Summary: Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Many people today are merely "kissing Jesus" instead of loving and serving him.
I have a thing about names. When I was a young boy, my dad would make my brother and I memorize different things while we were riding in the car from Dallas to Kansas City to visit my grandparents. One of the things he taught was that we were named after all of our uncles, older male cousins, grandpa’s, etc. So my full name is “Jonathan, Joseph, Jeremiah, Timothy, Titus, Obadiah, William, Henry, Roderick, Sam, Nathanael, Daniel, Abraham, Simon, Timon, Nicholas Pat, Christopher Dick Jehosaphat, Robert Kenneth Joyce.”
Because of that, I have always had a fascination with names. You can get your name by one three ways:
1. You get your name by family
2. You get your name by fancy, or
3. You get your name by fact.
Let me illustrate.
Some of you have the same name as your father and your grandfather. I had a man in a previous church who was called, “Junior.” That wasn’t his name, it was his nickname. He was named after his father.
Some of you got your name by fancy. I have collected some interesting names that have been given by fancy. A man who was born on February 14, had the last name C-A-R-D. Would you guess, by the fancy of his father, what his first name was? His first name was Valentine, Valentine Card. I read about a man who was being inducted into the military and when he was asked his name, he said, “Half-Acre Jones.” The CO said, “Son, we cannot use nicknames on military documents.” The man replied, “Sir, my name is Half-Acre Jones. When my daddy was a share-cropper in Mississippi, the only thing he ever wanted out of life was to own was ½ acre of land. On the day he paid for that half acre of land, I was born, and in celebration, my daddy named me “Half-Acre Jones. That’s my real name.” I heard about a family name Lear, L-E-A-R. They named their baby girl Crystal Shanda … Crystal Shanda Lear. Dr. Bob Campbell, one time pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, said the treasurer of the first church he served was named M. O. Outhouse and everybody called him John.
There are some people who have instant name recognition with simply a single name: Cher, Elvis. There are other names that we avoid simply because of the infamy attached to their names. I have never met a person from the U.S. named Benedict, because that name is synonymous with the betrayer of our country, Benedict Arnold. No one names their daughter Jezebel, because she was the vile queen to Ahab. R. G. Lee called Ahab, the toad that squatted on the throne of Israel.
I did meet a girl at camp one time named Delilah and I wondered about the girl’s parents. And you know, I have never met anyone named Judas because it is a name that is synonymous with traitor.
All through the ages the treachery of Judas has been regarded as the foulest deed that was ever committed. And, yet, when you examine the man who betrayed Christ, you will recognize that he seemed to be the epitome of what we today would consider the premier Christian, the most up-standing member, a pillar of the church.
Let’s take a look at the man behind the name.
THE MAN OF BETRAYAL
Consider first his exemplary parents: First of all consider Judas’ heritage. He was from Judah, who was a descendant of Abraham. He had the same heritage as king David, the man after God’s own heart. He was from the elite people of the Jews …
God’s chosen people. Accordingly, Judas had the ultimate genealogy.
Next, consider his extensive preparation: Judas received the finest theological education ever received by mortal man. My theological education consists of some courses on the undergraduate level. I also have a Master of Divinity degree from SWBTS. It is the equivalent of 3 master’s degrees with theses, or two MBA’s.
It is a 92-hour master’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is somewhere between 120-130 hours. The typical master’s degree is 30 hours and an MBA is @ 45 hours.
When I began my studies at Southwestern, I thought, “How on earth can they dream up enough stuff to add up to 92 hours?” Some people are impressed when someone has a Ph.D.
A Ph.D. is extensive knowledge of a minute aspect of a subject. What do you know about patri-passionism in Paul’s letter to the Hebrews? I don’t know anything, but one of my professor’s did a Ph.D. on that subject. I have been a pastor for almost 13 years, and I have never had anyone question me about that subject.
At the end of my seminary career, it dawned on me that I know a little about a lot, but I don’t know a lot about anything. SWBTS gives their students a philosophy of education and pastors spend the rest of their careers educating themselves.