SwindollStudyBible-John - Flipbook - Page 49
J ohn 1 8 : 2 6
P E O P L E
P R O F I L E S
T H E W O R L D ’ S M O S T FA M O U S T R A I TO R
Q U I C K FA C T S
to any serious Bible student.
>> SETTING Kerioth
Here was a man who had all the advantages the other
>> OCCUPATION Apostle
eleven disciples had. He had been chosen to be a disciple
>> RELATIVE Father: Simon
in this elite band of twelve. He had sat at the feet of the
Master and had listened to more than three years of proKEY LESSONS
found teaching. He had heard Jesus speak to the crowds.
>> Evil plans and motives leave us open to
being used by Satan for even greater evil.
He had seen Jesus perform many miracles. He had so
>> God’s plan and purposes are worked out
gained the trust of the others that he was the keeper of
even in the worst possible events.
the money. But in spite of all this, when it came down to
the wire, when all was said and done, Judas became the
world’s best-known traitor.
Judas’s story is told in the Gospels. He is
also mentioned in Acts 1:18-19.
I don’t think anyone suddenly becomes villainous and
corrupt. It’s a process. It takes time. One step leads to another, which in turn leads a person
deeper into sin, until eventually some event or action makes everything clear. That was true
in Judas’s life.
First, Judas had the wrong motive for following Jesus. Judas, whose name, Iscariot, means
“man from Kerioth,” came from an area known for its ultraconservative and zealous mind-set.
He was a nationalist who probably turned to Jesus in hopes of fulfilling his own dreams for the
nation of Israel. Judas likely wanted to get in on the ground floor of the rebellion against Rome.
Second, Judas became bitter. In John 6:15, we see Jesus withdrawing to the hills after a
crowd wants to force Him to become their political representative. Judas may have seen this
event as the perfect opportunity for Jesus to make His big political move, to begin driving a
wedge between the Jewish people and the Roman Empire. I propose that when Jesus said no
to an earthly empire, the seeds of bitterness and anger were planted in Judas’s heart.
Third, Judas developed a spirit of revenge and hatred. Just six chapters later, the bitterness
that had taken root in Judas exploded. Judas could no longer keep silent and voiced his contempt
that Mary of Bethany would “waste” expensive perfume anointing Jesus’ feet (John 12:5). John
shows us the pinnacle of Judas’s hypocrisy. In reality, Judas had absolutely no concern for the
poor. He was, in fact, revealed to be a thief. Jesus’ rebuke (John 12:7) exposed Judas’s pious and
hypocritical words, which probably led to the next major event in Judas’s life—his commitment to
betray the Master.
Fourth, Judas opened himself up to satanic possession. Luke makes it plain in these words:
“Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot” (Luke 22:3). Satan possessed this weakened and
bitter man and drove him to seek out the Jewish leaders. There he agreed to betray Jesus
for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a slave (Exod. 21:32). When Judas went to betray Jesus,
he did so with a kiss, not with a slap or with a sword. Deep down in his heart he wasn’t even
strong enough to openly declare himself as one who had defected to the enemy.
Judas Iscariot’s actions followed a progression that led to his final act of betrayal. For thirty
pieces of silver, Judas sold himself out as Satan’s slave. Although he was later filled with so
much emotional remorse that he ended up committing suicide (see Matt. 27:1-5), Judas never
truly believed in Jesus, and he tragically died disillusioned and lost for eternity.
JUDAS ISCARIOT IS AN ENIGMA