christ, Satan captures him, and he disappears in darkness.

II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF JOHN; OR, KEPT IN THE LOVE OF CHRIST. It cannot be an accident that these accounts of John and Judas are left here side by side. We are to "look here upon this picture, and on that." The treachery of Judas going out into the night to serve his master is best understood when set over against the blessedness of John leaning on the breast and hearing the wisdom of his Master. Extremes meet. But John has no monopoly of his Master's love. It was offered to Judas and rejected. If the presence of a traitor into the glorious company of the apostles troubled the spirit of Christ, why should not his going forth be a relief? It was like the vanishing of a cloud. It was also prophetic, for at last the spirit of selfishness and evil and darkness shall be utterly and forever cast forth from the Church of God. When Judas is gone John may enter fully into the Divine joy and life.

III. THE DENIAL OF PETER: OR, TRUSTING TO OUR LOVE FOR CHRIST. The fall of such a man is inevitable. He has miscalculated his strength, and mistaken the true and only source from which comes the abiding love that makes one willing to leave all things. He thinks love a possession of his own, something that originates with and in himself. This delusion is so fatal, so sure to bring failure and disappointment, that, at all costs it must be dispelled. Peter was really believing in himself, in his own constancy and determination. The worthlessness of such a faith was very soon to be demonstrated. For that faith in himself he was to substitute a faith in One who was able to keep him.

(Monday Club.)

This was the last of a series of fatal victories which Judas Iscariot won over the different means and checks which God had mercifully provided. From that time it seemed as if God would no more strive with him, either by His Providence of love or by the suggestions of His Spirit within. "Let him alone." There was no more check to his iniquity, and he proceeded rapidly in that downward course which was to issue in his irremediable destruction. Consider that series of the means of grace which Judas had resisted before he triumphed over this.

I. JUDAS HAD BEEN ACQUAINTED WITH ALL THE REMARKABLE MIRACLES THAT JESUS CHRIST HAD WROUGHT TO MANIFEST THE TRUTH OF HIS MISSION.

II. WHAT INSTRUCTION HAD JUDAS RECEIVED FROM HIS MASTER?

III. THIS INSTRUCTION WAS SUSTAINED BY AN EXAMPLE OF UNPARALLELED LOVELINESS.

IV. HE WAS FAVOURED WITH CONSTANT TOKENS OF KINDNESS.

V. Being brought in connection with Jesus Christ must necessarily have induced him to EMPLOY HIMSELF FREQUENTLY IN THE VARIOUS RELIGIOUS EXERCISES THAT WOULD PROMOTE HIS CHRISTIAN TEMPER AND CHARACTER.

VI. HE WAS CONTINUALLY ASSOCIATING WITH THE BEST PEOPLE UPON EARTH.

VII. HE SAW THE REMARKABLE CHANGE PERFECTED BY THE MEANS OF GRACE AND RENDERED EFFECTUAL BY GRACE ITSELF — the joy and gratitude of the Syro-Phoenician woman whose strength of faith brought her great blessings, the change in the heart of the publican, the penitence of Mary Magdalene.

VIII. HE WAS THE SUBJECT OF THE FEET WASHING. IX. As the context tells us (cf. Luke 22), HE WAS CALLED TO THE TABLE OF THE LORD AT THE FIRST INSTITUTION OF THE SUPPER. Thus all the most powerful means that imagination could devise failed in repressing the sin of Judas when once it had obtained the mastery. Conclusion: Perhaps when we are noticing the strength of sin in him, which overcame all the most powerful means of grace, there may be some who are ready to suppose that Judas was one selected above all others to manifest the power of depravity. Who is it that is thus prompt to condemn Judas? Who is the person that is not as singular an instance of depravity? Are not you now under the power of a reigning sin, you that thus condemn this wretched man? "Therefore thou art inexcusable," etc. Who are you that can say truly that you have never manifested such obduracy? I ask you to determine the question as before God whether you have not resisted and triumphed over means of grace as mighty as he overcame. Consider, then —

1. That you are an inexcusable sinner.

2. That you need a Saviour and One has been provided.

3. Do not neglect to avail yourself of this provision by repentance and faith.

(Baptist Noel.)

Consider these words —

I. AS PREDICTING THE SIN OF JUDAS, which shows —

1. That Christ suffered as no other human being ever suffered. Great as are the sorrows of men, they are generally unforeseen; more than half their weight therefore is removed. We are supported by hope even on the brink of misery: Jesus foresaw all His woes, and He knew them to be unavoidable.

2. That all hearts are open to the Son of God. It was not long since Judas had agreed with the chief priests. He was sure not to have betrayed himself; and the same secrecy was equally needful to his accomplices. Yet how vain all their precautions! The traitor hears his own purpose first exposed by the very Being whom he would betray! How then can you hope to impose on Christ and shun the eye of God? "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him?"

3. That the most wicked actions of men unintentionally promote God's secret purposes of grace. He who foretold this crime could have prevented it. But the act foreseen was permitted and overruled for good. Shall we murmur, then, even at the most mysterious dispensation (Romans 8:28)?

