Why didn’t the disciples know it was Judas?

Why didn’t the disciples know it was Judas?

John 13 v 22-25

“His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it? 26 Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.”


Imagine the scene. The team with Jesus are lying on the floor encircling the table. Perhaps leaning on their elbow and eating with their hand.

One of the disciples (let’s agree it is John!) is next to Jesus and Judas is on the other side.

The disciples are discussing around the table what Jesus had just said that one of them would betray him. Peter wasn’t nearer enough to Jesus to ask the question so he asks John to ask.

Why didn’t the disciples know it was Judas?

  1. They were not closest to Jesus around the table and they were not as close in terms of relationship to ask Jesus openly from their position.

The closer you are to Jesus the more questions you can ask and more revelation is given.


  1. John didn’t tell them.

John leaned back onto Jesus so that the others couldn’t hear and Jesus told him the answer again out of ear-shot.

John knew it was Judas, it was confirmed when Judas took the bread that Jesus offered. John could be trusted.

Can we be trusted with what we hear? Even what God shares with us?


  1. John was loved more than the others because he loved more than the others. He would be the only disciple left at the cross and Jesus commissions him to take care of his mother Mary.

Knowing you are a disciple loved by Jesus gives you the confidence to step out in faith whether that is asking of Him some searching questions or to risk your life at the cross.

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