Judas’ Last Chance -- By: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Journal: Emmaus Journal
Volume: EMJ 01:3 (Winter 1992)
Article: Judas’ Last Chance
Author: S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.

Judas’ Last Chance

S. Lewis Johnson, Jr.1

An Exposition of John 13:18–30


Our previous study2 showed that our Lord’s ministry of footwashing, designed to inculcate humility, worked in Peter’s case. Peter writes to the strangers scattered abroad in Asia, “Be clothed with humility” (1 Pet. 5:5). The verb that Peter used, translated in the Authorized Version by “be clothed,” is one built upon a root related to the way in which slave’s garments were made. It just might be that the apostle was thinking of the incident in the upper room when he wrote, “Be clothed with humility.” It was our Lord who had taken the slave’s place and had done the slave’s work of washing their feet. So Peter’s word to the strangers, and his word to us, might be rendered, “put on the apron of humility.” There is a strong overtone in this to follow our Lord’s example. This He exhorted the eleven to do, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14–15).

In the section to which we have now come we shall see that His example did not work on Judas, although his feet were also washed by the Lord. Against the background of Judas’ actions our Lord’s shine more brightly. One thinks of a young couple buying an engagement ring. The jeweler, who wishes to sell the ring with its stone, will usually set the ring on a black or dark background, often black velvet, in order to accentuate the size and beauty of the stone through the contrast of the diamond with the velvet. Thus John has drawn a picture of the secret, diabolical

purpose of Judas over against the loving humility of the Lord Jesus, who will soon finish His redemptive work in a dramatic, atoning death.

There is an incidental insight that this section gives to one of the difficult passages of the Old Testament. Psalm 109, one of the imprecatory psalms, contains some very strong words spoken against an adversary of the psalmist.3 In the New Testament it is said that this psalm has to do with Judas (cf. Acts 1:16–20). Many find it impossible to believe that the psalmist could have said the things that he said with the approval of a...

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