Judas



Matthew 26:14-16
14Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests
15and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.
16And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

One of the names you don’t see make the top ten list for babies is Judas. I did a search of the name Judas with the Social Security office and it never even makes an appearance during the last 134 years. Good things are not associated with the name Judas. And there’s a reason – Judas is known as the betrayer. The Apostle John quotes Jesus calling him “the son of destruction” in John 17:12 and Paul uses the same exact phrase to describe Satan in 1 Thessalonians 2:3-4.

3Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
4who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

No, “Judas” might not be a good name for the new baby.

Seeing inside the heart of another is impossible for us. We can never judge what another is thinking because we cannot know their motivations. But – we can observe their actions which can be a good indicator of the interior workings of the soul. Judas is the one who sells his Master to the Pharisees for 30 pieces of silver. He is the one who chides Mary for wasting money on nard to anoint the Lord for burial (and kingship). He is the one known help himself to the group’s money. But he is also a part of God’s brilliant plan for our salvation. But both King David and the prophet Zechariah prophesied the betrayal of Jesus hundreds of years earlier.

Psalm 41:9
Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

Zechariah 11:12-13
12Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver.
13Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.

So when Judas plots with the Pharisees to derail Jesus’ ministry this does not come as a shock and surprise to Jesus. It was all done in fulfillment of prophecy. That doesn’t mean that Jesus would not have died for us had Judas not played his part. He was always free to choose a better path. But Jesus never surrendered control of this situation. He knew the Father’s plan and He was committed to following through with what had to be done to save us. Just because the Father knew what Judas was going to do didn’t mean Judas had no other choice. In the end, Judas plays his part and Jesus is turned over to His enemies for our sake. It was really very simple; tell the Pharisees where Jesus was going to be so that He could be arrested. All they needed was someone on the inside to report Jesus’ whereabouts. Judas played that role perfectly.

Our actions tell others who we are. Our actions are even more reliable than our words. Judas claimed to follow Jesus but he stole the Disciples money and he berated a devoted woman. Finally his loudest action is performed and he goes to Jesus enemies for the ultimate betrayal. Our actions also tell us who we are.

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