18 “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’
Jesus predicted His betrayal in verses 18 to 30. He brought out the tragedy of Judas’ action. Verse 18 expands on verse 17.
18 “I do not speak concerning all of you.
Jesus made it very clear that He was not speaking about everyone at the meal in the upper room.
I know whom [kind of men] I have chosen;
The “chosen” here are Jesus’ apostles including Judas (Jn 6:70). Although Judas was to rebel against Jesus, he was nevertheless chosen to be an apostle by Jesus. The choice here is not to salvation or election but as part of an earthly team. The choosing of Judas was no oversight. Not all election is unto salvation.
Jesus knew the apostles whom He chose from the beginning of His ministry. Judas did not deceive Him. He chose even Judas, not to salvation but to be one of the apostles. He was completely aware of what Judas was going to do. The next phrase shows why He did this.
Judas kept up appearances of friendship with Jesus until the end, and then he kicked Him at a time of crisis. He was a two-faced double-crosser, to be despised.
but [strong contrast] that the Scripture may be fulfilled,
The emphatic contrast by the word “but” shows that there was a negative side to Jesus’ choice mentioned in the previous phrase. However, there was a purpose in Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.
The death of Jesus within hours would be no accident. The Old Testament clearly predicted the betrayal of Judas. His action was clearly understood from the beginning and part of God’s plan. It was necessary that Scripture “be fulfilled” (Ps 41:9). Only certain parts—not the entire Psalm—were messianic. Judas was completely culpable for his action, even though the Bible prophesied it.
The quotation from Psalm 41:9 was about the action of Ahithophel against David. Ahithophel joined Absalom’s rebellion against David (2 Sa 15-17). Ahithophel committed suicide by hanging himself—just like Judas, who would do the same thing (2 Sa 17:23; Ac 1:18).
The fulfillment of this prophesy in Psalm 41:9 was a confirmation of Jesus’ identity and mission. Judas in effect double-crossed the Lord.
‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’
To lift the heel against Christ is to turn against Him. This word was used for a horse lifting his hoof in preparation to violently strike someone with it. It is reprehensible that one should betray his benefactor. We eat the bread of the person who gave it to us, but then kick him like a horse would kick its owner.
To betray the Lord is inexcusable. The Lord was Judas’ benefactor, yet he betrayed the Lord in face of what Jesus had done for him. Jesus’ telling of the betrayal by one of the disciples prepared the group so that it would not be a shock to them when they found out who it was.
Judas actively listened to Jesus’ statement but remained in negative volition. He later (in verse 30) made his exit.
It is reprehensible behavior to betray a benefactor.
There are many examples of betrayal in the Bible (2 Sa 15:12; 16:23). In the quotation in our verse (Ps 41:9), David was betrayed by Ahithophel. To double-cross a friend by two-faced action disillusions our trust in others.
Judas had opportunity to reap all that Jesus had to offer. He rejected God’s grace and refused the benefits of becoming a believer.