The Betrayer JUDAS ISCARIOT
To this day Judas being called with the other disciples is somewhat mysterious. Judas Iscariot is noted in history as the one who betrayed Him (Jesus). Yet Judas was first numbered among the Twelve apostles (Lk.6:13, 22:3; Acts 1:16-17 numbered with us), “chosen” by Christ Himself, the “Apostle Judas” became a traitor? How could they not know a betrayer was in their midst. How could Judas go out and minister with them and see the same results and yet turn Jesus over in the hands of those who hated him?
Some things we need to notice about Judas, he called Jesus teacher, he never called Jesus Lord or master as the other apostles did. This may be a hint how he saw Jesus. Jesus wanted to be known as Lord, not just teacher (Mk.12:37; Lk.20:42; Jn.9:36-38). While the other disciples wondered what kind of man Jesus was, a man that could calm the sea by a word, Judas accepted him only as Rabbi.
One cannot be an official apostle without seeing Jesus’ resurrection, which Judas did not see because he hung himself beforehand. The 12 were called apostles (chosen sent ones) prior but did not become the apostles of the Church until the resurrection, for the church was not officially born until the Holy Spirit was sent on Pentecost. It was then the apostles were put in their office of teaching, planting churches and doing miracles in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Was Judas saved because he was a disciple and lost salvation? It is assumed he was saved because he traveled with the other disciples but it may be more prudent to take the position he was not. Judas was hand picked like the other disciples but his position was temporary (Jesus knew what was going on all along). He was given the job of treasury but he was secretly a thief. Jesus put Judas in charge of the very thing that would give either wings to his hearts corruption or for his repentance, money. Judas often heard Jesus speak on money but it did not change him. The possibility to reform him was always there but it did not occur because of his own heart not inclined to obey the words spoken by our Lord.
It was Judas who showed what was in his heart when he complained about the oil was poured over Jesus preparing him for his burial. John 12:2-8 “There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denari and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. “For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”
Notice that in retrospect what they say of Judas. He was a thief in charge of the money given to the apostles.
He looked at the oil as if to bring in a lot of money (John 12:5-8). Judas estimated the value of the oil at nearly sixty dollars (worth hundreds of dollars today). His apparent concern for the poor was to conceal his own covetousness. He had just missed a chance of stealing on a larger scale than usual. Evidently, no one kept track of what was going inside the box and going out except Judas and Jesus.
Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denari, and given to the poor people?” Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. Matt: 26: 8, But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste?” For this perfume might have been sold for a higher price and the money given to the poor.”
Mark 14: 4 records, “ But some were indignantly remarked to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted?” Judas, who pretends to care for the poor, influenced the disciples to join with him in his rebellious spirit.
Jesus shielded Mary by cutting short the criticism. Let her alone. Jesus saw in Mary’s act a biblical significance- she kept this for the day of my burying. Mary had reserved this precious oil for Christ. She anticipated his death. Mary believed in Jesus’ words he spoke about this coming; in contrast to many who believed but did not understand, her faith included the work of the Saviour-his death.
It appears from the Synoptics that Judas was deeply offended by this rebuke, which could have prompted him to later strike a bargain with the chief priests to betray Jesus. He was not going to forfeit any money. Another point is hearing Jesus speak about his death, Judas could have looked at his position as temporary and wanted to take advantage of it. The love of money can twist ones good intentions to evil very easily.
There are two people in the Bible who are called the “Son of Perdition,” Judas and the Antichrist!! They both are very much into money. The Bible says the Pharisees loved money and so did Judas, so they had a common affection. This is why they were able to bribe Judas to betray our Lord.
One of the ways the antichrist will deceive and gather people on his side is he will pretend to care about the poor. He will misrepresent himself, as a great humanitarian and offer prosperity. Judas who is called a son of perdition is a type of the one who is to come, and we can learn much from his attitude. Considering that he was among those who did ministry from their heart wanting to serve Jesus with the right motives and he was among them did not.
One of the reasons Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus is because one of the chief priests “promised to give him money” (Mark 14:10-11). Those who were threatened by Jesus wanted him out of the way. We have to be on guard for those close to us that are doing something wrong that can affect us. The Devil's messenger, is often an angel of light who looks like a minister of righteousness. People will do almost anything for money when it is their priority in life. It is obvious from the remarks afterwards that Judas was never honest about his commitment just as Anannias and Saphirra, he was lying.
