Summary: A biographical look at Judas Iscariot
“JUDAS ISCARIOT: ‘WHO BETRAYED HIM’”
TEXT: JOHN 13:1-6a, 21-30
Sunday, January 25, 2004
It is good to be back with you. It seems like it has been forever since I’ve been up here. I know it has felt the same for you, hasn’t it? I’ve been trying to get to this series, but one thing or another put it off. We had our missionary in town and I really wanted to hear from him, then the Mortgage Burning on the 11th, and the 18th I got the flu and it was awful. Man I would rather have been here than have had the flu – it was awful. Finally we are getting to it on the 25th and it is largely really out of my wife’s prodding.
About three years ago, I think in 2001, I started this series at my former church and I only got to the third disciple; we were called here and never got to complete the series. Members had mentioned how much they enjoyed going through the apostles, and my wife has since been asking me over and over again, when are you going to do the apostles? When are you going to do the apostles? I want to hear on the apostles. And of course being the manly man that I am, a strong leader in my home, when my wife tells me over and over to do something, I do it. And I said yes dear, I will do it. It flows well with last year, actually the last two years. We focused on the life of Christ so it is fitting then, in this year, to focus on those who walked with Christ.
Did the lifestyle of the disciples meet and match the claims that Jesus made about himself? It is easy to say some things about yourself. Now how are those things reflected in the people around you who are with you 24/7? Do the lifestyle and the changes you see in the disciples’ lives match the claims Jesus made about himself or do they not? So as we look at the disciples, we will be answering one of those questions. Is Jesus really who he said he was or are the claims he made not reflected in their lifestyle? We will look at the disciples themselves, who they were, what they did, what affect Jesus had on them, and what their lives say to us. The timing is good as well, because we are going to do a series called the 40 Days of Purpose which basically answers one question – “Why am I here?” It is going to be a tremendous series and this is a great prelude to it as we look at the disciples whom God called.
Who does God call into ministry? Is the ministry the unique calling for the spiritually gifted? You know, people like me, or is ministry for us all? Does God call us all into ministry? Who does God use? Who does God call? Our first disciple we are taking this morning is Judas Iscariot. We are taking him first because we are doing the list of the disciples in reverse. You will find that in all the gospels there is a list of the disciples. It is in Matthew 10, Luke 6, Mark 3, and Acts 1. In every list Judas Iscariot is mentioned last. So we are going to take the disciples in reverse order leading up towards Easter; Palm Sunday ends with Peter, which then points to who Easter is all about, Jesus, on Easter Sunday. So we are leading to a climax.
Judas Iscariot -- Iscariot is not his last name. The word Iscariot is only used in the gospels to differentiate him from the other Judas, because the other Judas didn’t want to be known or associated with Judas Iscariot. He was Judas, the son of James, also named Thaddeus. So they added Iscariot to differentiate between the two because the other Judas didn’t want to be known for what Judas Iscariot did. Iscariot means, simply, man from Cariot. Cariot was a city in Judea 12 miles south of Hebron, which means Judas Iscariot was the only apostle not from Galilee. He was from Judea. Jesus should have stayed north but he went south one time and it cost him. It is this Judas Iscariot whose name has now gone down in history with great infamy. He betrayed the Son of God. In fact, the phrase that is always associated with his name, and I included it in the bulletin, “who betrayed him,” referring to Jesus. How would you like your name to be associated with that phrase? “Who betrayed him.” Was he really the worst of men? Jesus said it would have been better if he had not been born. Who was he? Was he all bad, and what lessons do we learn from his life, and what warnings does God pose through this man Iscariot?