Summary: No man in human history had a greater opportunity for success and happiness than did Judas Iscariot. Yet, since his death, he has ranked at the top of the list among those who also betrayed the Lord. Luke called him a traitor. John the Beloved labeled him
No man in human history had a greater opportunity for success and happiness than did Judas Iscariot. Yet, since his death, he has ranked at the top of the list among those who also betrayed the Lord. Luke called him a traitor. John the Beloved labeled him as a thief. And even Jesus Christ, the tender Man from Galilee, said, "It had been good for that man If he had not been born" (Matthew 26:24).
CONTRAST OF LIFE
Let us discuss what Judas might have been over against what he was. The picture of Judas Is a typical picture of many thousands of our day. Judas was honored to have his flame Included by our Lord among the Twelve. Had he not sold Christ for 30 pieces of silver, his name would have been inscribed In the multicolored foundations of the City of God. Whereas, today It Is only a byword and a hissing among men.
In Bible days, the naming of a child meant a great deal more than It does today. In giving names to their children, the parents expressed their wishes and desires. The name Judas means "the praise of God" or "confessor," which is evidence that his parents had a great desire that he would glorify God and magnify His name.
He who had every opportunity to praise God became the son of perdition, went to a suicide’s grave, and caused a potter’s field to be purchased with his blood money. Judas might have been one like the Apostle Peter who, as he passed by the multitudes, they were made whole. Instead, his life has cast a shadow of reproach through which no noble person dares walk.
In the days of Judas Iscariot, the name Judas was one of the most popular. Today, no mother dares name her child "Judas’ because of the stigma. He might have been the praise of God, but he became the curse of hell. In the lines of Whittier, "Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest of these it might have been."
THE DESTINY OF A SOUL
Judas was not compelled to sin, nor predestined to be lost. The prophecy of the psalmist David concerning this betrayal and the foreknowledge of God did not affect the free agency of Judas. He acted entirely of his own will. Judas, by transgression, fell and went to his own place-that is, the place of his choosing, which is hell.
No man is born to be lost, for it is God’s will that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). And, again, "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9). Judas alone was accountable for his sin.
Judas was a man of opportunity. He had close and constant fellowship with the Lord. He had even been ordained of the Lord to heal the sick and to cast out devils. He was a bosom friend of the Lord, for at the Last Supper John sat on Christ’s right hand and Judas on His left. For three years, he had listened to the music of His Master’s voice; he had been guided by the light of His countenance; but now he had listened to the siren voice of the world.
In the light of all of these opportunities, the Bible said, "And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver" (Matthew 26:15). This was according to the prophecy of Zechariah, "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord" (Zechariah 11:12, 13).
SOLD OUT CHEAP
Judas betrayed the Lord for a paltry sum, but when remorse seized his soul, he returned to the priests and made a confession, "I have betrayed innocent blood." Typical of the world, they said, "What is that to us. See thou to that."
When one lives for the world and its creature comforts, feeds his body at the expense of his soul, and the whole world bows before him and beats a path to his door, yet, there comes a time when human hands cannot render assistance. Those who have bargained with you in the sale of your Christ will turn again and rend you.
Jeremiah said, "All thy lovers have forgotten thee" (30:14).