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The Great Pretender

by Rev. Kirby Williams

The danger of pretending to have a relationship with Christ.

Text: John 13:21-30
Date: 02/24/2019, the Contemporary service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 124

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John's narrative of the Passover meal turns to a concentration on Judas and the prelude to his betrayal. After Jesus reveals the shocking news to His disciples that one of them will betray Him, He privately identifies Judas to John as the betrayer and tells Judas to quickly be about his nefarious business. We will analyze the eternal ramifications of this devastating dismissal, as we focus on Judas' persistent pretentions of righteousness and discipleship. We will use Judas' situation to probe deep within our own hearts, employing an imaginary "mirror of honesty" to ask ourselves if we are in danger of being, like Judas-- the great pretenders!

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, John 13:21-30.
A. Context
B. Prelude to betrayal.
1. The betrayal that troubled Jesus' spirit, vs. 21.
a. A troubled spirit, John 11:33, 12:27.
b. Revealing the betrayal.
i. An emphatic testimony.
ii. John's insistance of Jesus' foreknowledge, John 6:70-71, 13:2,10,11,18.
iii. A crystal clear testimony.
2. The disciples' reaction, vs. 22.
a. The reaction of the great pretender, Matt. 26:22, 25.
b. The reason Jesus is troubled.
c. The gift of "Is it I, Lord", Psa. 139:23-24.
3. A revealing inquiry, vs. 23-25.
a. The beloved disciple, vs. 23.
i. Identifying the beloved disciple, John 13:1.
ii. Visualizing the seating arrangement.
b. The impetuous disciple, vs. 24.
c. Inquiring after the betraying disciple, vs. 25.
4. Jesus' surprise answer, vs. 26.
a. The private explanation.
b. The public answer.
i. Visualizing the action.
ii. Understanding the reason.
• Visualizing the seating arrangement.
• A plethora of questions.
• All for Judas.
• John's tragic irony.
5. Judas unmasked, vs. 27.
a. Overwhelmed by evil.
b. The end of all hope.
6. The disciples' reaction, vs. 28-29.
a. Remarkable obtuseness, vs. 28.
i. A general cluelessness.
ii. Some logical assumptions.
• A good pretender.
• Self-absorbed disciples.
• Another mis-interpretation.
iii. A public announcement.
iv. Explaining John's silence.
b. John's explanation, vs. 29.
i. Buying for the feast.
ii. Food for the poor.
iii. Under the cover of darkness, 2Cor. 11:14-15.
7. Requiem for Judas, vs. 30.
a. A pretender to the very end, John 10:18.
b. An ominous closing statement.
i. The darkness of night.
ii. Extinguishing the Light of Heaven, John 1:5, Luke 22:53.
iii. The blackness in Judas' soul, Rom. 1:24-25.
III. Application
A. Judas: the great pretender, John 6:66, 12:4-5.
B. A church full of pretenders.
C. The mirror of honesty.
D. An appeal to the great pretenders.
E. The danger of persistent pretending.
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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