II. AS DESCRIBING THE AGGRAVATIONS OF THAT SIN.

1. It was the sin of treachery — a sin of that kind which is held in abhorrence even by fallen man. Nor is the case at all mended by urging that Judas was moved by self-interest and not by malice. The plea only adds detestable meanness to his character, where passion and revenge might have furnished (what men would call) a prouder excuse. And who is the traitor? Has he no name but Judas? Alas! his "name is Legion, for he is many."

2. It was treachery against the best of friends — "Me!" Is not the same Christ our Friend? Yet multitudes still prefer the silver to Christ.

3. It was the treachery of a highly privileged and confidential servant. "One of you!" For three years had the Pharisees been seeking for such an accomplice: but the multitude would not, the officers could not. These persecutors never dreamed of asking one of the apostles — who would? when, to their great astonishment, he offers of his own accord! "Take heed lest there be in any of you such an evil heart of unbelief."

III. AS EXEMPLIFYING THE FEELINGS OF A HOLY MIND IN THE CONTEMPLATION OF SIN. Jesus "was troubled in spirit." Not because mortified by an unexpected discovery. He had known that these things would take place at least as long ago as when David penned the fifty-fifth Psalm (vers. 12-14). Nor because this treachery made His own fate certain; it could not be more so than His eternal purpose had already made it. No; He was troubled —

1. At the present dishonour done to God and the gospel. It was a triumph to Satan, who thus "bruised His heel"; to all the ungodly — "Ah, so would we have it!" It is not passion or jealousy which calls forth from true Christians the reproof of sin. It is trouble of heart because God is dishonoured. Encourage this feeling.

2. At the approaching ruin of a sinner. He saw before him a soul which (before even His own death should be accomplished) would be "gone to its place." He still feels the same trouble for thee, O sinner! whosoever thou art. His holy children also feel the same cause for mourning — none but devils and sinners rejoice.

(J. Jowett, M. A.)

Even in Pagan story the name of Ephialtes enjoyed a bad preeminence, and could not be mentioned without horror, whom no love of his country, no admiration of heroic valour, not the dear pledges of his friends, nor the threatened tyranny of a degrading foe, could withhold from such a deed of shame; but Persian gold, more sacred to that base mind than all of these, bribed him to guide the enemy over the mountain path, and surprise that devoted Spartan band. Sad indeed that in Christian annals it should have its more than parallel.

(C. J. Brown, M. A.)

One of you shall betray Me.

I. "YOU" WHOM I HAVE LOVED SO TENDERLY.

II. "YOU" WHOM I HAVE TAUGHT SO PATIENTLY.

III. "YOU" WHOM I HAVE SERVED SO FAITHFULLY.

(S. S. Tinges.)

In the long line of the portraits of the Doges in the palace at Venice, one space is empty, and the semblance of a black curtain remains as a melancholy record of glory forfeited. Found guilty of treason, Marine Falieri was beheaded, and his image, as far as possible, blotted from remembrance. As we regarded the singular memorial we thought of Judas and Demas, and then, as we heard in spirit the Master's warning, "One of you shall betray Me," we asked within our soul the solemn question, "Lord, is it I?" Everyone's eye rests longer on the one dark vacancy than upon any one of the fine portraits of the merchant monarchs; and so the apostates of the Church are far more frequently the theme of the world's talk than the thousands of good men and true who adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. Hence the more need of care on the part of those of us whose portraits are publicly exhibited as saints, lest we should one day be painted out of the Church's gallery, and our persons only remembered as having been detestable hypocrites.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom.
You naturally ask, was there anything noticeable or distinguishing in the character of this much-favoured disciple? We answer, Christ's love is free. It must be so, for it is everlasting — it precedes the existence of its objects; and further, it must be so, for its objects are guilty and evil — they have nothing in them to attract, they have everything to repel. Christ's love has its cause, or reason, in Himself. Even our love is in some respects free. It cannot be bought; it cannot be forced; we cannot reason ourselves into it. But while love is thus in its nature free, yet, in examining the objects of it, we find that they possess some real or supposed qualities, which are the ground of this peculiar esteem. In our blindness we often fancy qualities which do not really exist; and so, on more intimate acquaintance, we are often disappointed. But the Lord cannot be thus mistaken; and so, when we find one distinguished from his companions as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," we infer that, through grace, He must have possessed some qualities which the others had not, or not in the same degree. What was it, then, in John, on whom the Lord's complacency rested? It was not any peculiarly high talent, for in this Paul was superior. It was not any peculiar aptitude for business and the conduct of affairs, for in this Peter seems to have excelled. It was for the qualities of the heart, rather than the head, that John was distinguished; and the secret of the Lord's peculiar delight in him is perhaps found in this: "I love them that love Me, and they who seek Me early shall find Me." John was a man of warmer, fervid temperament, as appears from the Lord calling him and his brother Boanages (sons of thunder); and this ardent heart was given wholly and abidingly to Christ. He came young to Christ, as appears from the long period that he outlived his Master. He came also early; for he was one of the two who, in consequence of John Baptist's words, followed Jesus to His dwelling, and became His disciples. His deep, fervent love, unconsciously breaks forth in many ways. His love to Christ, as well as Christ's to him, appears in his place at the table — the nearest to Jesus. His love made him follow his Master to the judgment hall; made him linger at the cross when the others were gone; made him foremost in the race to the tomb, and first to believe the story told by the forsaken but orderly grave clothes. It was his love, quick sighted, that made him the first to recognize his Beloved on the shores of Tiberias, in the grey twilight of the dawning day. It was admiring love that made him close his gospel with the glowing words (John 21:25). It was panting, longing love that made him close his Apocalypse with the fervid prayer (Revelation 22:20). John's very faults show his love to Christ...But further, John had a deeper, truer insight than the others into the Divine glory of Christ's person, and the spiritual nature of His work. The others begin with His earthly lineage and birth, and occupy themselves chiefly with His manhood. John begins with the eternal Godhead. The others dwell on the works of benevolence and power which crowded Christ's laborious days. John takes little note of these, but dwells rather on the glory of the grace and truth, and gathers up the words of life and power. John seems to have been among men what Mary was among women — he sat at Christ's feet, and heard His words. Hence his gospel is different from the others. While the other evangelists speak chiefly of Christ's dealings with the bodies of men, John dwells more on His dealings with men's souls. The Lord must have felt that John knew Him better, and appreciated Him more fully, than the others. We can conceive that, when Christ performed any act of higher import, or uttered any word of deeper meaning, His eye would unconsciously turn to John, and would be ever sure to meet John's loving, gleaming eye!