What are we to think of Judas being one of the disciples, even one of the 12 who were appointed to be an apostle. Mark 3:14-15 adds to preaching, “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out demons”
Mark 6:7 And He called the twelve to Himself, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them power over unclean spirits. “We don’t know whom Judas was teamed up with but they all had the same message and power. “So they went out and preached that people should repent. And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them” (Mark 6:12-13). Matt. 10:1 adds “ …and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
Luke 9:10 “And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done.”
Another time Jesus had the seventy he sent out who came back with stories of healing and deliverance “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Jesus was more concerned about them then what they could do with his authority. Judas never understood this as he had his mind fixed on other things.
How did Judas become one of the 12 see the power and all these miracles and then apostatize? When someone's heart is not right and you give them power it only amplifies what is wrong, not what is right (another example is Peter with Simon the sorcerer). We are also told that Judas did not let the word cleanse him (John 13:10;15:3). He did not abide in Jesus’ teachings, instead he was enticed by the authority to do miracles given to those who followed and his love for the money prevented him from being a servant. Amazingly, Judas was among them having the same results without their suspecting he was a devil who would eventually betray their Lord. Judas a perfect example of those claiming to do miracles in Christ’s name and where Jesus turns to them saying he never knew them (Mt.7:21). Meaning he did not have a relationship (a two way correspondence of love) with the Lord. Demons were subject to him like the rest of the apostles but again as in Mt.7:21 it does not mean that if one uses his name and sees the miraculous they are saved. What proves one is saved is repentance, a continual confession of their sin and reliance on the Lords strength and the fruit of the Holy Spirit present in their life.
Peter learned well from Judas’ betrayal how money can corrupt ones heart.
When Simon saw what signs the apostles could do he offered money for this power.
Peters response was “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!”
You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by
iniquity” (Acts 8:20-23).
Jesus said to the multitude “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him” (John 6:64). Judas never believed even from the beginning. Jesus had known from the beginning who they were who did not believe and who would betray him.” It was more than one that had not believed. V.66 tells us many disciples left then. But from the beginning it is referring to Judas as the one who would betray him! For Jesus knew from the beginning who THEY WERE who did not believe and who WOULD be the one to betray him.
Jn.17:12 tells us no one will be lost, but the son of perdition, who is Judas. He fulfilled the position by the purposes of his own heart. Acts 1:24-25 states that he fell from the position of Apostleship, not from salvation, for it appears for all intensive purposes he never possessed it. So they picked another for his position by lots, Mattias who was with them from John and saw the resurrection.
The Scripture had to be fulfilled. Matt 20:17-18 “Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death; just before the time of the last Passover. Matt 26:14-16 “Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.”
Marks account says “And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him” (Mark 14:11)
John 13:1-2 “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him.”
Did God love Judas Iscariot, whom Scripture calls the son of perdition? At the last supper Jesus even washed Judas’ feet, showing love to his enemy. But showing love to your enemy does not guarantee they will repent. John 13:11-16 “For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean. So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?” You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.” If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.”
How well do we love our enemies, do we try to wash their feet and serve them giving them room to repent. That is the love Jesus displayed for us.
Even in the betrayal he was loved but this will not negate his responsibility in betraying Jesus and he will be punished for his disobedience that led to high treason. God loves the whole world and at times shows it personally to people yet he has allowed men to reject him and trample underfoot his love and fully knows who they are before they do this to him.
At the last supper Judas sat at the table on one side of Jesus, John on the other. Jesus quotes from Ps. 41 and attributes it to Judas in Jn. 13:18. The full verse from Ps. 41 is: “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me,” v.9. Please note that Judas was once Jesus’ “close friend whom I [Jesus] trusted!” (Also, Ps. 41:9 states of the betrayer as Jesus’ “close friend”). Since Jesus “knew what was in a man” (Jn. 2:25), in his heart, how then could Jesus have trusted Judas early on if Judas was not to be saved? Jn.13:16-21 Jesus says he was not clean. In other words he heard the word day in and day out but did not take it internally (to heart), he really did not believe it or act upon it. He did not have living faith.
