Summary: Do you know what it is to be betrayed? Betrayal means disloyalty and treachery have been used to expose you to an enemy, to expose you to harm, or simply just to expose you. How does betrayal happen?
Do you know what it is to be betrayed?
Betrayal is a profound word loaded with volatile and angst-ridden emotional implications. Betrayal means disloyalty and treachery have been used to expose you to an enemy, to expose you to harm, or simply just to expose you. What you thought was protected and safe is now open and dangerous. It means someone has been unfaithful with something that you have entrusted to them. It means confidences have been disclosed and that you have been deceived, duped, and deserted. The betrayer is vile, wicked and evil. The psychological impact on the one betrayed is usually permanent to some degree, depending on the kind and type of trust betrayed and the damage done by the betrayal.
Ever been betrayed?
Ever been a betrayer?
The relationship that Jesus and Judas Iscariot had was unique in all of human history. We know quite a bit about Jesus already from our study so far and from our own experiences in reading and studying the Word and listening to sermons and Sunday School lessons throughout our Christian experience.
Today, I want us to get to know this Judas better – a lot better. His name, Judas, means either “one to be praised”, or “Jehovah leads.” Many men were named Judas in Jesus’ day. I don’t think anyone has been since that time. We are going to discover why that is.
This Judas is called Judas Iscariot, which means Judas ish (which means “man”) Kerioth, which is the name of a town about 23-24 miles southeast of Jerusalem and about 7 miles from Hebron; Judas, man of Kerioth. Kerioth was the result of several small villages in one area coming together and forming a town. The most interesting thing to note from this is that Kerioth is outside of Galilee. Galilee is where Jesus and the other eleven disciples were from. Judas is the only outsider. As an outsider, he never really fit in. He didn’t talk the same way, he didn’t dress the same way, his view of the Jewish nation was somewhat different, and he was from an area that looked down on the Galilean Jews. Yet, there was something about Jesus that drew him. When the rest of those following Jesus scattered as we saw in John 6, Judas was one of the Twelve that remained.
We have no record of Jesus calling Judas to, “Come; follow Me.” I believe that Jesus did call Judas but I also believe that Judas chose to follow Jesus for his own reasons. He wasn’t from the area. We don’t know when he attached himself to the group, but it must have been early on. The first mention that we have of him is here in Matthew 10:1-4.
It is interesting to note that, whenever the lists of the disciples are given, Judas is always the last one listed. Also, every time he is mentioned, the fact of his betrayal is noted along with his name without exception. His betrayal became his identity. In fact, as we examine the gospels we see that the seeds of his betrayal were always a part of who he was.
Yet, this aspect of his character was invisible to those around him. He didn’t look like he belonged on a wanted poster. He didn’t look like a weasely little conman. He looked and acted just like the rest of the apostles. That’s right; apostles. Judas was a “sent-out one” just like the rest of the Twelve. Look at what it says in John 13:21-22: “After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me. The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke.”
They were surprised; they had no idea who Jesus could be speaking of. These men had lived and traveled and preached and healed and cast out demons together. They had ministered right alongside Jesus together. They had lived in the closest proximity that a group of preachers could live for three and a-half years and they had no idea which of them it could be. The thought of it horrified them, and each of them feared that it might be himself that Jesus spoke of, for each of them says, “Surely, not I (Mark 14:19).” They did not know who it could be – yet, they knew by now that it could be any of them.
You could be sitting right next to a betrayer of the faith in church, at working along side them at work, or smiling at them as you pay for your groceries; you never know for sure. Outward appearance can be deceiving. Christ knows our hearts. We are to go to Him and ask Him to show us if there is a betrayer inside of us. Don’t worry about the next person – consider yourself first.