(John Milne.)

This was John's most notable title. As a servant of the Queen, having distinguished himself in the service of Her Majesty, becomes the lord of such and such a town, and he takes the name of the place as a name of honour, so John drops his own birth-given name, as it were, and takes this title instead of it — "that disciple whom Jesus loved." He wears it as a Knight of the Garter, or of the Golden Fleece, wears the mark of his sovereign's esteem.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Lord Brooks was so proud of his friendship with Sir Philip Sidney, that he chose for his epitaph, "Here lies Sir Philip Sidney's friend."

I. Let us first, then, inquire HOW ARE WE TO ATTAIN THIS NEARNESS TO JESUS?

1. In the first place, by coming to Him. We are, naturally, at a distance from Him.

2. This nearness implies real sympathy of mind. What a sacred bond is sympathy! what a fountain of delight, of comfort, and of strength! In order that there may be sympathy, there must be three things — mutual knowledge one of another — harmony of moral taste — and aiming at the same end. The refined cannot sympathize with the polluted, the gentle cannot sympathize with the cruel hearted. He that delights in sin, on the other hand, cannot sympathize with him who seeks to advance in holiness, and to bring all around him to enjoy communion with God and Jesus.

3. Nearness to Jesus implies that we persevere in following Him. Nearness to Him does not depend upon one act.

4. The next idea is, that nearness to Jesus implies felt fellowship — real communion. Oh! it is not a dream. We have, I trust, very many of us, experienced it as a distinct and separate thing from the work of imagination. Felt fellowship — he who has experienced that is near to Jesus.

5. Pass on to notice the next thing implied in nearness to Jesus — love to Him. Love is the power that annihilates the distance between us.

6. Then it implies, also, that we have intercourse with His people — communion with His disciples.

II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THIS CONDITION.

1. In the first place, it is an honour — the highest honour — to come near to the Lord Jesus Christ, to be acquainted with Him, to walk with Him, to have fellowship with Him. That is the highest distinction that can be conferred upon man, for it implies that a man is raised to a kind of equality with the Supreme Being, that has condescended to become brother and saviour. The honour of being introduced to Jesus will last, and fill the mind with rest and tranquility.

2. We say, in the second place, it is a blessed privilege to be near to Jesus, because it assures us of His eternal love to us. The text says, "there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of the disciples whom Jesus loved." It was John himself that wrote it, and he knew the fact that Jesus loved him. The way then to be assured of the love of Jesus is to live near to Him.

3. Nearness to Jesus, in the third place, secures glorious shelter and protection from the evils which are in the world. Keep near to thy Saviour, nestle, as it were, in the bosom of His promises; let His feathers cover thee, and His wings be over thee; go to Him in times of danger and trial.

4. Then there is another glorious privilege — the power that is transferred from Jesus to those who are near to Him. When we are near to Jesus, there is a current of sanctified influence passing, until those hearts of yours, once the abode of pollution, become as spotless temples. The soul that was in the thraldom of sin is released, and becomes cleansed and sanctified, and shall stand clean in the presence of the eternal God. This is not done at once, but by a continued influence which assimilates the soul to Jesus in purity, holiness, love, and heavenly mindedness, and makes it a type of Jesus.

5. Then there is another privilege — that there is a constant manifestation of fresh glory made to the mind in the Lord Jesus Christ. What an unworthy idea some people have of Jesus. It is only that of a beautiful image, as it were, drawn on canvas. But, to the believer, Jesus always manifests some new beauty in His face — some new glory in His nature.

6. You have another striking advantage of being near to Jesus — that of growing and increasing in your usefulness in the service of Jesus. There is a moral element of fitness required for the service of Jesus.

7. Then there is another great privilege and blessing — the mind and heart are weaned from earth in proportion as we live near to Jesus. We become conscious of being only strangers on the earth, of be. longing to another world, as citizens of a more enduring city.

(T. Thomas.)

