Summary: Now, why did Jesus choose Judas to be one of His disciples? Was He such a bad judge of character? Was it a mistake? Of course, Jesus knew from the beginning what would happen. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
It's not hard to think of someone named after a disciple. Andrew, Peter, Philip, John, James...Judas? No, that name conjures up negative imagery in our minds. Betrayer - traitor - evil - liar - hypocrite - greedy - devil.
It was about 2,000 years ago a mother held an infant in her arms and named him Judas...a common name in those days.
Now, why did Jesus choose Judas to be one of His disciples? Was He such a bad judge of character? Was it a mistake? Of course, Jesus knew from the beginning what would happen.
v. 64 Why did Jesus with His eyes wide open choose Judas?
1. A lesson in hypocrisy.
Judas is our model of a religious hypocrite. Don't think of him as a backslider or someone who was saved and then lost it. He never had it to begin with.
v. 64a 'believe not'
a. Right Association.
As one of the 'twelve' he was in a privileged position. For over 3 years he attended the world's greatest seminary. He was taught, mentored, and 'discipled' by the best. He observed first hand the miracles of Christ, like walking on the water, or raising Lazarus from the dead, or feeding the 5,000.
b. Right Reputation.
At the last supper Jesus said 'One of you will betray me' and they all gasped and had to ask, "Is it I?" Nobody suspected Judas. He fit right in. He wasn't a shady character with shifty eyes. He was good at what he did. He was a hypocrite, meaning he looked and talked just like he should if he were a true believer. He was a successful pretender, and so trusted that he was elected treasurer, and carried the money for the whole group.
c. Right Participation.
When Jesus sent the disciples out two by two He told them to preach, heal the sick, and cast out demons. They all went, in even number, and no doubt Judas participated in preaching and ministering. And if you can do those things, surely you are saved, right? Not necessarily!
ill.--In Matthew 7 Jesus is specific that some will preach and cast out demons and will be cast into hell because, "I never knew you."
Many religious hypocrites in churches today have the right association, participation, and reputation. They have PROFESSION of salvation but sadly, have no POSSESSION of salvation.
Many church members today have the right association - they are part of a good gospel church. And the greatest evangelistic field in America today is the membership roll of churches.
ill.--Billy Graham once said, famously, that perhaps half or more of churchgoers in America have never truly been born again. I'd say it's more!
You may have walked an aisle, shook the preacher's hand, maybe tears flowed. Maybe you prayed a prayer you were told to pray...you have the right association, but was it a real decision of trusting Christ as your Savior, or something else?
Many church members today have the right reputation - they are respected for their service or faithfulness in attendance. Maybe they work in a ministry or sing in a choir. Sometimes they are a leader, a deacon, a teacher, a preacher! They have the right reputation as far as what others think of them...but the real question is what does God KNOW about them?
Many church members today have the right participation in all things Christian but not in Christ in a personal way. It's all outward, with no inward reality.
5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.
I'm not asking if you've been baptized, but if you've been born again.
[confirmed / church member / made a new start / turned over a new leaf]
Our text is a word of warning to religious hypocrites. I would hope that if the Lord returned this minute this room would be empty. But the Bible says it's not usually that way, there's gonna be some who have association without salvation [reputation / participation]
Our text is also a word of encouragement. How can Judas' betrayal be encouraging? Because the other 11 didn't betray. The others would all end up laying down their lives for Jesus!
Don't let some Judas keep you from following Christ. "I would get saved if it weren't for all those hypocrites."
Certainly there are hypocrites. Our passage teaches that there always have been, and we know there always will be. And it's not an entirely bad thing.
How so? A counterfeit actually proves the reality of the genuine! Why do people counterfeit money? Because there's such a thing as real money! And the devil places counterfeit Christians because there's such a thing as a real, genuine believer.
ill.--ever been outside and seen a shooting star? [meteor] We say, "Look at that!" Why do we call attention to it? Because stars do not normally fall. And for every falling star you see there a billion trillion which do not fall.