When Jesus said one of them would betray him they all wondered if he was speaking of them. They all said “Lord is it I,” but Judas said teacher. Judas knew it!
Luke 22:3 “Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.” It is obvious that Judas had already been influenced by Satan which gave him leeway to enter him. He knew Jesus’ ministry was coming to a close. Judas loved the things of the world (money) and so even though he was among the learners and with Jesus personally he was the target that could be easily influenced for the greatest betrayal in history.
Matt. 26:23-24 He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. “The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it” (Matt. 26:25). Judas wanted to see if Jesus knew what he was doing. It didn’t matter if Jesus knew; Satan had a mission. Satan had the audacity to enter Judas at the last supper (the Passover), right in front of Jesus, and later brought Judas to identify him face to face fervently kissing him to be arrested and later to be crucified.
At the last supper we find Judas partook of the bread (a symbol of Jesus’ body- flesh), Judas dipped with the bread with Jesus but he left before he could partake of the wine (a symbol of Christ’s blood shed on the cross) Jn.13:26-30.
He identified with the humanity of Jesus but not His ultimate mission. He left to do his betrayal before the wine was passed to partake as the new covenant. So he partook of Jesus as far as what the bread stood for, but never partook of communion, a symbol of the blood that could cleanse him.
John 13:27-30 “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.” Interesting, Right after this Jesus gives the disciples a new commandment, to love one another as he loved them.
Judas left and was not present when he gave the disciples the promise in John 14 of his going away and coming again to take his believers to the place he is preparing in heaven.
John 18:1-3 “After Jesus partook the Passover, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where he usually went. And Judas, knew the place; Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.”
Judas sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, which was the price of a dead slave. If your ox killed the neighbor’s slave he was valued at 30 pieces of silver and the owner would have to pay that amount to the owner of the slave. While the disciples slept as Jesus was praying about his soon coming sacrifice Judas is awake betraying him. The devil never sleeps Judas used the most intimate way to show his betrayal, with a kiss. Because of Judas’ betrayal Peter took up the sword to protect Jesus in his arrest, and the disciples scattered. Selling out Jesus does not just affect oneself but others. Though Peter was brave with a weapon in his hand he later acted like a coward by denying to know Jesus three times outside where his trial took place.
Mt.27:3-5 Later we find Judas is sorry for his betrayal but it was not a godly sorrow that would lead to repentance for salvation. “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!” Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.”
Judas had known about the religious trial; seeing Jesus was condemned to death he is overwhelmed with remorse he even gives back the money that wanted so dearly. But this sorrow is not true repentance, so there is no hope for conversion.
The Priests got their way and didn’t care about Judas either, only themselves. This shows there is no honor among thieves. He betrayed Jesus, they betray him, a vicious cycle.
Under Jewish law ill-gained money cannot be put in the temple treasury. Matt 27:6-10 “But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, “and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”
Mt. 27:3-10 tells us Judas hung himself. But Acts 1:18-19 states he fell down a cliff and his guts were spilled put. Is there a contradiction in the Bible between these two stories? When he return the money stricken by his conscience of the immensity of what he has done he is overwhelmed with guilt. So he hung himself when it wasn’t accepted.
The first night of Passover was Thursday night (the Jewish day ends at sundown when 3 stars are visible) The first day of Passover was Friday morning, the day before the Sabbath (evening). The Jewish law stated there is to be no dead body within the walls of Jerusalem or it would be defiled, unclean and the Passover sacrifice could not be offered. So they took Judas’ already hung body and threw it over the wall into the valley of Hinnom and his guts split open, so there is no contradiction in the Bible on this.
As Satan fell from his position so did Judas, he was numbered among the twelve. “for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry” (Acts 1:17). When the original group of twelve became eleven, the apostles sought another to take Judas’ office.
V.20 “For it is written in the book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, and let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office.’ Acts 1:21-22: “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time the Lord Jesus went in and among us beginning from the baptism of John to that day he was taken up from us One of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” They picked the new apostle from only two men among them. And they prayed over and cast lots of who was “to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place” (Acts 1:25)
Matthew 26:13 “Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.”
On the other end, the betrayal will always have Judas’ name attached to it. And for this reason he is listed with the 12 in Scripture and always listed last.