Attention should be called to the different words (different in the original as well as in the English) used in the text to denote that part of our Lord's most Sacred Person: "bosom" in ver. 23, "breast" in ver. 25. Strictly speaking, the latter word alone denotes part of the person; the "bosom" is that part of the dress which covers the breast. Ancient dresses consisted of two pieces, a tight-fitting inner garment, and a shawl or outer wrapper thrown over it. And this shawl was so arranged as to fall in a large full fold over the breast, this full fold constituting the bosom or lap of the dress. This bosom or lap was sometimes used as a purse, to contain money or valuables; which explains that expression of our Lord, "Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom" (Luke 6:38). And when a parent or nurse carried a young child, the child would more or less repose in this fold of the dress, which would be drawn over its head. The subject having been thus opened, we will speak to you first of the Bosom in which our Lord Himself lay from all eternity; secondly, of the moral attitude of His faithful and beloved ones, who "lean on His Bosom," or "lie on His Breast;" and lastly, of the glorified Breast of the risen and ascended Saviour.

I. And, first, of THE BOSOM IN WHICH HE HIMSELF LAY FROM ALL ETERNITY, "before the mountains were brought forth, or ever the earth and the world were made." "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him" (John 1:18). The earthly image chosen to convey the heavenly truth is drawn from the parental relationship upon earth, and from the loving services which human parents do for their children in the earliest and most dependent stage of existence. They fold them in their bosom; they carry them in their arms; according to that word of Moses (Numbers 11:12). This doctrine lights up Christian theology with bright and consolatory lights. First, the God of Christian men, as distinct from the God of the Deist and Unitarian, is not to be thought of as ever having dwelt apart or in solitude. And then, secondly, this doctrine of our Lord's eternal generation gives us such an assurance as we could not otherwise have of the tenderness and strength of God's love to ourselves. He who gave up for us, and who giveth to us, the Son of His love, to be "unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1:30), what may we not expect Him to do for us, to give to us; how can we suppose that He will withhold from us any good thing? O Lord and Heavenly Father, may we open our hearts to this fatherly love of Thine, in faith, in confidence, in filial love reciprocating it!

II. THE MORAL ATTITUDE OF THOSE FAITHFUL AND BELOVED ONES WHO LEAN ON HIS BOSOM OR LIE ON HIS BREAST. It is said especially of St. John the Evangelist, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" (John 20:2; John 21:7, 20). The expression has reference, as is well known, to the arrangement of the guests at an ancient supper. They did not sit round the table in our modern fashion, but reclined on broad couches, leaning on the left elbow, and helping themselves with the right hand. Each couch usually accommodated three guests, and the central place on it was the most distinguished. It was a privileged position, you will say, not granted even to all the Apostles; and there. fore, in applying the passage, nothing can be founded upon it as to the spiritual privileges of ordinary Christians. But I find a Messianic prophecy of Isaiah, which surely enlarges the purview of this privilege, showing it to be a privilege designed for all, sad more especially for the weaker members of Christ's flock. "He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young" (Isaiah 40:11). Yes; "He shall carry them in His bosom." He Himself, we have seen, was carried from all eternity in the bosom of the Father. And our attitude and relation towards Him is to be that which He Himself bears to the Father. But now let us develop in particulars the moral attitude which it behoves us to have towards the Saviour, as pictorially represented in those words, "leaning on Jesus' bosom," "lying on Jesus' breast."(1) And first, he who leans on Jesus' bosom in a spiritual sense has a trustful repose in Him. Activity indeed must characterize the Christian life; and there is a blessedness and a healthfulness in work for God; but it must be a calm activity, without solicitude, without wearing anxiety, an activity which, while it works, knows also how to lean, and lie still, and to say, "the Lord will provide." "Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God," etc. (Philippians 4:6, 7). To taste this peace, at least in a measure, is to lean on Jesus' bosom, to lie on His breast.(2) Secondly; he who leans on Jesus' bosom in a spiritual sense has an assurance of the Saviour's nearness to him and love for him — a love which will cling to him to the end. Oh for an assurance, independent of the senses — the assurance of faith — that Christ is near to us at all times, more especially in public prayer, where two or three are gathered together in His name, and in the Sacred Supper, in which He makes every faithful recipient a partaker of His body and blood!(3) Thirdly; he who leans on Jesus' bosom in a spiritual sense cultivates St. John's type of character, a quiet contemplativeness, in which he may hear the whispers made by the Divine Master to the soul. The present is an age of activity, of material progress, of rapid movement. Under these circumstances it becomes more than ever necessary, as an antidote to the spirit of the times, that devotional retirement should be insisted upon as a condition of all healthy spiritual life. Let things drop ever and anon, even when the strain of work and worry is most severe, and lean back as it were on the bosom of thy Lord, and look up into His face, and seek from Him the guidance or the help or the comfort which thou needest, and, if thou doest this faithfully, thou shalt not fail to hear the whispers of His voice within. But how can those whispers be heard in the rapid whirl of business, in the tumult of affairs, without an inward silence and a hush in the soul?

