Summary: Judas Iscariot started out as a person of vision as he followed Jesus the Messsiah. Something happened that changed the course of his life and serves as a warning to every Christian.
Set Godly Goals
-Crucial Lessons from the Life of Judas-
During the past several Sundays we have been learning lessons from Biblical Leaders. We learned from Gideon how to respond to God’s call to become a “Mighty Warrior of God.” We saw in the life of David a leader of integrity who did not force his kingship but waited on God’s timing. Two Sundays ago Pastor Dwight helped us see how Isaac was a weak but vital link in the plan of God’s salvation for the children of Israel.
Today we are going to fast forward to the New Testament and look at one of the 12 disciples. This disciple is one that we learn lessons from his life on what we don’t want to do. We could learn from the life of Peter and his failure when he denied Jesus three times. We could learn from James and John in their selfish request to sit at His right hand of Jesus in the Kingdom of God.
This morning I want to look at the life of Judas Iscariot. In Matthew chapter 26 and John chapter 13 we get a glimpse of the life and character of Judas.
Judas started out as a good person. He was a person of vision – a vision to follow the person he believed to be the Messiah. He believed Jesus would give victory over the cruel oppression of Rome and give freedom to the Jewish people. Judas was the only one of the 12 disciples from Southern Judea possibly from the city of Kerioth according to the Jewish Historian Alfred Edersheim. He longed for a better life.
I. Judas was looking out for his self interests.
(Self-righteousness is of the Devil)
Jesus is in the home of Simon the leper who had been cured by Jesus. Simon lived in Bethany about two miles outside of Jerusalem. Martha served dinner to the guests that included Simon, Jesus and Lazarus who were all reclining at the table. Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, takes a bottle of pure nard, an expensive perfume. She poured some on the head of Jesus and some on his feet and wiped his feet with her hair. The value of the perfume was worth a year’s wages.
The disciples were taken back by her action. The money could have been used for their iterant ministry and travel expenses. Judas, the treasurer, especially was upset at the seemingly waste of resources. John 12:4-6 gives his commentary after the fact: “But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?’ It was worth a year’s wages. He did not say this because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”
Jesus defended her action and said, “She has done a beautiful thing to me.” “She did it for my burial.” Mary may have listened carefully to the teachings of Jesus and understood his mission more than the others. She took the most expensive thing she had and gave it to Jesus.
Matthew 26:14-16 “Then one of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What will you give me if I betray him to you?’ They paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.”
I mentioned earlier that Judas was a good person. Judas started out chosen by Jesus as one of the 12 disciples. Something went wrong. The happening at the home of Simon the Leper may have been the turning point for Judas. The other disciples were ashamed of their criticism of Mary’s anointing of Jesus, but not Judas.
Judas didn’t agree with the big picture painted by Jesus. Full of self-righteousness Judas went to the chief priests to work out a betrayal deal. Judas didn’t agree with the actions of Jesus and took action against Him.
Here is an important lesson to learn from Judas. Avoid self-righteousness at all costs. Self-righteousness can cause a person to do hideous acts that may hurt or kill innocent people all cloaked in righteousness.
The extreme Moslem practices “Jihad” waging war against infidels, people who don’t believe in Islam. If you are perceived as coming against their religion, heritage, land or rights, they are justified to wage jihad and stop you at any cost. When this leads to blowing up a bus, plane or building, the act is justified and holy because they are honoring their religion.