John 13:21-30 It Was Night

21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the money bag, 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 of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

It Was Night

We are to be children of the day.  I have often stayed up through the night and sometimes it was for good reasons.  I was part of a prayer vigil or was walking on a night hike.  However, most times when I stay up all night it is for a bad reason.  In other words I would be engaging in deeds that I wouldn’t want to do in front of other people.  Perhaps the most common reason I would stay up all night was to play on a computer game.  I would lust after more resources to develop my character in the game and I would mine those resources whilst other people were sleeping.  In retrospect the whole process was futile, but I didn’t feel it at the time.

Judas was with the light of the world.  He was in the inner sanctum.  However, he wasn’t feeling it.  Jesus had ceased to be a way for him to fulfill his dreams.  Judas had the responsibility of being the disciples’ treasurer.  How often, in modern times, have we seen the treasurer become enamored with the organisation’s resources and make off with the funds?  These kinds of deeds are indicators of what it means to live in the night.  No-one seemed to know what he was up to, but Jesus did.  Jesus let him go.


Jesus, I see that I want to choose ease and comfort over you.  Help me to see more clearly what it means to be a child of the day.  Don’t let me go so that I would ever wander out in the night looking for mischief.


  1. What has Jesus just talked to the disciples about?
  2. How is Judas contrary to Jesus’ previous speech?
  3. Why was Judas in charge of the money if Jesus knew he was corrupt?
  4. What activities have you executed in secret that no-one could see?
  5. How do you maintain life as a child of the day and not the night?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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16 Responses to John 13:21-30 It Was Night

  1. Amy McCashen says:

    1. That one of them would betray Jesus.
    2. Before this passage, Jesus was talking about people who will receive Him will also receive the Father. Judas does not receive Jesus, and therefore not the one who sent Him (the Father). T
    3. Sometimes the love of money can make people corrupt. Maybe Judas did not start off corrupt, but his love for money and his greed escalated with this responsibility.
    4. Judgmental thoughts in my mind and heart.
    5. I have to constantly be relying on God and His light to penetrate the darkness of the world around me. I need to live daily in His presence.

  2. sjcavitt says:

    1) Jesus had just talked about being a servant and receiving and sharing with Him.
    2) Judas was not receiving Jesus, because he was about to betray Him.
    3) Even though Jesus knew that Judas was a thief, maybe He was using Judas as an example of how money can corrupt those who treasure and love it.

  3. ashleypdye says:

    1. Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will betray him.
    2. Prior to this, Jesus spoke about those who would receive him. Judas did quite the opposite.
    3. Jesus probably wanted to give Judas a choice. We can grow from resisting temptation, or we can diminish by submitting to it.
    4. Wasting time on the internet.
    5. Thankfully, I can often sense God nudging me when I am sinning. I am a child of the day when I listen to that voice and walk out of the dark and into the light.

  4. Lacy says:

    1. Jesus has just explained the significance of his washing their feet.
    2. Jesus said that all of his disciples are clean, but only news their feet washes (speaking figuratively)– all but one. Judas was the one disciple who was completely uncleaned.
    3. Jesus used Judas’ corruption to fulfill a specific purpose.
    4. My deepest sins– my worry, jealousy, bitterness, lack of faith– take place in my private thoughts where nobody can see.
    5. I need to continue bringing these to God, and also bein around other believers who can pull me out of myself, and being genuine with them.

  5. Rachel says:

    Jesus has talked to his disciples about his coming betrayal. One of them would be the one to betray him. I honestly don’t know what to think about Judas and his betrayal of Christ. Was this his choice? What does it mean that Satan entered him? In secret, I daydream and can obsess about unholy thoughts. I can waste my time away on facebook or pinterest. I can set my mind on things above: what is right, holy, and true. I ask God to cleanse my mind and use my thoughts for his glory.

  6. Janice says:

    Jesus had just finished teaching His disciples about becoming a servant as He washed His disciples’ feet. Judas is seeking to serve his own desire for money. Maybe Jesus was giving Judas an opportunity to serve Him and choose Him over money. I lusted after and submitted myself to impure thoughts. I cannot maintain life as a child of the day by my own power. It is only through the Holy Spirit’s conviction and guidance that bring me to God’s forgiveness, love, and grace.

  7. Jenna says:

    1. Jesus had just washed the disciples feet and talked with them about leading as servants.
    2. Judas, clearly, wan’t fond of that style of leadership.
    3. Doesn’t God know that we are sinful, but choose to allow us to serve Him anyway?
    4. I day-dream over non-essential things that aren’t directly related to serving Christ – things that are wants, not needs.
    5. I have to continually take myself back to the Word and who Jesus is.

  8. Ed says:

    God uses bad for good. Lust, Love of money does corrupt. I watch to much T.V. trying to mix it up with learning programs to total destruction of good winning over evil. I have often thought about the fate of Judas standing in front of God. I pray I am used for Gods Glory a lot how it happens I don’t know. What I have learned in the past has prepared me for what I do now and what I am learning now prepares me for the future in Gods Glory through Jesus Christ.

    A Men

  9. How do you maintain life as a child of the day and not the night?
    “I view resting during the night hours as a worshipful act because if I do not maintain this theology of rest, I have recognized that it affects my spiritual, emotional, and physical areas in my life. Also, there usually is not a good reason for staying up late besides procrastination, entertainment, or “over” socializing (in the sense of using community as an excuse for putting off responsibilities). Viewing day-time hours and sanctioning them as the time He has given me to do His will and then resting in the night-time hours for Him to bless what He has done through me during the day is a concept that has been introduced to me by multiple professors here at Moody.”

