Baptist friend wants insight


My Baptist friend posted Mark 14:12-21 and is asking for insight. He said

“Looking for insight.
I believe that everything God placed in Scripture is there for a reason. My question what is the significance of Jesus predicting His Betrayer? On top of this, Why didn’t the rest of the discipleship intervene with Judas? I know it would not change anything if some did but, why didn’t they try? Surely they knew who was going to betray Jesus they were at the table Jesus announced whoever would dip in the bowl with him. They had to see it. I would have sat on my hands had I herd that so as not to dip in the bowl with Jesus. Any input?”

What say you guys?


I think it’s easy to delude ourselves in to thinking we would have done things differently than them

but would we? peter insisted he wouldn’t deny Christ, but his fear and weaknes caused him to do it anyways

and Judas’ betrayal was all part of God’s plan. how do you stop something like that?

I know it sounds obvious in the story, but perhaps it wasn’t so easily perceived as we might think


I can think of at least three reasons:

(1) To demonstrate the fact that He, Christ, had full knowledge of what would transpire;

(2) To warn Judas, as in verse 21;

(3) Dipping the bread in a common bowl is a Semitic gesture of friendship, and some commentators have understood Christ to be offering Judas a last chance of repentance.

But by the way, verse 22 begins a section your friend might be interested in as well. :wink:


Here are some insights into verses 17- 21 from St. Thomas Aquinas’ Catena Aurea, which compiles the commentary of various Church Fathers:

21. The Son of man indeed goes, 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.

BEDE; The Lord who had foretold His Passion, prophesied also of the traitor, in order to give him room for repentance, that understanding that his thoughts were known, he might repent. Wherefore it is said, And in the evening he comes with the twelve.

And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say to you, One of you which eats with me shall betray me.

CHRYS. Where it is evident that He did not proclaim him openly to all, lest He should make him the more shameless; at the same time He did not altogether keep it silent, lest thinking that he was not discovered, he should boldly hasten to betray Him.

THEOPHYL. But how could they eat reclining, when the law ordered that standing and upright they should eat the Passover? It is probable that they had first fulfilled the legal Passover, and had reclined, when He began to give them His own Passover.

PSEUDO-JEROME; The evening of the day points out the evening of the world; for the last, who are the first to receive the penny of eternal life, come about the eleventh hour. All the disciples then are touched by the Lord; so that there is amongst them the harmony of the harp, all the well attuned strings answer with accordant tone; for it goes on: And they began to be sorrowful, and to say to him one by one, Is it I? One of them however, unstrung, and steeped in the love of money, said, Is it I, Lord? as Matthew testifies.

THEOPHYL. But the other disciples began to be saddened on account of the word of the Lord; for although they were free from this passion, yet they trust Him who knows all hearts, rather than themselves. It goes on: And he answered and said to them, It is one of the twelve, that dips with me in the dish.

BEDE; That is, Judas, who when the others were sad and held back their hands, puts forth his hand with his Master into the dish. And because He had before said, One of you shall betray me, and yet the traitor perseveres in his evil, He accuses him more openly, without however pointing out his name.

PSEUDO-JEROME; Again, He says, One out of the twelve, as it were separate from them, for the wolf carries away from the flock the sheep which he has taken, and the sheep which quits the fold lies open to the bite of the wolf.

But Judas does not withdraw his foot from his traitorous design though once and again pointed at, wherefore his punishment is foretold, that the death denounced upon him might correct him, whom shame could not overcame; wherefore it goes on: The Son of man indeed goes, as it is written of him.

THEOPHYL. The word here used, goes, shows that the death of Christ was not forced but voluntary.

PSEUDO-JEROME; But because many do good, in the way that Judas did, without its profiting them, there follows: Woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

BEDE; Woe too to that man, today and for ever, who comes to the Lord’s table with an evil intent. For he, after the example of Judas, betrays the Lord, not indeed to Jewish sinners, but to his own sinning members. It goes on: Good were it for that man if he had never been born.

PSEUDO-JEROME; That is, hidden in his mother’s inmost womb, for it is better for a man not to exist than to exist for torments.

THEOPHYL. For as respects the end for which he was designed, it would have been better for him to have been born, if he had not been the betrayer, for God created him for good works; but after he had fallen into such dreadful wickedness, it would have been better for him never to have been born.


