Will Satan cause a root of bitterness to cause you to become an end-time Judas? Good question, and only you can give the answer.
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[The sermon was given on the Last Day of Unleavened Bread in 2012]
There were two basic key figures in the Passover of…there were a lot of people involved in it, but to me there were two that stand out, and obviously Jesus Christ being number one - He is the reason , as we say " For the season ." He was the one who was the Passover Lamb. And yet, there was another individual that played a major role and a major part in the Passover and in the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ. And that was one of His Apostles – someone who was with Him for three and a half years, someone that followed Him, someone that supposedly loved him, and yet someone who had a problem with his attitude. And that is, as you already know, Judas, who was called Judas Iscariot. I believe we can find some very valuable and helpful lessons, hopefully, that we might apply to our self, as we end this Festival season here, these seven Days of Unleavened Bread. I believe we can substantiate that Judas cast out demons, that he preached the gospel, that he talked about the kingdom of God, that he healed the sick, and possibly even raised people from the dead. Yep, he probably did every single one of those things. We read in Matthew the tenth chapter, which is the first place Judas' name appears, and he is mentioned as one of the twelve apostles.
Matthew 10:1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. See All... Now when He had called His twelve disciples unto Him , He (of course,being Christ) gave them power over the unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness, and all kinds of diseases .
And so this was something that He gave to all twelve of those that He called - the apostles. Now in:
Verse 2: The names of the twelve are these; and then it lists them : Peter, Andrew, James, John,
So right off the bat, the first time he is ever listed in the Scriptures, he is listed as a betrayer.
Verse 5: These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.
Verse 6: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Verse 7: And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Verse 8: "Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, and freely give.
Jesus called every last one of the disciples and He gave them power – power over demons, power over sicknesses, power to heal, and all sorts of things here that He mentions. And He lists all twelve of the disciples, and again in this case, he actually referred to them as apostles, and Judas was one of the twelve apostles. And in Luke…we won't turn there…but in Luke 10:17And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. See All... we find that all of them came back rejoicing and just absolutely shocked and surprised, and they said: Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name .
Think of the joy and the happiness that those twelve felt, including Judas, when he went out and raised someone from a horrible disease or illness – when he was able to rebuke somebody that was being afflicted and bothered by a demon, and he was able to cast it out. And Judas did all of those things. Was Judas, perhaps, one of the leading apostles? I don't know. He is the only one of the twelve that actually is listed as, quote, " Holding an office" - end quote. He was a treasurer. So maybe he was considered one of the leaders; maybe he was considered one of the top ones. Judas was with Christ the entire three and a half years of Christ's ministry. He ate with Him, he slept with Him, he talked to Him, he saw His miracles…he saw and witnessed everything that Jesus did. He was there when the woman anointed Jesus' feet with the precious oil; he was there when the Pharisees rebuked and attacked Jesus and the disciples because the disciples ate with, quote, " unwashed hands." He was there when the Lord rebuked Peter; he was there when Jesus rebuked James and John, the one who would call lightning and thunder and fire down from heaven to destroy some people because they didn't agree with Jesus. He was there through all the miracles, through all the preaching, through all the persecution, through all of the trials, through the three and a half years of living with Jesus Christ. Never forget that Jesus was absolutely perfect; never sinned, never made a mistake.
But I think, and hopefully we'll see through the sermon today, that Judas began the deadly process of listening to Jesus' critics. It begins to poison him and it began to pull him down, and it began to affect him. When Judas joined Jesus, with the other eleven, I don't think Judas was deliberately, quote , "against Christ ." He didn't set out to undermine Christ; he didn't set out to destroy Christ. But he did have a poison that began to set in that had its affect.
In John 6:60Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? See All..., Jesus here had talked to the Jews about how that He Himself was the bread of life and that how we are to eat His flesh - which we did this past Passover.
John 6:60Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? See All...: Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying: who can understand it?"
