Study Guide

Gospel of John Betrayal

Betrayal

When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet's own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival. (NRSV 4:43-45)

Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast. (KJV 4:43-45)

Prophets don't get no respect. Jesus thinks that the hometown crowd is going to reject him, but they actually welcome him with open arms. Of course, they are pretty impressed by all those miracles he's been doing.

Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil." He was speaking of Judas son of Simon Iscariot, for he, though one of the twelve, was going to betray him. (NRSV 6:70-71)

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (KJV 6:70-71)

If Jesus knows that Judas is going to betray him, why doesn't he boot him from the club?

[Jesus] did not wish to go about in Judea because the Jews were looking for an opportunity to kill him[…] So his brothers said to him, "Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples also may see the works you are doing; for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret. If you do these things, show yourself to the world." (For not even his brothers believed in him.) (NRSV 7:1, 3-5)

[Jesus] would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him[…] His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. (KJV 7:1, 3-5)

That's quite a sibling rivalry—even Jesus's own brothers don't believe in him. They tell him he should head down to Judea where a bunch of people are looking to murder him. If you can't trust your family, who can you trust?

But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?" (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) (NRSV 12:4-6)

Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. (KJV 12:4-6)

If it weren't bad enough that Judas would betray Jesus, he also betrays the trust of the other disciples by becoming nothing more than a petty thief. This guy just gets worse and worse.

Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples […] asked him, "Lord, who is it?" Jesus answered, "It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish." So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, "Do quickly what you are going to do" […] So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. (NRSV 13:21-23, 25-28, 30)

He was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake […] One of his disciples […] saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly… He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. (KJV 13:21-23, 25-28, 30)

The bread isn't just a tasty treat; it represents Jesus's body, which will soon be broken thanks to Judas. After he gets the bread, Judas runs out into the night, because—no surprise—he's lacking the light of the world. Check out our "Symbols" section for more juice... er, bread.

The woman said to Peter, "You are not also one of this man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not"[…] Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself [by a fire]. They asked him, "You are not also one of his disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not." One of the slaves of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you in the garden with him?" Again Peter denied it, and at that moment the cock crowed. (NRSV 18:17, 25-27) 

Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not […] And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him? Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew. (KJV 18:17, 25-27, KJV)

Just a few hours before this whole denial scenario, Peter was insisting he would die to help Jesus. Now, he claims he's never met the guy. What gives?

Pilate entered the headquarters again, summoned Jesus, and asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you ask this on your own, or did others tell you about me?" Pilate replied, "I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" (NRSV 18:33-35)

Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done? (KJV 18:33-35)

Pilate has a point: he isn't the one who's accusing Jesus, it's Jesus's own people who have turned against him. The ones he came to save are the ones trying to have him killed. Not cool.

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