III. We are to speak, lastly, of THE GLORIFIED BREAST OF THE RISEN AND EXALTED SAVIOUR. In that magnificent vision of the glorified Son of Man at the opening of the Revelation. "Being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about at the breasts" (so it is in the Revised Version) "with a golden girdle." Three points are observable in this part of the grand vision, which throughout is full of deep and edifying significance.(1) He appears "girded;" and to the angel of the Church of Ephesus He describes Himself as "walking in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks" (Revelation 2:1). The girding and the walking are both expressive of the ceaseless activity of the exalted Saviour, an activity which shows itself not only in His intercession, but in His close inspections of the Churches as to their spiritual condition and progress.(2) He appears girded at the breasts, not at the loins; the golden cincture is swathed around Him high up the person, below the armpits. This is explained by what Josephus tells us about the girdle of the high priest, and the part of the person on which it was fastened. This girding at the breast, then, being the sacerdotal way of wearing the girdle, and obviously a more dignified, reposeful, and majestic way than merely tying it tight round the loins, as was done when men addressed themselves to secular and common work, indicates that He who wears the girdle thus is the "great high priest, that is passed into the heavens," there "to appear in the presence of God for us," and to give effect to His sacrifice by pleading it on our behalf in the heavenly sanctuary. But if by the position of the girdle the high priestly character of the wearer is indicated, why is it not also indicated by the materials, which here are all gold, whereas the curious or (embroidered) girdle of the ephod, though it had gold in it, yet was made also of "blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen?" This is to indicate the kingly character of Christ united with the priestly, He being not only a priest, but "a priest upon His throne," a priest exalted to universal government.(3) But what shall we say of this remarkable feature of the vision, that the Saviour appears in it with the breast of a woman, not of a man? That there is a profound and beautiful significance in this trait, whatever be its significance, I make no manner of question. He was the Seed of the woman, not of the man, and, as being descended only from a mother, might be expected to show all that tender side of human character which woman more especially exemplifies. He has the breast of a woman, that is, the heart of a woman, in susceptibility to the sufferings of His people, and in sympathy with them, when they are called upon to suffer.

(E. M. Golburn, D. D.)

I. THE SIGNIFICANCY OF THIS ACT. Even with John the outward posture was only the symbol of the spiritual. It implies —

1. Reconciliation to Christ. We are by nature estranged from God and Christ. Hence we stand guilty and condemned. But, impelled by wondrous love, Jesus has taken our place and borne our penalty. Now God can be just and the justifier of all who believe in Him. Those who have been thus reconciled lean on Jesus' bosom, and those only. Suppose a child to have disobeyed its mother's commands and cherished a rebellious spirit. Will that child with conscious guilt and angry feelings nestle on the mother's breast? But let temper subside and penitence arise, then it will hasten to the mother's knee, let the mother's forgiveness kiss away tears, and throw its arms round the mother's neck and lean on her bosom.

2. Confidence in Him. He is worthy of this, for He is infinitely wise, strong, good, and ought to be thoroughly trusted. But He is not. But those who lean on His bosom have no fear, and find everything they need.

3. Love for Him. He is worthy of our best affection. Do we not naturally admire beauty? "He is altogether lovely." Are we not always affected by loving kindness? He has loved as with a love surpassing every other. Hatred separates, love unites. Those who love Christ are ever near His side.

4. Communion with Him — not merely saying prayers — but heart intercourse with Him everywhere. Silence leads to estrangement, exchange of confidences to love. So when there is little communion with Christ there is little love; but the soul whose fellowship with Him is constant will lay his head where John lay his.

II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF THIS POSITION. Here is —

1. Perfect safety. We are all exposed to danger as regards both body and soul. Most men are concerned about the safety of their bodies and money — then surely they should be about that of their souls. But where shall —(1) The unpardoned sinner, or(2) the backsliding saint find safety save here? "There is therefore now no condemnation," etc. "If God be for us, who can be against us."

2. Spiritual instruction. We are enfeebled by ignorance. Some of us think we know much about business, science, art, etc.; but we know little about God and Divine things. Where shall we look? The learned of our day only bewilder us, but we shall get all we want from the best Teacher, who is Himself the embodiment of truth; and those who trust Him most will be the best instructed, even as John learnt most of the betrayal.

3. Moral improvement. We are greatly influenced by our associates. Those who dwell in courts acquire a peculiar dignity, and those who live near Christ become Christ-like.

4. Rest and peace. There is a fearful amount of unrest in the world arising from a guilty conscience, loss of friends, wealth, etc.; but "in Christ Jesus the peace of God will keep our hearts and minds."

(J. Morgan.)

I. THE STATE OF MIND AND HEART, ON EITHER SIDE, OF WHICH THIS ATTITUDE WAS THE EXPRESSION.

1. On the side of the disciple, it told —(1) Of a holy, unsuspecting, childlike trust, reliance on the Lord. Doubtless John was tried with many a painful foreboding for the future. Had anyone asked, "Knowest thou that the Lord will take away thy Master from thy head?" methinks he had been ready to answer, "Yea, I know it; hold thou thy peace." Too well he knows it. But just the more he will lean his head tonight on that Master's bosom and cast his care on this mighty, gracious One.(2) Of intense affection. It is heart drawing to heart in the hour of deep grief!(3) The two feelings, the reliance and the love were inseparably connected. It was a loving reliance; and it was a confiding affection. The "faith wrought by love;" and the love, "casting out fear," emboldened the faith.