  10. Kathleen says:

    Jesus was talking to the disciples about the one who would betray him. Jesus was talking about Judas. Maybe Jesus was giving Judas a choice. Either follow him or follow the love of money. Judas’ actions can now be used as an example of how money corrupts the hearts of people. I sin in secret with my judgmental thoughts and prideful attitude. When I make Christ the center of my life, I can remain a child of the day.

  11. karas says:

    The way the disciples interacted reminds me of their humanity. Peter signals to John to ask Jesus what He means, just as we might if we didn’t understand something. I wonder why it was unclear to the disciples who was going to betray Jesus after He gave Judas the bread, unless it was passed out to everyone.
    When John says Satan entered Judas, it makes me wonder if he had already given Satan a foothold. Did he struggle with depression? Dark thoughts? Demonic influence? What would move you to betray someone like Jesus?

  12. Mary says:

    This has nothing to do with this specific post, except that it draws on one of the verses coming up (vs. 34 – love one another), has been on my mind lately, is a continuation of my last post, and was also the theme of only the greatest weekend retreat ever with my kiddos from Youth Group! Ok, our theme actually came from Matthew 22:37-39 (love God and love others), but close enough.

    Here is what I reflected on this weekend with my kids:

    1) We love God because he first loved us – our love for him is a response to his love.
    2) We love others as a result of our love for God – we can’t love others well until we love God well.
    3) Hurt people > hurt (other) people – we need to experience God’s love and healing before we can truly love and help others heal, otherwise we just end up hurting other people.
    4) If we make loving God our first priority, loving others comes naturally.

    Some other things we discussed and reflected on:

    1) We are an image of God; our sin distorts that image, but as we become more like Christ, that image is being restored. We radiate the image and love of Christ to the world around us.
    2) Jesus called John the Baptist the greatest man born of a woman, yet even the least in the Kingdom is greater than he was. No matter how insignificant our role in the Kingdom may seem to us, it is NOT insignificant.
    3) Doubt is not a sign of weak faith but of growing faith and of strong faith. John the Baptist (aka: the greatest man…) wrestled with doubt even (Mt. 11). If we did not ever doubt, we should probably have something to be worried about.

    Prayer – God, I just need some sleep now. Thank you for an awesome weekend with the kids from Bloomingdale Church: no drama, and lots of fellowship, laughter, and worship. Amen.

  13. Beth Coale says:

    1. He had just washed their feet and was telling Him about being a servant, which led into talking about His ultimate sacrifice but He could only say so much.
    3. Maybe Judas offered to do it and Jesus let him do it, just like he “let him go” that night.

    When I think of staying up all night, I definitely don’t think about it positively. I think of nights when troubled thoughts kept me from sleeping – thoughts of worry, fears, or regret. It’s hard to sleep when you don’t have peace about things.

    5. I think a lot about how character is defined by what you do when no one is watching and pray that God would bring that to mind to me a lot. (and not only what you do but also want you don’t do) Also, thinking this way helps me to view service as to God and not as a way to make me look better to others.

  14. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. What has Jesus just talked to the disciples about?
    Well he had just washed their feet and told them that one of them does not belong with the rest, he will betray the Messiah.
    2. How is Judas contrary to Jesus’ previous speech?
    Judas does things for his own gain (as we all are guilty of doing), not out of humility.
    3. Why was Judas in charge of the money if Jesus knew he was corrupt?
    To fulfill all the things that had to take place.
    4. What activities have you executed in secret that no-one could see?
    I have thought terrible thoughts towards others, obsessed over myself and my own comfort.
    5. How do you maintain life as a child of the day and not the night?
    I must read the words of Light. Be enlightened. Dwell on what is lovely and pure, noble and good.

  15. nataliaria says:

    This passage comes after Jesus’ discussion with the disciples about the importance of self-sacrificial love and humility in those who profess to follow and serve Christ. Judas is contrary to the example set by Jesus in that his hard heart and greed for monetary and status gain draw him so far away from service that he is willing to actively facilitate the imprisonment of Jesus.

    I have honestly never considered the apparent disparity between Judas’ heart and his role as the money keeper. Perhaps Jesus did this to demonstrate that His love for and inclusion of Judas into the inner workings of His ministry was not limited by what He knew Judas would do.

    As is probably true of many people, I find the times that I am alone to often be the hardest to focus myself on anything. With no accountability or other presence to keep me on track, I find myself wandering from time-waster to time-waster, filling my mind and heart with unsanctifying and unhelpful things.

    I have been thinking about this issue lately, and considering the reasons and motivation that I have to live in the light, when so often so many aspects of life on earth seem shrouded in darkness and night. However, my heart is slowly becoming convinced that the Lord of the light, who Himself brought me out of darkness and into light, is the only one for whom I want to live. And that life occurs in the light- always in the light.

  16. zacbodine says:

    So one of the things that I do not understand is the “Satan entered into him” part. If it was Satan who did it and not Judas what happens to Judas? Or was it Judas all along and this is just saying that his motive becomes worsened and he sins greater? Judas is one of the characters n the Bible I empathize with. He seems to be an idealist gone wrong. I feel like that is something we all have. How do pastors end up stealing from the church? How do we abuse Moody? We all start somewhere. The answer of the child of night and day does not begin with me. Judas was in the presence of the Word everyday and was a part of a group of good deed doers. He refused to sit in the gospel and let Christ wash him. That is what we need to do; sit in the gospel.

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