DID JUDAS PARTAKE OF THE LORD'S SUPPER
By HERB EVANS, Ltt.D.
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. -- John 6:64
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. -- John 6:70, 71
In opposition to closed communion, the above inferred claim is used to justify everything from Open Communion (even to the lost) unto Non-member Communion unto interchurch Communion. More serious, the claim implies that Jesus endorses such a practice.
The tactic used to prove this claim is to ignore the Paragraph symbol before Mark 14:22 and Matt 26:26, indicating a pause or break between Judas and the Lord's Supper. Their best argument is in Luke 22:19-22, which we will handle below.
Jesus knew all along that Judas was lost and a devil and that he would betray Him. Still, only the Lord knew all this. So, immediately, we cite nonpublic knowledge versus public knowledge, which is enough to refute the claims of the interdenominational, nondenominational, baby sprinklers, and non-salvationists on this.
Still, that aside, what do the scriptures teach on this? The Four Gospels will have to be pieced together in order that the parts that are in one Gospel and the parts that are in the other Gospels may be combined so that you will know . . . the rest of the story.
Judas, Before The Supper, Went To The Chief Priests
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests . . . -- Matthew 26:14
And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them . . . -- Mark 14:10
. . . Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. -- Luke 6:16
And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. -- Luke 22:3-6
For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. -- John 13:29
Judas, the lost Treasurer, being disappointed at the ointment not being sold for money, sought another way to satisfy his avarice BEFORE the Lord's Supper. Are those that justify the LOST Judas partaking of the Lord's Supper also willing to have such TRAITORS to partake at the Lord's Supper with loyal believers?
The Problem In Luke
And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. -- Luke 22:14-18
No one disputes this first supper was the Passover or that Judas partook of it. However, the statement about not drinking the fruit of the vine in this Passover sequence, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God, is also found in the Lord's Supper sequence in Matthew 26:29 and Mark 14:25.
Either the Lord said it twice or someone needs to reconcile the comments or find a significant difference between the two sets of words. Also, here the Passover cup is divided among the disciples in preparation for the Lord's Supper. This pretty well eliminates the Calvinist one cup theory, for how could they divide it before they drank it, if it was only one cup from which each apostle drank?
The Lucan Difficulty
And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. --Luke 14:19-23
Now, the very next thing that happens after the dividing of the cup among them is the breaking of bread and distributing it to the disciples. It is here that Open Communionists connect Judas' hand on the table to prove that Judas partook.
Now, the admitted difficulty, here, is the fact that Judas' hand was on the table at the time that Jesus explains what the bread is--His body given for them--and what the cup is--the blood of the new testament. But the problem for Judas partaker advocates is that Jesus has not, at this juncture, commanded them to eat the bread or drink the cup; Jesus only distributes it and makes it ready to be partaken.
Still, Luke's account seems more of a summary, rather than a detailed sequential account. Apart from Luke and my explanation of the difficulty, it is clear sailing with the other Gospel passages, John's account being the most complete.
As we elaborate later, we think that there is a break here with the foot washing event, taking place after the distribution of the elements. The foot washing is comparable to the self examination that should precede any Lord's Supper.
After the foot washing, they come back to the table for the SOP dipping and fellowship and also the announcement that one is to betray Jesus, who is the one who dipped the SOP with the Lord Jesus. We believe, it was at this point that Jesus tells Judas that it is Judas that is the traitor and that what Judas is about to do -- to do quickly.
Judas then leaves immediately after the dipping and receiving the SOP, the prelude to the partaking of the Lord's supper that was already prepared and setting in front of them ready to be partaken after the SOP.
Placing Judas At The Passover
And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. And as they did eat, [after the SOP - Herb Evans] Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. -- Mark 14:17-26
We can place Judas at the Passover and at the table and at the SOP dipping. We can also place Judas as dipping his SOP in the dish, something that you do not do in the Lord's Supper. Nevertheless, we cannot place Judas as eating or drinking the communion elements.
After the Passover Supper and the foot washing and the SOP dipping, Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper; Judas was no longer there anymore after he went out. The remainder of the apostles listened to some more preaching and then sung a hymn and went to the Mount of Olives. We contend that the sequence of events taken from John's account in the passage below was as follows:
And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him . . . Jesus . . . riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet . . . Jesus saith to him [Peter], He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? . . . I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. . . When Jesus had thus said, 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. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast 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. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him . . . He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. -- John 13:2-31
The Sequence Of Events
1. Judas went to the Chief priests to betray Jesus for money (Matt. 26:14; Mark 14:10; Luke 23:2-6)
2. They all ate the Passover Supper (Mark 14:17; Luke 22:14)
3. After the Passover Supper was ended, the devil puts it in Judas' heart to betray Jesus; Jesus washes all their feet (John 13:2-11).
4. They were told that they were not ALL CLEAN, meaning Judas. (John 13:11)
5. They set back down again at the table to dip the sop (desert time). (John 13:12, 28)
6. They are told there that one of them would betray Jesus. (John 13:21)
7. They ask, including Judas, "Is it I?" and who it was. (Matt. 26:25; John 13:22-25)
8. They are all told that the one that dippeth the SOP with Him will betray Him. (John 13:26; Mark 14:18-20)
9. Judas is told that he is the one and given the SOP. (John 13:27, 30)
10. After being given the SOP, Judas IMMEDIATELY goes out from them and goes to the chief priests. (John 13:30)
11. Jesus institutes the Lord's Supper with the eleven. (Matt. 26:26; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:19-20)
12. Jesus Preaches (John 13:31 to John 18:1)
13. The eleven sing a Hymn (Mark 14:46).
14. The eleven go out to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane (John 18:1; Luke 22:39)
15. Judas Guides Jesus' enemies to Him betraying him with a kiss (Matt. 26:47; Mark 14:43; Luke 22:47, 48; Acts 1:16; John 18:2-5)
16. Judas repents himself, hangs himself, goes to his own place (Matt. 27:3; Acts 1:25)
The Book of John gives all the sequence, including the foot washing that the other Gospels do not give with the exception of the account of the Lord's supper, which is instituted after Judas is gone out, after receiving the SOP.
Also, Judas did not hear the preaching between John 13:31 and John 18:1, a noteworthy observation. Then Jesus prays in the garden, while his disciples slept. At this juncture, Judas guides the Lord's enemies to Jesus. Judas tries to repent "himself," hangs himself, and then goes to his own place.
Now, we will be very happy to receive another scripture supported sequence of events from those who may not agree. Also, we await the proof that Judas partook of the Lord's Supper.
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