2. It told of corresponding feelings on the side of the Master.(1) Confidence, trust, reposed by Christ in the disciple? Jesus suffers him to lean his head upon His bosom. Ah! this is not to be the traitor. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and He will show them His covenant."(2) Intense affection. Not that Christ loved John with any higher love of benevolence than He did the other disciples. Plainly it is satisfaction, delight, complacency, in John that is spoken of in the appellation, and which came out divinely in the permission to lean his head upon His bosom.

II. OUR TEXT ADMITS OF BEING TURNED TO EXTENSIVE USE, far beyond the ease of John. One disciple only could lean as did John, but we may now find that this is a privilege, accessible in the essence of it, even to as many as shall truly aspire after it.

1. The soul of this attitude, as on the disciple's side lay in trust in Jesus. Then have we the attitude still. "The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God." Many years ago I was visiting a dying boy. He lay weary on his pillow, near his end. I scarce hoped to make him understand me — he was not six years of age. But thinking I might make an attempt, after short prayer, I said to him, "Charlie, you are resting your head on the pillow; try and rest on Jesus, as you are resting on the pillow." Next day his father told me that, on going up to the little crib several hours after my visit, and without making any reference to it, he said to him, "Are you resting on Jesus, dear?" He immediately answered, "Soft pillow." It was his only reply. Ah, that is it, unsuspecting reliance, "soft pillow" — He lying on Jesus' breast!(2) And have we not the love also, still. "My beloved is mine, and I am his" — faith and love hand in hand. "I will seek Him whom my soul loveth."

2. The leaning of disciples still is by His welcoming also, just as of old — reciprocating their feelings towards Him in a blessed corresponding confidence, and complacency in them. "He that hath My commandments, and keepeth them," etc. Perhaps, in a more special manner at the Lord's Supper, may the lying on the breast be known and realized. Yet this is not a privilege confined to any one ordinance or season. Assuredly the bosom, the heart, of Jesus is large enough to receive every weary head that is but truly offered to lean on it. "I heard the voice of Jesus say," etc.

(G. J. Brown, D. D.)

What is it, at this day, to do this?

I. TO BRING OUR HEARTS INTO LIVING FEELING, CONTACT WITH THE HEART OF CHRIST. We speak of the breast of man, as being filled with noble or revengeful feelings; of a generous or an unfeeling bosom, because the heart has its seat in the breast; and as that, in the physical system, is the centre of animal life, the ever-welling up and distributing fountain of the vital currents, so when we would speak of the moral centre, the well spring of moral emotions, we use the term heart, and say, his heart is right or wrong, generous or closed, renewed or unsanctified; hence, to lean upon the breast, the outer casement of the heart, is equivalent to saying, that the person leans upon the love and sympathy of that individual. Christ's love emanates from His heart, and hence he who rests upon His love rests upon His breast. The feeling of confidence in human affection is one of the most delicious emotions of which we are capable. In leaning upon the heart of Jesus, the Christian can have this confidence, to a degree impossible among men. His heart is an organ of infinite love.

II. TO LEAN UPON THE PLACE WHENCE HIS SYMPATHIES FLOW. There are daily trials, in which we seek not only succour but sympathy. None ever felt so deeply for the sorrows and sufferings of the world as Jesus, and now that He has ascended into heaven, He is still "touched with the feeling of our infirmities." And if we lean on Jesus' bosom, we shall always have His sympathies.

III. TO GET AN INTELLIGENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST. "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." A man may be a learned theologian without leaning upon Jesus' bosom; but no one can savingly understand Divine truth who does not bring his head in contact with Jesus' heart. There is a great difference between an intellectual, and an experimental, knowledge of Bible doctrines. The poor widow, the bed-ridden patient, often has a richer knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus; than the learned minister or the boasting professor. All real knowledge of Jesus must come from Christ's heart, and through our heart.

IV. TO LEAN UPON THE PLACE WHENCE FLOWED HIS PRECIOUS BLOOD. It was from the spear-riven heart of Christ, that there gushed out blood and water; and in leaning upon Jesus' breast, therefore, we get close to the fountain opened for sin and all uncleanness. If we would feel the preciousness of that blood, we must lean upon the heart whence it flowed, and there learn the vastness of the love which gave it, the greatness of the sacrifice it involved, and the unspeakable richness of the grace it purchased. Conclusion: The bosom of Christ is a privileged place in times of —

1. Adversity. The world may treat us coldly, friends may withdraw from us, riches may depart, but, if we can lean on Jesus' bosom, we care not.

2. Sickness.

3. Sorrow.

4. Death.

(Bp. Stevens.)

One of His disciples whom Jesus loved.
I. JOHN'S CHARACTER.

1. Early piety.

2. The most remarkable trait, love, which was constantly evinced in his attendance on our Lord. He leaned on his Master's bosom in their hours of social enjoyment — "And in death they were not divided." He remained with Him till he saw Him expire. We must follow him to the cross.

II. HOW DID HE ARRIVE AT THIS? He explains this, "We love Him." Yes; there he learned the lessons of love on Jesus' bosom.

III. HOW DID HE EXEMPLIFY AFTER HIS MASTER'S DECEASE? Read his Epistles. He led others to it (chap 1). Zeal for God and love for man; a burning fervour for God's cause and man's happiness — "What we have seen and heard we testify unto you." Love.

