Do you ever hear anyone naming their son Judas? Not often.
No, Judas ruined that name for all time. Let’s take a look at this final disciple, always named last. Ish means “man.” The name of his town in southern Judea was Kerioth, thus “man of Kerioth,” Judas Iscariot.He was the only one who was not from Galilee. Judas wore the tag of “outsider.”
That said, he went through all the teaching sessions of Jesus, where he was reminded to seek forgiveness of sin, and learn to love unconditionally. He saw the miracles and had a first hand view of Jesus’ power.
How could he experience life with Jesus for three years and still betray him? Sometimes things we see can be seen through different lens. It could be that Judas’ attraction to Jesus was His power and not His message. His goal might have been for Jesus to overthrow the Romans not bring eternal redemption to the people.
He did manage to build up enough trust to became treasurer of the group. John notes, however, a flaw in Judas’ character when the disciples were in Bethany where Mary was anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.
… Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected.”Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself with what was put into it. John 12:4-6
Who knows the mind of Judas? Perhaps when Jesus rebuked his comment, it prompted him to plan the betrayal. Or perhaps he was ready to help things along so Jesus would have to come forth as the conquering hero over Rome. Whatever his motive,
Judas went to the leaders at the Temple and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented , and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no one [the crowd] was present. Luke 22:4-6
Matthew tells us that they counted out thirty pieces of coins.
It’s interesting that when Jesus said one of them would betray him, the disciples were busy questioning themselves but didn’t seem to suspect Judas, even when he left the room.
What a blow when Judas chose to point Jesus out in the dark with a kiss. Did Judas expect to see Jesus cast them all down, ride a white horse into Jerusalem and declare himself king? When they took Jesus bound, Judas came to himself and regretted what he had done. Back in the Temple, he threw the money on the floor and went out and hung himself.
It leads us to examine ourselves. Have we gone through the motions of going to church, hearing the teachings, but never internalizing the truths or the call for confessing our sin. Or like the other disciples, do we run and hide in the upper room in fear? May we be found, as they finally were, being obedient and taking the gospel to others.
~ Joyce ~