Verse 61 : And when Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, - they grumbled, they murmured – they complained…and I find it amazing that here thedisciples complained and grumbled against someone who was absolutely perfect. Andyet, they came across something they didn't understand, and they all began to grumble and complain. Was Judas the biggest complainer of all? Was Judas' attitude of fault-finding affecting the other disciple's attitude? So Christ said it to them, when He realized they complained about this…He said unto them, "Does this offend you?"
Verse 62: "What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?
Verse 63: "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
Verse 64: "But there are some of you who do not believe." Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and he who would betray Him.
Verse 65: And He said, "Therefore I have said unto you that no one can come unto Me unless it has been granted to him by the Father."
Verse 66: As I mentioned in a sermon one time, I believe this has to be one of the saddest Scriptures in the entirety of the Bible: And from that time many of His disciples went back and walked no more with Him.
And here they had an opportunity to be with Jesus Christ, face to face, and walk with Hisministry, and yet some did not believe. And Verse 64 says, more than one did not believe.
What was Judas' attitude from then on? How did what Christ said then affect him? I wonder if Jesus hoped that by spending three and a half years with them, being the Son of God, if Judas would change his mind, if he would see his error, and if he would repent. Would you have the same sins, the same weaknesses, the same problems, if you had had opportunity to live with, to eat with, to dine with, to be with, to see the miracles of Jesus Christ for the three and a half years of His ministry? How would that affect you? I believe that Christ gives each and every one of us time to come to our senses, time to come to a place of repentance, and time to change. And Verse 70 continuing:
Verse 70: Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
Verse 71: He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
How would you feel if you were standing there with these thirteen individuals, Jesus Christ and the twelve apostles, and he looked you square in the eye and he said, "One of you is the devil"? I think you'd begin to squirm a little bit – I think you'd find it extremely demoralizing. I think it would rip your heart out, if you thought it was you. Oddly enough, probably Judas did not think he was talking about him. He probably did not think it applied to him, because when you have a rotten attitude, you look down on, and you condemn and you blame everybody else, and you're the absolute master at justifying yourself.
In Titus 3…I think we read some of the attitude here…this of course is not talking specifically about Judas, one way or the other, but I think it does sort of give us a pictorial of Judas' attitude perhaps that he had:
Titus 3:9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. See All... But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless.
Verse 10: Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition,
Verse 11: Knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, and self-condemned.
So we are commanded to reject a divisive person; someone that causes division and strife in God's church. But oddly enough, today people cannot seem to get enough garbage – they just seek garbage . And thanks to the internet – boy, they can spread it like wildfire. And people just lap it up , and they're chided about it, and they look forward to the long rumors among the brethren. And I think this divisive type of attitude applied to Judas. And I think he stirred up trouble, as we're going to see, and problems among the disciples and among followers of Jesus Christ. Through the years, for decades, and decades, we've had individuals that griped and complained, that go out of God's church - that God inspired to be written that we're to reject a divisive man. But people today flock to them like lint.
It appears that Judas spread his venom among the others - but there's really a good chance that he never spoke to Christ about it, that he kept it to himself, and then he spread it to others - but he would not go to the authorities to find out the truth about it. I wonder how long Judas festered on Jesus' quote " problems", end-quote. I wonder what ammunition Judas came up with to justify, in his own mind, what he did. What could have possibly have taken place to justify betraying the Lamb of God, the Son of God? How could a person ever get into that state of mind? Well, obviously we do not know all of the things that upset Judas and some of the other disciples - that justified his rotten attitude. But we do know the final straw, supposedly, that quote, "Broke the camel's back", as we say. And at least, what happened was - then had something to do with money? Notice Matthew 26:6Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, See All...:
Matthew 26:6Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, See All... And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper,
Verse 7 : A woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table.
Verse 8: But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, - I mean they got upset – all of them. They were mad and they thought, wow, what a waste. This is extravagance – this is horrible, this is terrible - saying, "Why this waste?
Verse 9: "For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor."
It seems like in nearly every single case, when somebody gets upset at the church, or theministers, or some other members, they always have a very spiritual-sounding reason for doing so. Always a good, spiritual-sounding reason… "Well, we could sell this and give it to the poor"…always had a good convincing argument, and a spiritual-sounding reason. But in Verse 10:
Verse 10: When Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble this woman? For she has done a good work for Me.
