Summary: Can we blame God or Judas for what happened at Gethsemane?
Please open your Bibles to Mark 14…. We have been studying from v27-51. We learned from the powerful prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ and from the failures of the first disciples to persevere in believing and trusting Christ! How are we doing with our prayer lives? How are we standing firm on a daily basis with our testimony for Jesus Christ?
This morning let us learn from a person who played a major role in having Jesus Christ arrested and crucified. Are we just to blame Judas from what he did or are there general biblical principles we are to note? Read again with me Mark 14:27-51……
As we had been noting, Jesus gave 2 truths in v27-28: Jesus told His disciples that they would all scatter but also promised to rise from the dead and gather them all together again. Jesus told His disciples about hardships but also gave a promise of hope! This is still true for us today, right?
We noted that in spite of these truths from Jesus, all the disciples did not believe nor trusted Jesus. All the disciples of Jesus Christ failed to persevere in their faith for many human reasons. Will we fail Jesus Christ in our lives today?
Judas was no exception to faith failure and he actually defied the Lord Jesus Christ. Judas is our focus this morning; what can we learn from him?
First of all, let us remember his calling by Jesus to be one of the disciples; look back briefly with me to Mark 3:13-19……. Judas was one of the first appointed ones personally by Jesus!
When did Judas started to turn against Jesus? We don’t see anything directly in the Gospel of Mark but turn with me briefly to Matthew 26….
Judas was personally taught by Jesus, through God’s Word and miracles, for about 3 years!
Now, what made Judas turn against God Jesus Christ?? There are many reasons!
- Jealousy and ego
- Worldly influences (prestige, money, etc..)
- Satan’s influence (John 13:27)
- Meant to be (God’s plan)
Can we then blame God for what happened to Judas because over and over God states “so that Scriptures would be fulfilled!”? Did Judas have a choice? You may disagree with me, but God has plans but every person can choose, if it wasn’t Judas it would have been another person! Why did Jesus pick Judas? God Jesus knows all and He already knew that Judas would choose to betray Him, that is why Judas was chosen! But let us not let the story end here, hang on a bit while we go back to the Gospel of Mark.
Mark 14:27-41 – Judas disappeared after the Last Supper and was not at Gethsemane.
Mark 14:42-51 – Judas knew where Jesus was and led the crowd to arrest Jesus, which started the sufferings and eventual crucifixion of Christ for man’s sins! Should we hate Judas? Think about this, Judas was a key person in bringing to us salvation from our sins!!
Let us finish the story of Judas by looking at Matthew 27:1-5….
Even though Judas committed a great sin against God, will we see Judas in heaven? Scriptures does not tell us, so only God knows if Judas went to heaven; but let us note a few things:
- Judas was a sinner like all people! God sees my sins and you’re the same way He looked at Judas’ sins! With our sins, we are all on the same boat with Judas Iscariot!
- Matt. 27:3? – a changed heart?
- Did Judas confess he was a sinner? (Matt. 27:4)
- Matt. 27:5 – Why would Judas kill himself? – Likely, Judas could not handle the internal sufferings he was dealing with! But again, only Judas and God knew exactly why Judas killed himself.
Is Judas in heaven? There is one profession we don’t hear from Judas; what is it??
Unless, I am missing it, we do not hear Judas professing that Jesus was his only Lord and savior. This is a must for everyone who does not want to go to hell with all the demons! Only those who profess that Jesus Christ is the only Lord and Savior will go to heaven; to profess Christ as only Lord and Savior personally; to profess Christ as only Lord and Savior directly to God; to profess Christ as only Lord and Savior publicly!
If you have never made these professions, that is the main message for you today!
Let us conclude with these biblical principles:
1. God has established His plans which will happen!
2. God has given everyone free will to choose!
3. Like Judas, a person can be in church for a while but later go against it!
4. Redemption is always available! Why?? Jesus Christ died for all of man’s sins, including Judas!
5. Jesus has given us truths and promises; will we persevere to the end?
Let’s all take a quiet moment to ponder about these things and ask God what we need to apply to our lives.