Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
The hour had now arrived when darkness reigned. Judas had perhaps deceived some of his peers, but he had in no way duped the Lord Jesus. Jesus was not taken by surprise–He never is. We find this confirmed in Luke when Jesus responds to those who came to arrest Him:
Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour–when darkness reigns.” (Luke 22:52-53)
Make no mistake about it; darkness reigned because darkness was permitted to reign. God is the only one with ultimate, full, and complete power–Satan must answer to Him. Recall the story of blameless Job. The adversary could do nothing more to Job than God allowed:
Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (Job 1:8-12)
Again Satan asks permission to buffet Job and God once again places certain restrictions upon him:
On another day the angels came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.” “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” (Job 2:1-6)
After Jesus’ death and resurrection Peter addresses the crowds with the following truth:
“Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.” (Acts 2:22-24)
In our verses for today we are told that because Judas was in charge of the group’s money, some of the disciples assumed the high road regarding his actions–not even questioning his abrupt departure–they had placed their trust in him. They were surely fooled and soon to be sorely disappointed. Nothing hurts worse than a betrayal by a friend or family member or loved one. Second guessing one of their own would not have entered their minds. They were supposed to be like minded brothers–treating one another lovingly and selflessly–following closely in their Master’s footsteps.
Take It to Heart
While the disciples had no reason to question Judas, Jesus knew fully was all of his motives, yet treated him no differently. Paul’s words in Romans come to mind:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Jesus is never taken by surprise. Satan has boundaries–God does not. Always keep your trust in Him!