Verse 11: "For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always.
Verse 12: "For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial.
Verse 13: "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her." - Which I just did.
So here it does not specifically label which disciples seemed the most upset, which one was the most vehement about it, which one expressed this waste of such an expensive item, or expensive oil, but when you read the next verse, the verse immediately following it, in Verse 14, it says:
Verse 14: Then (like immediately) one of the twelve, called Judas Isca riot, went to the chief priests
Verse 15: And said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him unto you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
Verse 16: So from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
It was as though Judas said in his mind that "I have got to put a stop to this, that this guy is getting out of hand, he's getting out of control"…he decided right then and there that he had a better way, and knew a better way, to carry out his plan, rather than the way that Christ did it. He'd been thinking about this for some time, and this final straw of, quote, " this horrible waste " that this woman did, apparently flipped Judas over the edge. And Judas thought he'd better take action, because Jesus was getting "a little too big for his britches", so to speak. He was wasting money; he was taking things to himself; and Judas did not like the way Jesus, quote, "ran the organization ", end-quote.
How many have you heard through the years that complained about the way Jesus operates His church - and has, in our lifetime, for how many years back. If you've been in God's church twenty years, thirty years, fifty years, sixty years…whatever…you can just name one after the other, after the other, after the other, that just like Judas, how dangerous it is for people to complain about the way Jesus Christ handles His church.
John's account gets a little more explicit, and he names Judas by name, in John the twelfth chapter:
John 12:3Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. See All... 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.
Verse 4: Then one of His disciples, (specifically) Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said,
Verse 5: "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"
Verse 6: And he said this, not because 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.
And so he said, in other words, well, why can't we sell this oil, give it to the poor; let's put it in the treasury, and then I can get what I want out of it. So, John was a disciple whom Jesus loved. He was the one that apparently was the closest to Jesus (than any other disciple), so John, probably, was on the firing line and the recipient of a lot of hostility and judgment from Judas. But they didn't get along, probably at all. So John was probably fed up to here with Judas, and names him by name, for all prosperity to know exactly who it was, and what he says. It's John that labels him as a thief - and the ringleader of the disciples that got upset with Judas. You know, Mr. Holladay mentioned that Satan did not have control over Jesus Christ, but sadly Satan did have control over Judas. In:
John 13:2And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him; See All... And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,
Verse 3: Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
Verse 4: rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
Verse 5: After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith He was girded.
Verse 6: And when He came to Simon Peter, Peter said unto Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"
Verse 7: And Jesus said unto him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."
Verse 8: Peter said unto Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."
Verse 9 : And Simon said unto Him, "Oh Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!"
Verse 10: And Jesus said, "He who is bathed need not but to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."
Verse 11: For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."
Jesus washed Judas' feet. He said He cleaned every single one of the disciples up except Judas. It probably, I think as we're going to see, wasn't in Judas' heart to destroy Jesus – and like I said, I think from the beginning that wasn't the case at all. I think when Judas was called to become one of the apostles, he probably was excited, he gave up everything he had to follow Jesus, and to follow His ministry…but Judas' attitude got all bent out of shape, and changed. Wonder why Jesus washed Judas' feet? Was it to give Judas one final chance to repent and to change? In John 13:18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. See All... now, He said:
John 13:18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. See All... "But I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture might be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.'
Verse 19: " Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, that you may believe that I am He.
Verse 20 : "Most assuredly, I say unto you, he who receives whatsoever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."
Verse 21: When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified saying, "Most assuredly, I say unto you, one of you will betray Me."
This really upset Jesus – as it says here, you know, He was troubled in spirit …because He loved every single one of those men. He'd spent 3 ½ years walking with them, talking with them, preaching at them, comforting them, helping them, guiding them, directing them…He loved them, including Judas. Then in Verse 22:
Verse 22: Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. They didn't know who it was -
Verse 23: Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples , (whom of course, was John), whom Jesus loved.
Verse 24 : Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.