IV. THE PARTICULAR DISTINCTIONS AND FAVOURS CONFERRED ON HIM BY CHRIST. Leans on His breast; Mount of Transfiguration; garden; and He consigns His holy virgin mother to his care; lived long; closed the canon of Scripture; was raised to glory.

(T. Summerfield, M. A.)

S. S. Times.
is —

I. NEAR TO JESUS.

II. INTIMATE WITH JESUS.

III. HONOURED BY MEN.

IV. HELPFUL TO MEN.

(S. S. Times.)

We learn from the text the rightness of personal preferences — certain minds being more akin to other minds than others — but also that in the highest hearts this affinity will be determined by spiritual resemblances, not mere accidental agreeabilities, accomplishments, politenesses, or pleasant manners. Again, I imagine that the union had nothing to do with mental superiority; that might have been more admirable. John was lovable. Not talent, as in Paul's ease, nor eloquence, nor amiability, drew Christ's spirit to him, but that large heart, which enabled him to believe because he felt, and hence to reveal that "God is love." It is very remarkable, however, that his love was a trained love. Once John was more zealous than affectionate. But he began by loving the human friend, by tending the mother as a son, by attachment to his brother James; and so through particular personal attachments he was trained to take in and comprehend the larger Divine love. I should say, then, that he was most lovable, because, having loved in their varied relationships "men whom he had seen," he was able to love "God whom he had not seen." He is most dear to the heart of Christ, who loves most, because he has most of God in him; and that love comes through missing none of the preparatory steps of affection given us as primer lessons.

(F. W. Robertson, M. A.)

Who is it?
Personal Christianity is an intimate connection with Christ. To be a true Christian is to be more familiar with Christ than with father, mother, etc. This familiarity involves —

I. THE MOIST AMAZING CONDESCENSION. Little magnates of earth deem it a great condescension to allow the humble and lowly to speak to them even at a distance. But here is the Author and Proprietor of the universe, the infinitely holy as well as the transcendently great, permitting this poor, frail, sinful man to lean on His bosom. Let this condescension —

1. Inspire us with adoring gratitude.

2. Consume that pride which prompts man to keep the poor at a distance.

II. THE SUBLIMEST PRIVILEGE. To be so closely allied to Christ as this is to be in the safest and most honourable position. What an honour to recline on the bosom of the King of kings.

III. THE PROFOUNDEST REVERENCE. John addresses Christ as Lord. Familiarity with men, the proverb says, breeds contempt. We know it often breeds discontent. So imperfect are the best of men, that, as a rule, the more we know of them the less reverence we have. Not so with Christ.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

He it is to whom I shall give a sop. — Literally, "the morsel." No incident of Oriental meals is more celebrated in Western narrative than the giving of the morsel, or sop, to a table neighbour, as a mark of favour. It is said that the Shah of Persia, when in London some years ago, could not break himself entirely of the habit, but insisted on passing some morsels to the fine ladies near him, to the danger of their fine dresses; giving rise to the witticism which described the saving for the cat of the morsels left after the meal, by the French sentence, Nous allons les garder pour le chat — "We are going to save them for the Shah (cat). But scarcely a traveller, and certainly no resident, in the East can escape this Oriental courtesy at meals. Since the dishes are generally either stews or cooked almost to pieces, the fingers can easily tear off a morsel. This is dipped in the sauce, thus becoming the sop, and is thrust directly, into the favoured one's mouth. If the mouthful is large, the sauce or gravy is apt to run down the receiver's beard. The present writer has often received the sop at an Oriental meal, and cannot say that, considering the other customs, there is anything uncleanly or repulsive in it. A common mode, however, both of helping one's self and giving the sop to one's neighbour, is to take two pieces of bread, and take up the morsel between them, the pieces of bread serving as spoon, or knife and fork. The sop must, according to all Oriental rules, be considered as a mark of favour; and in Jesus' giving it to Judas, we must, unless we look farther below the surface than we have any light, see only love and goodwill. The giving of the sop, or morsel, seems to be an old Greek custom, as well as an Oriental one; but the citations to sustain that position may be seen collected in Webster's Greek Testament. They are too numerous and voluminous to repeat here. The custom goes back to the time of Socrates, if not to that of Homer.

(S. S. Times.)

He gave it to Judas. — Christ was now standing at the door of the heart of His apostle. He was holding out to him the opportunity of repentance. Judas, however, was unwilling to open that door at the call of Christ, though he opened it to Satan, and so Satan entered into him. The devil had stood knocking at his heart by the his yielding temptation of money; and to the temptation unbarred the door of the sinner's heart, and made him an easy prey to the great tempter.

(W. Denton, M. A.)

Monday Club.
There is perhaps a reason why this giving of a sop has an effect on our minds not unlike the knocking on the gate in "Macbeth," which succeeds the murder of Duncan. No words are spoken in either case. In this instance the effect is more startling, because the sign precedes rather than follows the crime. It produces a feeling of peculiar awfulness and solemnity. It is the casting of a die. We are made to feel, as De Quincey says of the device of the great poet, "that the human and Divine nature of love and mercy, spread through the hearts of all creatures, and seldom utterly withdrawn from man, is entirely gone, and that this fiendish nature has taken its place. By this sign and token we know that Satan has entered. It was not the Lord rejecting Judas, but Judas rejecting the Lord.

