“Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.”

And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him.

Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.

For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.” John 13:26-30

Q: Is Jesus essentially telling Judas to go sin? How do we interpret this?

3 Answers 3



Further clarification is provided in the parallel accounts. For example, Matthew records in the same context:

The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born (Matt 26:24)

This makes it unmistakably clear that the action Judas is taking is condemned. Matthew also informs us a few verses earlier that Judas had already made his deal with Jesus' enemies (see verses 14-16) and is just waiting for the opportune moment.

Benson's commentary is illuminating:

This is not a permission, much less a command. It is only as if he had said, If thou art determined to do it, why dost thou delay? Hereby showing Judas that he could not be hid, and expressing his own readiness to suffer.

Alternative interpretations include:

  • Jesus is telling Judas to get out
  • Jesus is telling Judas that the time of decision is at hand. E.g. I've given you full & fair warning, make your choice
  • Jesus knows Judas has already made a decision, but says this for the benefit of the other 11. He wants them to know--after the fact--that Jesus was well-aware of the conspiracy, could have prevented the ordeal, but went willingly

These possibilities are not mutually exclusive.


No, this supposition is to be excluded outright, for God not only is not but cannot be a cause of sin (James 1:13).

Then what? The only solution is that the Lord, seeing that at this stage of Judas’ succumbing to sin so intensely, to the point that he was not stopped even by a symbolic gesture of love of the Lord in dipping bread together with him, giving thus him even a privilege and distinction, then He told Judas at least not to linger in his sin for long, but after having done it and after thus having put his soul to such a miserable and depraved condition, not to despair, but return back to His open embrace of infinite love and compassionate forgiveness as quickly as possible, for this is the meaning of telling Judas “go and do it quickly”.

Actually, when we are up to committing sin, feeling the unstoppability of it in us, for instance a sin of retaliating by rage and insolent word on rage and insolent word of another driver toward us while driving a car, or a sin of feeling in ourselves an unstoppable curiosity and urge to lustfully watching an obscenity in internet etc. also we can hear immediately, if we carefully listen with heart’s ear, the Lord’s words: “Do it quickly”, commanding us thus not towards committing sin, but quite on the contrary, commanding us to leave the self-imposed tyranny of sin as quickly as possible and coming to His loving and all-forgiving compassionate embrace.

Unfortunately Judas after the treason succumbed to even a greater sin of despair and gave the Lord no room to forgive and restore him by committing suicide.

  • Where is there Scriptural evidence that Judas had the potential to be restored? Primarily in the Gospel accounts?
    – Cork88
    Mar 6, 2022 at 8:13
  • 1
    @Cork88 Scripture I have provided in saying that God tempts nobody. If God chooses Judas with no possibility for Judas to be saved, then God is subject to a bad Necessity, and then the Necessity is the highest Principle and God, not Trinity, which is not Christianity but a Hellenic paganism Mar 6, 2022 at 8:33
  • So you object to the Biblical Doctrine of the Trinity as well?
    – Cork88
    Mar 6, 2022 at 18:28
  • @Cork88 of course not, for I am a Trinitarian, believing that Holy Trinity is the only reality that has no beginning. How could you make this conclusion from my words? I just said that if Judas was chosen by the Lord as a disciple with no prospect for him to be saved through repentance, then the Lord is subject to a bad Necessity, which thus is stronger than Him; thus in this wrong vision Necessity should be put over Trinity, which, again, is not Christianity but a patently Hellenic mythology of supremacy of Necessity/Ανάγκη above Zeus an all other divine principles. Mar 6, 2022 at 20:45
  • Ah, pardon my misunderstanding. Whoever says anyone has a “prospect” of repentance though, when God grants repentance? See: (2 Timothy 2:25-26).
    – Cork88
    Mar 6, 2022 at 23:36

No, Jesus is not telling Judas to go sin.

The trespass of Judas against Jesus was not the act of delivering him, but the making of the covenant to deliver him, after the devil put it into his heart. (John 13:2) That is the trespass depicted by the words of the psalmist: “[he] has lifted up his heel against me.” (John 13:18)

Jesus responded to that trespass by telling Judas he was not clean, and by washing him clean. (Matthew 18:15; John 13:10,11; John 13:4-12)

The act of delivering Jesus was neither a trespass against Jesus, nor a sin.

Primarily, God delivered Jesus. (Romans 8:32)

Secondarily, Jesus delivered himself. (Galatians 2:20)

Judas delivered Jesus as his servant, tertiarily--and only after Jesus raised him up again by washing him clean. (John 12:26; John 6:39)

Satan was opposed to the things of God that Jesus said must happen, and Satan, after the sop, acted upon Judas to make him opposed to delivering Jesus. (Matthew 16:21-23; John 13:27)

By his words, “That you do, do quickly,” Jesus prompted Judas to decide whether or not he would follow Satan or deny himself, take up his cross, and follow him. (Matthew 16:24)

Judas realized that the diabolical covenant he made to deliver Jesus had become his cross.

Judas, the first of the twelve to do so, overcame Satan and accepted the work for which Jesus chose him. (John 13:30)

That is why Jesus declared, “Now is the Son of man glorified. (John 13:31)

By doing the work given by another, one glorifies the other. (John 17:4)

And if the work is a thing of God, it is not a sin.

  • you said: “The act of delivering Jesus was neither a trespass against Jesus, nor a sin.” What about?: Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” John 19:11
    – Cork88
    Mar 6, 2022 at 21:29
  • 1
    But was the sin of which Jesus spoke even a sin of delivering him? Could the greater sin of his deliverer of which he spoke not have been the sin of judging him, as did the council which had no further need of proof, and so sent him to Pilate? (Luke 22:66-71; Luke 23:1) Mar 7, 2022 at 2:03
  • Good question, I would contend Judas’s sin was in fact sin due to his delivering up Jesus to be condemned. I also read Luke 22:66-71 & Luke 23:1, I’m not sure what your point is there with John 19:11. I would also contend that Judas’s betrayal was indeed sin based on Matthew 27:3-5, especially 27:3.
    – Cork88
    Mar 7, 2022 at 3:36
  • 1
    John 19:11 says Jesus’ deliverer to Pilate has the greater sin. Luke 23:1 says the council which judged Jesus delivered him to Pilate. Was the council’s greater sin a sin of delivering him, or a sin of judging him? (Luke 22:71) If we accept Judas’ judgment that he sinned in delivering Jesus as true, was his sin the making of the covenant to deliver him, which the devil put in his heart to do (John 13:2), or a sin of delivering him, which both God and Jesus did, and Jesus put in his heart to do. (John 13:18) Mar 7, 2022 at 4:35
  • There are multiple events recorded with respect to “being delivered” or “led”. Jesus was originally delivered into the hands of the Roman cohort with Judas present: (John 18:1-12), then Jesus was led to Annas first: (John 18:13). So John 19:11 was probably a reference to Judas primarily since he is the primary betrayer of Christ. Then, Jesus was sent to Caiaphas (John 18:24), then Jesus was led to the Praetorium (John 18:28), then Jesus was delivered to Pilate (John 18:30). So they all certainly were participating in sin if they intended to crucify Him, which they obviously did.
    – Cork88
    Mar 7, 2022 at 7:19

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