Verse 25: Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said unto Him, "Lord, who it?"
Verse 26: 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.
Verse 27: Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said unto him, "What you do, do quickly."
Verse 28: But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.
Verse 29: For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said unto him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.
Verse 30: Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.
Did Judas have a choice? Satan entered Judas, but a lot of things took place prior to, and leading up to, when Satan entered into Judas. He still had his freewill; he still had his intelligence to make a choice. It took quite a bit of weakening of Judas' will and mind for Satan to be able to influence Judas to this extent. Judas was with Jesus every single day he begin to find fault. He begin to look for the "loose brick." I have mentioned several times, that if you are looking for the "loose brick", I promise you, I assure you, I guarantee you, that Satan will help you find that, quote, "loose brick." If you're looking for an excuse to find fault with the way that Jesus' operates and runs His church, you will find it. Satan will see to it.
There's an old – I think a pretty wise saying – that familiarity breeds contempt . Familiarity with Jesus Christ, of walking with Him, of living with Him, of seeing even the miracles that He performed – to see all the problems that He had with the religious leaders, with the Pharisees and with the Jews – Judas began to judge the situation, and various trials and problems that they faced on a daily basis. He probably felt he had a better way to do it that would alleviate and prevent all of the problems that they were going through.
Notice what happened when Judas betrayed Jesus…first of all notice Matthew 26:14Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, See All... – it says:
Matthew 26:14Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, See All... Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests,
Verse 15: 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.
And notice that this was a voluntary action on Judas' part. This was a plot; it was a plan that he thought of, and that he devised, and that he carried out. As far as the Scriptures, there's no place that shows where the High Priest, or the religious leaders, or the Jews, or anybody, approached Judas and asked him to do this. Judas was in no way forced into doing it; he wasn't threatened into betraying Christ. He did it willingly. And I think, in his own mind, as we're going to see, that he did it lovingly in his mind. We don't find any record where they tried to force him into doing this. For that matter, I think the Jews were probably shocked when Judas came to them, that one of Jesus' old, and twelve, that followed Him, would be willing to betray Him. Out of all of the people that they would have expected to betray Christ, it certainly would not have been one of these twelve. So they were probably downright shocked .
Verse 16: So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.
First of all, he waited; he bided his time until the absolute right moment. And then Judas began to plot and plan, he looked for the opportune time; he waited for just the right moment and the right circumstance. Said he waited for the right time to strike so that he could betray Christ.
In John the 18th chapter – we read something interesting here, because again, Judas has been with Christ for 3 ½ years – he knew Christ. He knew His habits; he knew exactly what He would be doing.
John 18: 2 And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples .
So Judas knew Jesus' habits and routine and he exploited that. Judas knew that Jesus would be there praying – quite a testimony to the life and example of Jesus Christ, that He habitually prayed at that hour of the day.
And so after the Passover, and He went there, and He wasn't bashful about who knew about it - and like clockwork, He was consistent and steadfast. So now, the place and the time, fell into being. And then, once he went to the religious leaders, he had the muscle to back him up. Notice John 18:3Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. See All...:
John 18:3Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. See All... Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons.
And so he had all this planned out, and his plan was working to a tee. Then back in Matthew 26:46Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. See All... – Jesus had been praying, and then He says to His disciples:
Matthew 26:46Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. See All... "Rise, let us be going. For My betrayer is at hand."
Verse 47: And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
Verse 48 : Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him."
Verse 49: Then immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.
Verse 50: And Jesus said unto him, "Friend, why have you come?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.
Why the kiss? Jesus was betrayed with a sign of affection, with a sign of love, with a sign of compassion. You know, nobody on the face of this earth has the ability to hurt you as deeply…I'm not talking about physically, because somebody could shoot you, or whatever…but there's not a human being on the face of this earth that can hurt you as deeply as somebody that loves you, or especially somebody you love. Jesus, we've already read , loved Judas. And He hated to see what Judas was doing – it hurt Him very, very deeply. Here was a man that had been 3 ½ years with Him, and had witnessed all of the miracles that He had performed and done. And heard every sermon that He had given, and all of the words of wisdom – and it hurt Jesus to think that this , the man He loved, was a betrayer; that he kissed Him as a sign of affection. Had Judas convinced himself that he truly did love Christ and that all he wanted to do was to teach Christ a lesson – to help Him to learn to change and to do things - quote, "Judas' way" – end quote?
