What a feast I find each time I read from the book of John! Yet I find each verse so delicious I savor each bite, rather than rushing to the next.
For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. John 6:64 NIV
Jesus knew from the beginning, yet chose to include the unbelieving betrayer anyway. I would not be so generous if I began a ministry (or anything else) and was aware of a traitor among those claiming to be with me. They would not be on my team or my mailing list! On the other hand, Jesus, knowing even before choosing, allowed the unbelieving betrayer to be among His twelve closest disciples as part of the traveling team and His money keeper, for three and a half years!
At this I cry, “Tilt! Tilt!” Proceeding further down the path this verse takes me, I find Jesus’ treatment of Judas Iscariot even more disturbing – filled with the same love, patience, compassion, and humility He showed the others.
“But Jesus,” I protest, “Knowing he wasn’t really with You, how could You refuse to let it color Your treatment of him? Instead, You poured Yourself out indiscriminately to each of them, withholding nothing!”
All at once, the truth of Jesus Christ washes away those righteously indignant thoughts. Love compelled Him forward, not judgment. Christ offered His amazing love and life to Judas Iscariot then, as He offers it to each person now, regardless of possible rejection. The response is individual, but the offer has been given to all equally, the price paid in full. Love compelled Jesus then. Love compels Christ now.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! . . . 1 John 3:1 NIV
He knew then. He knows now. Still, Christ Jesus loves.