3-Week Series: Double Blessing

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Summary: Judas is known as the disciple who betrayed Jesus. He was the son of Simon or Simon Iscariot. Thus, Judas was a Judean, the only one of the Twelve who was not from Galilee.

HARMONY OF THE GOSPEL

(30) Suicide of Judas

Jesus Final Week of Work at Jerusalem

Tom Lowe

2/10/2008

This passage tells about Judas' repentance, and him returning the blood-money; his rejection by the priests, Judas' suicide, and the purchase of the Potters Field with the blood-money.

Acts 1:18-19: Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

Scripture: Matthew 27:3-10

Time: Friday of Jesus’ Final Week

Place: Garden of Gethsemane

MATTHEW 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the [1]thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

Judas is known as the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Judas was the son of Simon ([2]John 6:71), or of Simon Iscariot. The term Iscariot, which is used to distinguish Judas from the other disciple named Judas ([3]Luke 6:16), refers to his hometown of Kerioth, in southern Judah ([4]Josh. 15:25). Thus, Judas was a Judean, the only one of the Twelve who was not from Galilee.

The details of Judas’ life are sketchy. Because of his betrayal of Jesus, it is even more of a mystery. Judas’ name appears in three of the lists of the disciples (Matt. 10:2–4; Mark 3:16–19; Luke 6:14–16), although it always appears last. His name is missing from the list of the 11 disciples in Acts 1:13; by that time, Judas had already committed suicide. Judas must have been an important disciple because he served as their treasurer ([5]John 12:6).

It appears from the phrase “when he saw that he was condemned” that Judas had been admitted into the courtroom or was waiting in a nearby room. He may have been waiting for Jesus to use His miraculous power to save Himself and confuse His enemies, although it is hard to believe that this was the real motive behind the betrayal. As the chief priests and elders were leading Jesus through the hall to take Him to Pilate, Judas saw his Master. Why doesn’t Judas go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness? Instead of doing that, he addressed the religious rulers.

It is true that Judas repented, but not like Peter, who repented, believed, and was pardoned: no, he repented, despaired, and was ruined. Repentance is defined as “a turning away from sin, disobedience, or rebellion and a turning back to God ([6]Luke 5:32). In a more general sense, repentance means a change of mind ([7]Gen. 6:6–7) or a feeling of remorse or regret for past conduct. True repentance is a “godly sorrow” for sin, an act of turning around and going in the opposite direction. This type of repentance leads to a fundamental change in a person’s relationship with God.”

What was it that induced Judas to repent? It was when he saw that he was condemned. He probably expected that either Christ would make his escape, or else He would have pleaded his cause at their bar so well that they would have let Him go. But he had no reason to expect that this would happen because he had so often heard his Master say that He must be crucified. Things did not go as Judas anticipated. He saw that everything was going against Christ, and instead of defending Himself, He was yielding to it.

Judas repented himself; that is, he was filled with grief, sorrow, and indignation, at himself, when he thought about what he had done. He was sorry all right, but it was worldly sorrow that leads to death ([8]2 Corinthians 7:10). When he was tempted to betray his Master, the thirty pieces of silver looked very desirable. But after he betrayed the Savior, and the money paid, the silver looked like garbage. Now his conscience took over; "What have I done! What a fool, what a contemptible person, I am, for selling my Master, for such a trifle!’’ Now he curses the bag he carried, the money he coveted, the priests he dealt with, and the day that he was born. Soon he found his Master’s words were true; It were better for that man, that he had never been born.

What were the signs of Judas’ repentance? First, he made restitution; he brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests when they were all together in public. Now the money hurt his conscience, and he was sick of it. He brought it back to those priests who gave it to him, to let them know that he repented over the bargain he made with them.

Matthew 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

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