I think Psalm 41 describes Judas' attitude…many Scholars think at least part of this is a prophecy about Jesus Christ, and part of it is a prophecy about Judas, because if we read here, apparently he loved to speak evil of Christ. He loved to spread rumors; he loved to look for the negative; he loved to find things that were at fault. Psalms 41:5-9 Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?  And if he come to see me, he speaketh vanity: his heart gathereth iniquity to itself; when he goeth abroad, he telleth it.  All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt.  An evil disease, say they, cleaveth fast unto him: and now that he lieth he shall rise up no more.  Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
Psalm 41:5Mine enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish? See All... My enemies speak evil of me: "When will he die, and his name perish?"
His name still hasn't perished, to this very day.
Verse 6: And if he comes to see me, he speaks lies; His heart gathers iniquity to itself; - (He loves looking for faults and mistakes – He loves, as it were, going on the internet, trying to find all of the garbage and slop that he can possibly come up with). When he goes out, he tells it.
He loves to dig into it, and then he loves to spread it.
Verse 7: All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt.
Verse 8: "An evil disease," they say, "clings to him."
And again, all these little rumors, and these innuendos: "Well, there's something wrong with him – I mean, something's just not right. You can tell here, that there's ‘ something rotten in Denmark ' here. Something's wrong with him; he's got this evil disease that clings to him" – And now that he lies down, he'll never rise up again."
But boy, his work is over – it will never last. This is the end of it – it's over and done and said and through – then:
Verse 9 : Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
And no telling what rumors and lies that Judas spread about Christ. And the amazing thing is, he felt totally justified in doing. In Psalms 55: 12-14:
Psalms 55:12For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: See All... For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could bear it. (If it had been, quote, "a stranger"; if it had been someone that hated his guts and "this and that"…Christ said, "Well, you know, I could stand that…") - Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me; then I could hide from him .
Verse 13 : But it was you, a man of my equal, my companion and my acquaintance.
Verse 14: We took sweet counsel together, and we walked to the house of God in the throng.
Verse 20: He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; he has broken his covenant.
Wonder what kind of covenant Christ had with the apostles? I know, to be a minister in God's church today, you have to agree to a, quote, "code of ethics", that there's a certain standard – there's a certain way of life that we have to agree to. Wonder what covenant that He had with the apostles….that Jesus made with them when He called them? For that matter, each and every one of us in this room have made a covenant with God, that we promised at baptism we would go all the way in serving God. Judas broke that covenant.
Verse 21: The words of his mouth were smoother than butter , – Oh it sounded right, it sounded good, it sounded plausible – but war was in his heart; his words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords.
Judas' attitude reminds me so much of what the church has endured for decades – decades through the years. You've seen it, you've witnessed it, you've lived through it…the attitude of "I'll show you" type of attitude, or the attitude of "I'm right and you're wrong", or of the same "you're not doing it right" type of attitude. And the same, "I have to be in charge" attitude – or "do it my way" type of attitude. The same accusations, the same lies - the same things, undoubtedly, that Judas spread against Christ, and that Christ suffered.
We also have endured, down through the decades and through the years. Christ is as much in charge of His church today as He was in the first century, when He walked, and breathed, and ate, and lived here on this earth. He is still that much in charge of His church. And like Judas, how many have violated their covenant with God, by criticizing, betraying, and crucifying Christ. And the sad thing is, taking so many others with them.