(Monday Club.)

Remorse may disturb the slumbers of a man who is dabbling with his first experiences of wrong; and when the pleasure has been tasted and is gone, and nothing is left of the crime but the ruin which it has wrought, then, too, the furies take their seats upon the midnight pillow. But the meridian of evil is, for the most part, left unvexed; and when a man has chosen his road, he is left alone to follow it to the end.

(J. A. Froude.)

We must distinguish Christian thoughts from the thoughts of Christians, and Christian deeds from the deeds of Christians; in short, we must discriminate between Christianity and Christians, because Christians are human and Christianity is Divine. It is, in fact, because of this very distinction that Christianity often suffers in the minds of those who note the unworthiness of Christians. Every fall of a Christian is an indication of the elevation of Christianity; and every indication of that elevation is a reason for our endeavour to reach it. To say that a man does not practice what he preaches is no necessary condemnation of his preaching, however much it condemns his practice. A drunkard has the right to preach temperance from the standpoint of intemperance. A slave to tobacco is not necessarily insincere because he advises abstinence from his masterful habit. "I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done, than be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching," says Portia; but while that may reflect on the twenty, it is no reflection on the teaching. And so, when a Christian is derelict, that dereliction is not a fruit of his Christianity, but of his want of it. The defection of Christians cannot legitimately condemn the Church and Christianity; because Christianity and the Church first condemned the defection. Yet when a Church member or a minister turns out to be a defaulter, a blasphemer, an adulterer, the world often points its finger of scorn at the Christian profession, as if the culprit had learned the principles of deception from the pulpit, or had been instructed in defilement from the Sunday school chair or desk. A shallower argument against the Christian profession than this it would be difficult to conceive. It is really the blaming of Christianity for another instance of the neglect of Christianity; it is charging a high ideal with the consequences of a low practice; it is criminating virtue because of the existence of vice; it is reproaching truth with the fact of falsehood. It is as if we were to reflect upon Jesus by pointing at Judas. The simple question at issue is, Is the Christian standard high or low, good or evil? If it be high, live for it — no matter who falls; if it be good, practice it — no matter who fails. If it be in itself low and evil, say so squarely.

(H. C. Trumbull, D. D.)

Look in upon that humble chamber in Jerusalem. Whom do you see eating of the bread of life, and drinking of the cup of salvation? Are they not all men of like passions with ourselves? There are James and John, who, in their hasty zeal, would fain have called down fire from heaven to destroy the Samaritans. And there is Thomas — doubting Thomas. There, too, is Peter, who only a few hours afterward would curse and swear and cowardly deny his Lord. There, again, the Master is seen passing the bread and the cup to Andrew, and Philip, and Matthew, and Bartholomew, and the other James, who reverently drank, but who, when dangers and death encompassed Him about, forsook Him and fled. And look once more. There, too, is Judas! The Saviour does not even pass him by. Now, I ask, what right has anyone to declare that the Lord's Supper is something so sacred and awful, that none but perfectly good people must venture to receive it, when our Saviour Himself admitted such characters as these to the table which His goodness had spread? What reason is there in the plea which is so often urged by people that they are afraid to commune, because they have done so many wrong things in times past, or because they are apprehensive lest they may be led into evil in the future? Are they mere uncharitable and vindictive by nature than James and John? Have they more serious and perplexing doubts than Thomas? Do they run a greater risk of apostacy than Peter? or of treason than Judas? Others acknowledge, if you press them very closely upon the subject, that they slay away from the Lord's table because of insincere communicants. But how clearly does the traitor's presence prove that no personal unworthiness on the part of others can excuse us from the performance of our duty.

(J. N. Norton, D. D.)

For some of them thought

I. The statement that he "had the bag" shows THE POSITION JUDAS OCCUPIED AMONG THE APOSTLES. He was no mean and inferior person. He was so far from being suspected, that he had the charge of the common store of money. Bullinger even thinks that he must have been a man remarkable for wisdom, prudence, economy, and faithfulness.

II. The supposition of some that Jesus told Judas to "buy the things needed against the feast" shows clearly that OUR LORD DID NOT WORK MIRACLES IN ORDER TO PROCURE THE NECESSARIES required by Himself and His disciples. Christians must buy and sell like other people, and must manage their money affairs with prudence and economy. It also shows how little the disciples realized that their Master's death was close at hand.

III. The supposition of others that Jesus told Judas to "give something to the poor" shows plainly what WAS OUR LORD'S CUSTOM IN THE MATTER OF ALMSGIVING. He sanctified and adorned the practice of caring for the poor by His own example. This passage and Galatians 2:10 deserve careful consideration. It may be doubted whether the English Poor Law has not tended to shut up English almsgiving far more than is right before God. Conclusion:

1. Let us mark the snares which attend the possession and fingering of money. The man who has care of the money in our Lord's little company of followers is the very man who makes shipwreck of his soul forever through the love of money. "Give me neither poverty nor riches" should be a Christian's frequent prayer.

2. The possession of money is evidently not in itself sinful and wicked. The Romish mendicant friars, and others who make a self-imposed poverty, are under a complete delusion. It is not the having, but the misusing, money which is sinful.

(Bp. Ryle.)

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