The Bible is not merely a history book; it is the “history book” of the Good News. The message is that God created us out of love, is faithful even though we are not, and sent His Only Son to redeem us from our sins. While we can look for discrepancies all we want, the question we must wrestle with is “how do I live a holy life so I can be with God for eternity after I die?” It’s not about Judas; it’s about God and you/me.


The article on “Judas Iscariot” in the old Catholic Encyclopedia offers this insight:
In his fall is left a warning that even the great grace of the Apostolate and the familiar friendship of Jesus may be of no avail to one who is unfaithful. And, though nothing should be allowed to palliate the guilt of the great betrayal, it may become more intelligible if we think of it as the outcome of gradual failing in lesser things.


When Peter said something like that Jesus rebuked him.


Jesus said, “I tell you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he.” (John 13:19)

Why didn’t the rest of the discipleship intervene with Judas?

Jesus did not indicate when Judas’ betrayal would occur so they didn’t understand that any intervention needed to occur immediately nor did Jesus give them much time to intervene. When he gave the morsel to Judas, Jesus said, "What you are going to do, do quickly” (John 13:27) and “after receiving the morsel, [Judas] immediately went out.” (John 13:30).


I believe Jesus always reveals God to us and in this even though God knows what we will do, that doesn’t mean He can stop us because we always have free will to do Gods will or not.

In reading the scriptures there is no clue that the disciples knew that Judas was going to betray Jesus which happened ‘before’ the Last Supper… Read Luke 22:1-7 and you’ll see that Satan entered Judas before the Last Supper and set a trap for Jesus.

Luke 22 Now the feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death; for they feared the people.

3 Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve; 4 he went away and conferred with the chief priests and captains how he might betray him to them. 5 And they were glad, and engaged to give him money. 6 So he agreed, and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of the multitude.

The Preparation of the Passover
7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 So Jesus[a] sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the passover for us, that we may eat it.”

And later it says that they were questioning one another so the disciples really didn’t know who the betrayer was…

Luke 22: 21 But behold the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 For the Son of man goes as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” 23 And they began to question one another, which of them it was that would do this.


I think this answer is correct. One thing I would add is this:

Then after the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29*¶ Some thought that, because Judas had the money box, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30*¶ So, after receiving the morsel, he immediately went out; and it was night.”

Notice, how it says no one knew what Judas was up to or why Jesus told him to go quickly. So the disciples were not at fault for not preventing Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.

If anyone could have stopped Judas it would have been Jesus. But, instead Jesus tells Judas to go out and do quickly. Also, Jesus says in John 17:12, " I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled." Thus, it was a fulfillment of Scripture that Judas was to betray Jesus. Jesus’ mission was in fact to fulfill God’s plan by dying on the Cross. He was not about to prevent Judas from taking the action that would lead to his capture and then Sacrifice on the Cross. As the song says, ‘He could have called ten thousand angels… But he did it for you and for me.’


So I relayed some of the input you guys gave and he is thankful but now has a further question. He asks:

“You brought up an idea I am struggling with now. Did Judas have a choice in this? It was prophesied I thought. But now I want to go back and check. If He didn’t have a choice to turn back it would seem to give evidence to Calvinism. But being neather a Calvinist nor Armenian I am bothered by this thought. I will have to take some time to look at this again. I hate the whole Calvin Armenian debate but this thought becomes a thorn in my side.”


Everyone has a choice to make; free will is given by God. Peter had a choice and he betrayed Our Lord than became faithful to death. Judas had a choice and he committed suicide. God knew both their choices before the creation of the world yet they still chose freely and acted upon their choice. If someone tells you free will is the same as predestination, it’s not. Free will means you don’t know there’s a choice coming at you; when it does, you make your decision. Predestination means not matter what choice you make, you end up at the point where you’ve been destined to in the first place. If God did not love us all and want us all to be in heaven, He would have chosen our destiny and all our choices are for nought. There would be no free will and no “good” or “bad” as we would just be fulfilling a destiny ordained by God. Even Jesus had a choice to make in the garden of Gethsemane but He chose to obey the Father and accepted His will. Anyone who chooses to believe in predestiny falls prey to existentialism, just another philosophy created by man.


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