Summary: Why did Jesus choose Judas Iscariot to be His 12 disciples? Let's listen!
Is there a lesson we can learn from Jesus choosing Judas and is there a lesson we can learn why would Judas betray the Son of God, Jesus, Christ? Some people have named their children "Jesus" but never "judas" because of what he meant to the world. Some people would say Judas was brave in what he did to Jesus!
Today, the people who love Judas are the atheists and homosexuals, and have even wrote a book called "The Gospel of Judas" which tells the story of how Judas betrayed Jesus as a hero. But we know that Judas killed himself after his betrayal and so he did not write the fictious book. It was an attempt to destroy the truth about Jesus.
First, he was chosen by Jesus to be his closest of the 12. For 3 years, he saw everything else as the others saw in Jesus, teachings, miracles, healings, the prayers of Jesus for him. He even sent Judas out to preach the gospel. He was given the power to unclean the spirits. Acts 1:17 tells us by Peter, "For he was numbered with us and obtained part of the ministry.
Second, Judas was from Iscariot, a quiet southern town in Judea. The other disciples were from the northern area of Galilee. When mentioned in the twelve, he is always listed last, not because of his importance to the group. He was given the honor of to take care of the finances. That was responsibility trusted by the others in the group.
Third, The Bible tells how Judas died and where he died. In the "Aceldama, the field of blood" "From which Judas by transgression (sin) fell, that he might go to his own place." He did it because of his sins and there was a place reserved for him. Some call it hades or hell. It is the place reserved for sinners. (Acts 1:25)
I saw a sign in front of a church to help me understand Judas, "NO HUMAN IS TOO FAR LOST __ THAT CAN"T BE SAVED" Was Judas so far gone that he could not be saved? We say 'no' because it was decision to do what he did that would destroy him for eternity.
Let's look at the life of Judas again. He never called him "Lord"! He chose to not get close to Jesus. He made the decision to betray Jesus in his heart, no one forced him to do it. He questioned the use of money being used by the woman who annointed him. Jesus saw within the heart of Judas that he was a thief and a liar.
Judas believed in his heart, that Jesus would not be the Commanding General that would over throw the Roman government. When Jesus spoke about his death, he thought it was over, nothing is going to happen through Jesus. He no longer sees Jesus as the hero and his belief in the Son of God is over. So now he thinks that he could be the hero bytaking things into his own hands, and give Jesus to the guards.
The Bible tells us Satan is working on Judas. "And the supper being ended the devil having now put into his heart of Judas Iscariot, to betray him (Jesus)" (John 13:2) Satan has always been active in destroying Jesus. Sin is his favorite weapon We know the rest of the story. As Judas kissed Jesus in the garden, Jesus still calls him friend. Judas had no regrets for what he did as we read the story. His last words were "I have sinned and betrayed innocent blood, Jesus."
Someone said 'Judas betrayed himself in what he did, he threw his life away. What if Judas could have repented, The Bible says "Godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation>" (2 Corinthians 7:10) Judas needed godly sorrow and decided against it.
CONCLUION: Jesus loved Judas to the very end of his life. Judas had beautiful beginning and his ending was tragic because of his decision to betray Jesus. He had a heart full of greed and jealousy. He wanted to be better than the others. There was an artist years ago painted the portrait of Jesus. Years later he was looking for someone to look like a Judas to him. He finally found him as he saw a man came out of prison, 50 years later. When he concluded the painting the person of Judas, said "Do you remember me? I was the Jesus that you painted also fifty years ago!"
What kind of person would like to be? "TO BE LIKE JESUS IS MY SONG! Amen.
Presented By: Larry L. Vollink, retired chaplain/pastor , Cedar Springs, MI, (616) 655-4129, lawrenceV@comcast.net