Why would Judas do this? What was going on in his mind that would justify this type of action? I've heard that Judas was greedy, because he stole from the treasury, and that he lusted after money, so he bargained with the High Priests for thirty pieces of silver. Well, it sounds about right, except those pieces of silver were the standard shekels of the sanctuary, and reckoning with the Jerusalem shekel at seventy-two cents each, the sum of thirty shekels would be $21.60. $21.60 - The Lord Jesus Christ was sold. I don't think that's why Judas did it. It may have had a small part in it – I think it did play a part in it. This, by the way, was the price in the Mosaic law, that a man was condemned to pay if his ox gored a servant, and killed that servant…then he had to pay this, in Exodus 21:32If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned. See All...…the same thirty pieces of silver. The Lord, the sacrifice for men, was paid out of the temple treasury, the temple money which was destined to purchase of the sacrifices. He, who took the form of a servant, was sold at the legal price of a slave.
But I honestly don't think Judas was lusting after $21.60 to be willing to sell out Jesus. I think he wanted to teach Jesus a lesson, and to pick up a little change perhaps on the side, in the process - $21.60. I don't think Judas had in mind to kill Christ – matter of fact, I think I can prove that. I don't think he wanted Christ dead at all. He didn't want him to overly suffer, and you find that in Mark 14:43And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. See All...:
Mark 14:43And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. See All... And immediately, while He was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.
Verse 44: Now His betrayer had given them a signal, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him and lead Him away safely."
He didn't mean to hurt Christ, but he had convinced himself that Christ was wrong; he didn't like the way Christ ran the church . He didn't like the way that Christ caused problems, for himself, and for the other apostles and disciples. Judas told the soldiers to keep Him safe ; not to kill Him, not to harm Him- he wanted Christ to learn a lesson. He didn't like the way Jesus did things, and he wanted to shake things up a bit. Matthew 27 – we find that his plot and his plan went completely awry, did not work out like he thought it would.
Matthew 27:1When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: See All... When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death.
Verse 2: And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
Verse 3: Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful – that's not what he had in mind; that's not what he planned; that's not what he wanted – he wanted to teach Him a lesson, not kill Him – that he was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,
Verse 4 : saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." And they said, "So what? What is that to us? You see to it!"
Verse 5: Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.
So things had gotten much further than Judas had planned; they'd really gotten totally, completely, out of hand, and caused the condemnation of the Son of God. And Judas was remorseful and sorry for what had happened.
You know, you look back in the history of God's church, in at least our lifetime, and look at all the carcass's , look at all of the bodies, look at all of the, quote, dead , that we have left along the wayside – of people that have gone out of God's church, and the destruction that they have caused among God‘s people…that we have witnessed and seen in our lifetime, because they weren't happy with the way Christ operates His church today. How many different ones have gone off and started their, quote , own church, because they didn't agree with God's direction in the body of Christ. They believed they had a better way – their way was the only way.
Judas probably just wanted Jesus to learn a lesson - to do it his way . He probably just wanted to exert some outside pressure on Jesus, to help Him see it Judas' way. He wanted to use some outside forces to get Jesus to conform to Judas's image of what he thought Jesus should be like - and Judas' idea of how Jesus should live His life, and conduct Himself and His ministry, and His church. When Judas saw that everything had gotten totally, completely, out of hand and out of control with his plotting and his plan of just putting pressure on Jesus, that it wound up condemning Jesus to death, Judas took the money back, he cast it down, he threw it at the high priest's feet, as though it would stop the death of Christ, an innocent man. But of course, it didn't. And when that didn't work, Judas went out and he hung himself.
Think about the torture that this man was going through, emotionally, physically, psychologically, and mentally, when he realized what damage he had done – but it was too late; it was irreversible. He could not make it stop and he couldn't bring it back. What will happen to Judas? Notice Acts 1:15And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) See All...:
Acts 1:15And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) See All... And is those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,
Verse 16: "Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus;
Verse 17: "for he was numbered with us and obtained a part in this ministry."
Verse 18: (Now this man purchased a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.
Verse 19: And it became known to all those dwelling in Jerusalem; so that field is called in their own language, Akel Dama, that is, Field of Blood.)
Verse 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.'
Verse 21: "Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Verse 22: "beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection."
Verse 23: And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
Verse 24: And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen.
Verse 25: "to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."
