Summary: As a little boy I looked at the picture of the Lord's Supper trying to decide which of the men in the picture was Judas.
As a little boy I looked at the picture of the Lord's Supper trying to decide which of the men in the picture was Judas. I looked for the meanest, ugliest most sinister looking one I could find, but I didn't find him. The reason being that that was not the image Judas portrayed.
A. Judas held a high position as one of the twelve.
B. The other disciples had confidence in him.
C. Evidence of this, he was treasurer of the twelve.
So why was this man who betrayed Jesus chosen to be one of this elite group? Why did God name him among these great men? We know it wasn't a mistake because God does not make mistakes.
There are some valuable lessons to be learned from the life of Judas and the reasons he was chosen as one of the twelve. Today I would like to take a look at several of those reasons.
I. CHOSEN TO SHOW THE DEPRAVITY OF THE HUMAN HEART
A. Word of God always reveals the content of man's heart. It doesn't touch-up or paint over human nature.
B. Picture touched up, scars etc. removed, good looking. But God removes the facade to reveal the inner man.
C. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
D. No matter what the condition of the man saved or lost, right or wrong, God's word reveals the true heart.
E. Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
F. Judas may have had it on the outside but his heart was wrong.
II. CHOSEN TO SHOW THE DANGERS OF HYPOCRISY
A. Word hypocrite means: someone better than or an actor.
B. Actors in early days would play many parts, they would play one part then change and play another part. They played different roles but it was still the same person.
C. Judas was a hypocrite in John 12:1-6.
1. Great supper honoring Lazarus. Jesus raised him from the dead. Mary, Lazarus' sister thrilled. To show her appreciation she anointed the feet of Jesus with precious ointment.
2. No one objected except Judas. Wanted to sell ointment and give money to poor. Wanted to get his hands on the money.
3. Judas was greedy!
4. God knew his intentions.
5. Had the others questioning what was done with the ointment. Judas played his role well.
6. Even when Jesus said, "one will betray me" they didn't automatically ask if Judas was the one. He fooled them all except the Lord. Finally when Jesus told them who it was in John 13:26-30. They still weren't totally sure.
III. CHOSEN TO PROVIDE INDIRECT WITNESS TO THE DEITY OF CHRIST
A. Peter was a direct witness as to who the Lord was. Matthew 16:16. …the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
B. Judas, knowing that he had made a mistake admitted in an Indirect way that Jesus was Lord. Matthew 27:3-4
C. Pharisees said to him So What! The world is the same way to the backslidden Christian.
D. Judas left to find his own way out. Chose to hang himself.
IV. CHOSEN TO FULFILL SCRIPTURE
D. Price foretold. Zachariah 11:12-13 Matthew 26:14-15
E. Judas was so greedy that he didn't name his price just said what will you give me.
F. Testimony that Word of God is infallible. Foretold in the Old Testament Fulfilled in the New Testament.
V. CHOSEN TO SHOW JUST HOW CLOSE ONE CAN GET TO JESUS AND NOT BE SAVED
A. He listened to parables and sermons.
B. He saw him walk on water and turn water into wine.
C. Raise the dead and open the eyes of the blind.
D. Broke bread with Lord.
E. Walked mile after mile with Him.
F. Heard him pray many times.
G. Saw Him walk among sinners for 3 years yet do nothing wrong in word or deed.
H. But he was never saved.
I. From the time Christ chose the 12 to the moment he placed the traitors kiss upon the brow of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane; he was ever so close but yet so far from being saved.
J. Jesus told the scribe who asked him which was the greatest Commandment "Thou art not so far from the kingdom of God" the scribe knew there was only one true and living God but like Judas chose to do nothing about it.