Judas Iscariot

30 04 2014

Matthew 26:14-16

    Dead last in every list of the apostles is Judas Iscariot. In spite of being a popular name during the time of  Jesus, for 2,000 years it has been a byword for treachery. He is called the one who betrayed (Matthew 10:4), traitor (Luke 6:16), a devil (John 6:70), and the son of perdition (John 17:12). He is prophesied in the Old Testament as “lifting up his heal” against Jesus (Psalm 41:9 with John 13:18). The exact price paid for his betrayal is even prophesied (Zechariah 11:12-13). He is referred to by some as the most wicked man who ever lived. “In Dante’s Inferno Judas occupies the lowest level of hell, which he shares with Lucifer, Satan himself” (MacArthur New Testament Commentary). He is a paradox of divine sovereignty: he rejected the Lord of his own free will, yet was prophesied as being the traitor. He was loved yet lost.

The life he lived

1. Background (Matthew 10:4)
• Iscariot- man of Kerioth, a town in Judah 23 miles south of Jerusalem
2. Motives (John 12:3-6)
• “he was a thief and had the bag”
3. Treason (John 13:21-30)
• Sop- a piece of bread dipped in a syrup, usually given first to the guest of honor
4. Suicide (Matthew 27:3-5)
• “All his bowels gushed out” (Acts 1:18)- evidently the rope slipped or the tree branch broke
5. Place (Acts 1:25)
• Son of perdition- loss of well-being, to perish; used of Judas (John 17:12) and the Antichrist ( 2 Thessalonians 2:3)

The less ons we learn (from MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

1. Judas’s life is the world’s greatest example of lost opportunity.
2. Judas’s life provides the world’s greatest example of wasted privlege.
3. Judas’s life serves as the clearest illustration of love of money being the root of all kinds of evil (see 1 Tim. 6:10).
4. Judas’s life is the supreme object in history of the forbearing, patient love of God.

Like Pharaoh, Judas hardened his heart in spite of the truth and love given. The same sun that melts the wax hardens the clay. Judas was able to con the disciples; he was the best. There will also be those who will look, talk, serve, and pray like Christians, but they are not. Jesus tells us that there will always be tares among the wheat until the final harvest. We are to be loving, patient, and kind to them. Just like Jesus was to Judas.

Matthew 13:27-30

27 So the servants of the owner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’
28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’
29 But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘

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