Summary: Judas was given all the privileges of being a disciple, yet he still did not understand the need to totally submit to Jesus. As modern disciples we need to be sure that our heart has been captured by the Lord.
Judas … the fallen disciple
Does anyone here know a person called Judas?
It doesn’t have to be a friend or relative ... just anyone. Someone you have met?
I doubt we would have. In fact to test my theory I used the internet to look up the popularity of this name. This is the response of one web search.
Wow! Judas is an uncommon name! One website has over 26,500 baby names in our database of international names popularity, but Judas was not one of those names.
I don’t think many of us would be surprised by that fact. What parent would want their child to be connected to such a character?
Judas. The very mention of his name conjures all sorts of stereotypes.
He’s shifty and untrustworthy.
He’s calculating and double-minded.
He’s the shadowy fringe member of the group.
That’s the picture which comes to our mind when we think about Judas, isn’t it.
Here are some passages from the Bible which reinforce that idea:-
One of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand Jesus over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand Him over.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
While Jesus was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"
Judas – going to the enemies of Jesus and offering them a way to get even. Judas – making a pact with the devil so that he could earn 30 pieces of silver. Judas – using a sign of affection as a means of betrayal. No-one would name their son after a person like that.
That’s how we see it, don’t we. But that is not how the other disciples saw him.
Judas, like the rest, was part of the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples.
Judas witnessed amazing events. Jesus walking on the water. Thousands fed on a hillside from a little boy’s lunch. Judas had seen Jesus throw back His head and roar with laughter sitting around a campfire. They had sat together on many occasions and prayed. Judas was a road companion, an intimate friend.
Judas, like the rest, participated in disciple ministry
Luke 9:1-2 says When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. We never read that Judas failed – in all areas Judas enjoyed ministry success like everyone else.
Judas, like the rest, had special responsibilities.
When you’ve got a group of at least 13 people moving around from place to place, you need to have someone responsible handling the money. Judas Iscariot was that man … the official "keeper of the bag". He was given that task because he had the best business mind and the other disciples trusted his decisions.
What all of this demonstrates is that none of the disciples had any reason to suspect Judas. In fact, even on the very last day before the crucifixion, the other disciples were completely unaware of Judas’ dark side.
When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, He said, "I tell you the truth, one of you will betray Me." They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, "Surely not I, Lord?"
If there had been any suspicion one of them would have been able to stand up and say, “I knew something was happening and Judas I’ve been suspecting you for some time”. Instead each one of the disciples – and this is incredible, each one of the disciples is open to the suggestion that they might be the one. Later in that same evening the disciples ... including Judas ... celebrate the Lord’s Supper.
As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. "What you are about to do, do quickly," Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor.
As far as the rest of the disciples are concerned Judas is just an ordinary man getting on with the job of ministry … he doesn’t stand out as being any different from the other 11 disciples.