John 13:18-38

Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

John 13:18-38
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35
This weeks message follows on from the extraordinary act of service Jesus performs earlier in John 13, where He washes His disciples feet. It quickly becomes quite dramatic however, when Jesus declares that one of them will betray Him (which is then immediately fulfilled by Judas Iscariot).

The big idea I discuss in this message is that even though Jesus knew Judas (and also Simon Peter in a slightly different way) were going to betray Him, that didn’t stop Him from being close to them, loving them, and pouring into them. We might not be subject to the same kinds of betrayal that Jesus was, but we can also categorise people depending on what they can do for us, whether they are like us, or whether we think they are “good” or “bad”. Tim Maton described the foot washing act as indiscriminate, and this should give us pause for thought.

We exist in a cancel culture world, where snap value judgements are made on each other based on a word, action or impression. And a quick look at any comments section in my news feed shows people are very quick to pile on in the condemnation or abuse.

What’s the antidote to this? Jesus zeroes in on it in verses 34-35, when He gives them the command to love one another. In our world love often feels in very short supply, which is why Jesus gives us this command. 1 Corinthians 13 gives us a stunning description of what this love looks like. If, like the disciples, we cannot know whether the people in our midst are good or bad, will betray us or not, all we can do is show love to one another in any situation.

This means love inside the church, as well as outside. The way our church community functions in love is the thing that marks us a people of the Holy Spirit and makes us enticing to those who don’t know Jesus yet. One practical way to do this is to be close to enough to one another to be aware of their needs. We have a church Family Fund, which I know more people than we think will need, but many will be like Peter, sometimes too proud to admit our own shortcomings. What if we were so close to those in our life group or community that we could see and anticipate their need, and then meet it without them having to ask? Talk to your Life Group leader if you want to know more about the Family Fund.

You can think of other ways to express this love I am sure. However we do it, lets press on in being a loving, open, caring community towards one another, knowing that this is how the Gospel is seen and demonstrated, and that the Holy Spirit will work through us to bring people closer to Him.


  1. Reflect on whether you have ever categorised people in the “will never come to Jesus” or “would make a great Christian” boxes. Ask God to make your heart more like His for all people, not just the ones that are like us or are for us.

  2. “Love one another” is a great commandment from Jesus but is quite broad and not very specific! Ask God to show you how you can be a blessing to those around you and reflect on them, the love that He has richly showed you. Remember the principle of Agape love, its not just a feeling but should compel us to action!

  3. We are human, and so will get it wrong sometimes! But Jesus shows us in Colossians 1:14 in Him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Confess to God the times you get it wrong with people and praise Him for His glorious forgiveness and restoration, no matter how many mistakes we make.

  4. Enjoy communion at some point this week, and as you do, reflect on the love that Jesus showed to all, that He was willing to be broken and die for us.


Dear Jesus,

Thank you that you went to the cross even for the betrayers and sinners like me. Thank you that even though you know who will accept you and who will reject you, but you show us all the same mercy and grace, and give us all opportunities to come to you.

Thank you for the people you have put around me, at work, home, church and in my neighbourhood. Help me please to love them the way you do. Whether they betray or reject me (or are just not interested in me!), help me to show love to them, be a blessing to them, and be a witness for your great love for them too.

Help me to become more and more like you.

This Everyday Devotions was written by Sean Hammond, who is an Elder in our Wimbledon Venue.

If you would like to listen to the whole of this week’s sermon on John 13:18-38 why not download the Everyday Church App or visit our website, YouTube Channel and at our Online Church Services.

This Everyday Devotions has also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube Channel.

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