Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


John 13:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

I speak not of you all - This is a continuation of that discourse which was left off at the tenth verse. The preceding verses may be read in a parenthesis.

I know whom I have chosen - I am not deceived in my choice; I perfectly foresaw every thing that has happened, or can happen. I have chosen Judas, not as a wicked man, nor that he should become such; but I plainly foresaw that he would abuse my bounty, give way to iniquity, deliver me into the hands of my enemies, and bring ruin upon himself.

That the scripture may be fulfilled - Or, thus the scripture is fulfilled. Christ applies to Judas what David had said of his rebellious son Absalom, Psalm 41:9, who was one of the most express emblems of this traitor. See on John 12:38, John 12:39; (note).

He that eateth bread with me - That is, he who was in habits of the utmost intimacy with me.

Hath lifted up his heel - An allusion to a restive, ill-natured horse, that sometimes kicks even the person who feeds and takes care of him.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

I speak not of you all - That is, in addressing you as clean, I do not mean to say that you all possess this character.

I know whom I have chosen - He here means evidently to say that he had not chosen them all, implying that Judas had not been chosen. As, however, this word is applied to Judas in one place John 6:70, “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” it must have a different meaning here from that which it has there. There it evidently refers to the apostleship. Jesus had chosen him to be an apostle, and had treated him as such. Here it refers to purity of heart, and Jesus implies that, though Judas had been chosen to the office of apostleship, yet he had not been chosen to purity of heart and life. The remaining eleven had been, and would be saved. It was not, however, the fault of Jesus that Judas was not saved, for he was admitted to the same teaching, the same familiarity, and the same office; but his execrable love of gold gained the ascendency, and rendered vain all the means used for his conversion.

But that the scripture … - These things have occurred in order that the prophecies may receive their completion. It does not mean that Judas was compelled to this course in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, but that this was foretold, and that by this the prophecy did receive a completion. “The scripture.” This is written in Psalm 41:9. It is commonly understood of Ahithophel, and of the enemies of David who had been admitted to his friendship, and who had now proved ungrateful to him.

May be fulfilled - See the notes at Matthew 1:22. It is difficult to tell whether this prophecy had a primary reference to Judas, or whether it be meant that it received a more complete fulfillment in his case than in the time of David. The cases were similar; the same words would describe both events, for there was an exhibition of similar ingratitude and baseness in both cases, so that the same words would fitly describe both events.

He that eateth bread with me - To eat with one was a proof of friendship. See 2 Samuel 9:11; Matthew 9:11; Genesis 43:32. This means that Judas had been admitted to all the privileges of friendship, and had partaken of the usual evidences of affection. It was this which greatly aggravated his offence. It was base ingratitude as well as murder.

Hath lifted up his heel - Suidas says that this figure is taken from those who are running in a race, when one attempts to trip the other up and make him fall. It was a base and ungrateful return for kindness to which the Lord Jesus referred, and it means that he who had been admitted to the intimacies of friendship had ungratefully and maliciously injured him. Some suppose the expression means to lay snares for one others, to kick or injure a man after he is cast down (Calvin on Psalm 41:9). It is clear that it denotes great injury, and injury aggravated by the fact of professed friendship. It was not merely the common people, the open enemies, the Jewish nation that did it, but one who had received all the usual proofs of kindness. It was this which greatly aggravated our Saviour‘s sufferings.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Our Lord had often spoken of his own sufferings and death, without such trouble of spirit as he now discovered when he spake of Judas. The sins of Christians are the grief of Christ. We are not to confine our attention to Judas. The prophecy of his treachery may apply to all who partake of God's mercies, and meet them with ingratitude. See the infidel, who only looks at the Scriptures with a desire to do away their authority and destroy their influence; the hypocrite, who professes to believe the Scriptures, but will not govern himself by them; and the apostate, who turns aside from Christ for a thing of naught. Thus mankind, supported by God's providence, after eating bread with Him, lift up the heel against Him! Judas went out as one weary of Jesus and his apostles. Those whose deeds are evil, love darkness rather than light.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 652-61

This chapter is based on Matthew 26:20-29; Mark 14:17-25; Luke 22:14-23; John 13:18-30

“The Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: and when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come.” 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. DA 652.1

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