“And it was night”

“So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.” (John 13:30 ESV)

John adds the curious detail that Judas went out immediately after Jesus had given him a morsel of bread dipped in gravy, “and it was night.”  Why does he point this out?  Is he interested in details like this for their literary value?  Did he know that people would accuse him of making this stuff up two thousand years later so he made sure to add a lot of eyewitness details? [Which is an interesting point in itself.  The sheer details that John records in this chapter are indicative of someone who was there and witnessed them].

There must be something going on here that is deeper than just John pointing out a small detail.  We know this because light and dark are a recurring theme in John, pointing out the difference between moral light and moral darkness.  Here are some examples:

  • “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:3–5 ESV)
  • “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”” (John 3:19–21 ESV)
  • “Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”” (John 8:12 ESV)
  • “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”” (John 9:5 ESV)
  • “So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.”” (John 12:34–36 ESV)

Jesus was the light of the world.  Judas left him to exit into the darkness of night.  From this point, both of their destinies would follow very swiftly.  Jesus would die for the sins of the world, Judas would hang himself.  This is the ultimate end of those who embrace the darkness.

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