Did Judas partake of the Lord

Did Judas partake of the Lord’s Supper when it was instituted?

The only reference to the actual time when Judas left the upper room occurs in John 13:30, where we learn that he did so “immediately” after the conversation as to who would be the traitor, a conversation which ended by the Lord giving the “sop” to him.

This conversation, according to Matthew 26:21-26 and to Mark 14:18-22, took place before the institution of the Lord’s Supper; and if we possessed these three Gospels only, we should have no doubt that Judas did not partake of it.

But when we turn to Luke 22: 19-23, we find the order reversed, and the paragraph regarding the institution of the Supper (vv. 19, 20) placed before the one which mentions the conversation about the traitor (vv. 21-23); and thus an element of uncertainty is introduced. It is evident that either in Luke on the one hand, or in Matthew and Mark on the other, the order followed is not that of time; and from what we know of their Gospels elsewhere, it is much more probable that the adoption of an order other than that of time is in Luke.

In the circumstances, however, we cannot say with certainty that Judas did not partake of the Supper; but why it should be a stumbling block to any if he did so, is not apparent. His profession of being a believer in and a follower of Christ was as loud and as clear as that of any of his fellow-disciples. They had accepted him as their treasurer (John 13:29). One or other of them had preached the Gospel in company with him (Matthew 10:1-5). And he certainly in any case partook of at least some portion of the Passover feast (Matthew 26:23).

If he did partake of the Lord’s Supper, we have in that fact the most solemn warning possible that our being accepted by brethren as worthy to partake is not, however careful they may be, a sure proof that our hearts are right with God, and that we have been truly born again. Luke elsewhere mentions those who shall say, “Lord, Lord, we have eaten and drunk in Thy presence”; and to whom Christ shall reply, “I know you not,. . . depart from Me.”

W.R.