John is very consistent whenever he refers to Judas Iscariot in his gospel. Whenever he refers to Judas, John somewhere puts in the context that this is the Judas who betrayed Jesus. In our context he does this in verse 4: But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said. The other references to Judas Iscariot are:
- “He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.” (John 6:71, ESV)
- “During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,” (John 13:2, ESV)
- “Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples.” (John 18:2, ESV)
- “They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.” (John 18:5, ESV)
There are two disciples who are named Judas, so John works very hard so that we understand which Judas he is talking about, and it is clear that what John wants to emphasize about Judas Iscariot, is that HE IS THE JUDAS WHO BETRAYED JESUS!!
This all brings to mind the opening to Tosca Lee’s excellent fictional book entitled unsurprisingly, Iscariot:
They will say that I betrayed him, that I reduced his price to thirty silver shekels. That I turned against my master.
They do not know me.
They will not ask themselves if they might have done the same. To even think it is to court the possibility that we may not be so different. It takes away the right to condemn, the comfort in saying, “At least I am not like him!”
My master taught a parable about that, once.
But if they do not know me, neither did they know him. And so the truth goes with me to the abyss.