Verse 71. "He spake of Judas-for he it was that should betray him" - outov gar hmellen auton paradidonai, He who was about to deliver him up. By referring to this matter so often, did not our blessed Lord intend to warn Judas? Was not the evil fully exposed to his view? And who dare say that it was impossible for him to avoid what he had so often been warned against? When the temptation did take place, and his heart, in purpose, had brought forth the sin, might he not have relented, fallen at his injured master's feet, acknowledge his black offense, and implored forgiveness? And surely his most merciful Lord would have freely pardoned him.
1. ON the subject of the disciples sailing off without Christ, and the storm that overtook them, it may be necessary to make a few observations, chiefly for the encouragement of the labourers in God's vineyard. It was the duty of the disciples to depart at the commandment of the Lord, though the storm was great, and the wind contrary. It was their duty to tug at the oar, expecting the appearing of their Lord and master. So it is the duty of the ministers of Christ to embark, and sail even into the sea of persecution and dangerous trial, in order to save souls. There may be darkness for a time-they must row. The waves may rise high- they must row on. The wind may be contrary-still they must tug at the oar. Jesus will appear, lay the storm, and calm the sea, and they shall have souls for their hire. The vessel will get to land, and speedily too. There are particular times in which the Lord pours out his Spirit, and multitudes are quickly convinced and converted. "Alas!" says one, "I see no fruit of my labour; no return of my prayers and tears." Take courage, man; tug on; thou shalt not labour in vain, nor spend thy strength for nought. What he does thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. Great grace, and great peace await thee; take courage, and tug on! 2. When a man forsakes the living God, and gives way to avarice, which appears to have been the case with Judas, he is fit for any thing in which Satan may choose to employ him. Beware of the love of money! The cursed lust of gold induced a disciple of Christ to betray his God: and has it not been the ruin of millions since? Few people love money merely for its own sake: they love it because it can provide them with the necessaries, conveniences, and comforts of life; those who have not God for their portion incessantly long after these things, and therefore are covetous.
While a man watches unto prayer, and abides in the love of Christ Jesus the Lord, so long he is safe, for he is contented with the lot which God has given him in life. Reader, art thou like Judas (in his best state) put in trust for the poor, or for the Church of Christ. Do not covet; and take heed that thou grudge not; nor permit thy heart to be hardened by repeated sights and tales of wo. Thou art but a steward; act faithfully, and act affectionately. Because the ointment that prefigured the death of our Lord was not applied just as Judas would have it, he took offense; betrayed and sold his master; saw and wished to remedy his transgression; despaired and hanged himself. Behold the fruit of covetousness! To what excesses and miseries the love of money may lead, God alone can comprehend. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.