The                                              
Christian Pilgrim

 

111. Judas at the Last Supper



Did Judas partake of the elements at the Last Supper? Yes.

Matthew 26:20-30 - "Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives."

Note v.26 "as they were eating, Jesus took bread."


Mark 14:19-26 - "And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. The Son of man indeed goeth, 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. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives."

Note v.22 "as they did eat, Jesus took bread."


Luke 22:14-23.39 - "And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed. And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing..And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him."

This clearly shows that Judas was there, because "the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table" was said immediately after the partaking of the elements (which was during the meal). The cup is said to have been taken "after supper," which means nothing more than "after He had supped" (1 Corinthians 11:25, see below). They were still sat down for the meal and supper was not ended at this point.


John 13:1-2,21-30 - "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him.When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night."

This passage does not refer to the Last Supper at all. It rather refers to the supper given by Simon the Leper in Bethany two days beforehand (c.f. Matthew 26:6-13, Mark 14:3-11 and the previous chapter John 12:2-11). This conclusion can be reached because:

– The passage itself states (v.1) that this took place "before the feast of the Passover."

– No other supper is mentioned in John's gospel.

– The footwashing, the giving of the sop to Judas, and Judas leaving early are only mentioned here, and are not in any of the passages referring to the Last Supper.

– According to Luke 22:1-8, Satan entered into Judas some time before the Passover meal, inciting him to go and see the chief priests and captains how he might betray Jesus in the absence of the multitude. Here, (v.27) Satan entered into Judas after Christ gave him the sop. So this supper must have been before the Passover meal.

– Significantly, there is no mention here of the institution of the Lord's Supper.

– After Jesus had given Judas the sop and he had left, the disciples still thought that Jesus was asking him to (v.29) "buy those things that we have need of against the feast," i.e. the Passover, which was still two days away.

– Judas left this supper early, but stayed all the way throughout the Last Supper. His mind having been made up to betray Christ here, after the supposed "waste" of ointment and the sop being given to him pointing him out.


1 Corinthians 11:23-29 - "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body."

Note here that Christ took the cup "when He had supped" i.e. NOT "after supper" (and therefore supposedly after Judas had left), as many want us to think so that they can condone their church practice of only allowing church members into the Lord's Supper. There was no separate institution of the Lord's Supper after the meal at all. It was instituted during the meal, at which Judas was a partaker.

It could also be noted that we take people into membership of a church on a credible profession of faith. Judas had this at the Last Supper. He had not done anything outwardly noticeable to debar himself. We do know that Christ knew he was going to betray Him, and also that he was a thief and took from the money bag (John 12:6), but these things did not debar him from the table as he outwardly still had a credible profession of faith and had not yet been proved guilty and disciplined for these things.


In the end it is up to the individual to discern the Lord's body as to whether he partakes unworthily or not (v.28), "let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." It is not the job of the elders of a visible church to do this, although the elders of a visible church must: (1.) always warn the congregation of the consequences of "eating and drinking damnation to themselves" before administering the Lord's Supper, and (2.) stop overt outward profligates who have been excommunicated from partaking (which at that time Judas was not).