1. Just as Judas betrayed Jesus because of his love for money so many people betray the Lord today for similar greedy reasons. Judas had special abilities to keep accounts of the apostles money as demonstrated by their agreement to allow him to be in charge of their finances. (John 13:29) His hunger for power, position and prestige distorted his perceptions of himself and the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you avoid betraying trust because of any dishonesty.
2. Judas’ business skills also made him think he could use his special talents for his own advantage at the expense of others. Judas deluded himself into thinking that perhaps his actions would provoke a crisis and cause Jesus to declare Himself as the Messiah and thereby set up his kingdom. He supposed that he could be the chief financial officer in Christ’s new kingdom. Ask the Lord to help you avoid falling into the trap of thinking too highly of yourself and thereby distorting your own perceptions.
3. Judas coveted an office of respect so much that he was willing to sell the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. At the root of covetousness is a sinister discontent with what the Lord has given us. Judas envied the Roman and Pharisees because of the authoritative positions. He longed to be given great honor when he walked down the streets of Jerusalem instead of being looked down upon as a lowly disciple. Ask the Lord to help you to avoid the sins of covetousness, envy and jealousy which can lead one to betray our closest friends, family and companions.
4. Judas’ desires for greatness led him down a road of self-destructive behavior. There are all kinds of self-destructive behavior that can lead people to betray their dearest friends. Some of these self-destructive behaviors include: erroneous assumptions, mis-beliefs, critical attitudes, selfishness, addictions, pride, lust, unteachableness, bitterness, hate, anger, jealousy, envy, self-pity, apathy, complacency, laziness, indifference, perfectionism, disobedience, greed, inflexibility, materialism, procrastination, profanity, slander, libel, fear, work-aholism, disrespect of authority, taking things too personally, being easily offended, sins of omissions, sins of wrong disposition, sins of faulty assumptions. Ask the Lord to help you remember that it is not what is on the outside of a person that defiles them, but what comes out of their heart. (Matt. 15:18-20)
5. Judas betrayed Christ because he refused to stay close to the Lord or the disciples. Judas failed to remain transparent, trusting and intimate in his fellowship with the Lord Jesus and the disciples. Whenever we choose to fight our battles alone we become tempted to find other friends and associates who can lead us to acts of betrayal. Paul wrote, "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who cal on the Lord out of a pure heart." (2 Tim. 2:22) Ask the Lord to help you stay in close fellowship with Christ and some local disciples so that you are not tempted to seek companions among the ungodly.
6. Judas allowed perceived prejudices to cause him to fall into the trap of self-pity. Occasionally, everyone tends to think they are not getting all that they deserve. Judas thought that he was being given less attention than some of the more prominent disciples. Judas Iscariot was the only one of the twelve apostles who was not from Galilee. He might have had a profound sense of being different from the rest. His feelings of self-pity, anger and resentment led him to a sequence of double-crossing deal that resulted in Christ being arrested and crucified. Judas allowed his mis-construing of the facts to distort his perceptions of the truth. Ask the Lord to help you avoid falling into the trap of self-pity.
7. Judas’ thought he could force Jesus into revealing who He was before God’s eternal plan. At the heart of Judas’ betrayal lay a desire to provoke Jesus to overthrow the powers of their Roman oppressors. Only God’s sovereign will for our life promises blessings without any accompanying sorrows. Ask the Lord to help you avoid the temptation of trying to run ahead of God’s timing for your life, relationships and ministries.
8. Judas gambled with the life of Christ because of his political, social and financial ambitions. Christians are like vehicles, when their engines start to knock, you know that something is wrong inside. Somehow, Judas thought that the ends would justify his treacherous means. Ask the Lord to help you pursue Christ’s kingdom and righteousness according to the Spirit’s leading rather than in your own fleshly efforts. (Gal 5:16-23)