There's an awful lot of speculation about what it means for Judas to go unto his own place. Most commentaries you read feel like that he went to hell; some will say he went to the grave – some say they don't know where he went…but obviously they don't think it was "heaven", quote unquote. But I don't know…I don't know where this is. I don't know what it is referring to, but we do read that Matthias took his place, so that Judas might then go to his own place.
Verse 26: And they cast their lots, and the lot fell upon Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
If you want to find fault with the church, or with Christ, you really don't have to look too hard to find the things that you will not agree with. The way Jesus carried out His ministry and His church really ate on Judas. It bothered him, it upset him; it frustrated him to the point that he planned and he plotted and he took action to change Christ. And you know, physically speaking, you read back during the days of Christ, and you can see why the disciples, why the apostles, would get frustrated with Jesus' leadership, because thinking about it physically and carnally, it seems that every time Christ should have said something, He was quiet. And then when He should have kept his mouth shut to save all kinds of problems and trouble, you couldn't get Him to shut up! And so, here were the disciples, and every time Christ would say something, they'd get kicked out of this city, and they'd go to another one and he'd say something, and they'd get kicked out of that one etc. They couldn't get Him to be quiet – He got them kicked out of one town and then another and another.
He took on His own worst enemies, and publically to their face, labeled them as a bunch of snakes in the grass, of whitened sepulchers full of dead men's bones. He publically called them hypocrites, and full of all unrighteousness and uncleanness. Boy, don't you think that would upset the lawyers today: "Why, you can't say that! Wait a minute now, you're going to be liable for all this…". Christ didn't care. It's what He said - he called them to their face. And I can just see the disciples, the apostles, in the background, shrinking back and covering their faces, and saying, "Oh no", and just groaning, you know… "Oh no, here we go again; we're going to get thrown in jail. Why in the world would He go around saying this kind of stuff…you can't say that kind of stuff and get by with it – why doesn't He just keep His mouth shut! Men are already so mad at us that it scares us – I think they want to put the whole lot of us to death, and then He goes ‘nose to nose' with them and stirs up even more trouble. No wonder they hate us!" They didn't think Jesus handled things properly, and they felt that they were the ones that suffered as a result.
And I'm amazed at how many people today are not bashful about complaining about how Christ operates His church and ministry today. Judas apparently did not like the way that Jesus did it then, and all too many today don't like the way that He's still doing it even today.
There's a beautiful Scripture that was read earlier, in Isaiah 55:8For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. See All... (you don't need to turn there; you're familiar with it and we've already read it today) that compares God's mind with our mind and ways of doing things. Mr. Holladay I believe read it : "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. Verse 9: "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
Of course, we can justify our complaints, our reasoning, that the church's problems are caused by physical men – the leadership of men; not God or by Christ. Did you ever become a Judas? Matthew 24 warns that in the end time that some will become offended, now actually hate one another, and betray one another of the people of God…to have their own brethren put to death. Would you? Could you ever become a Judas? Judas didn't want to be known as the betrayer – he didn't set out to be a betrayer. He kissed Christ so others would think he really loved Christ, and the action that he was doing was done out of love in his heart. And he may have very well felt that his treachery was not treachery at all, but was based out of love, because Jesus needed to learn His lesson. Judas didn't want Christ killed, as we read, but he was unhappy with the way things were being done, and so he wanted to exert a little pressure on him, and he wanted to put some leverage on Christ. Perhaps he just wanted Christ out of the way…maybe he thought he could do a better job as the head, and would take over the leadership of the work – I don't know. But, one way or the other, it's obvious, Judas did want total and complete influence.
It's easy for us today, as we close, for us to become a modern-day Judas . It's easy to get on a judgmental state and attitude, and so often resentments and bitterness sets in, which God warns us about through Paul, in Hebrews 12:15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; See All.... I want to close with this Scripture that Jim Lichtenstein, I believe closed with this morning – I know he read it…I think it was his last Scripture:
Hebrews 12:15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; See All... Looking carefully, lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled;
Will Satan cause a root of bitterness to cause you to become an end-time Judas? Good question, and only you can give the answer.
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