Summary: A look at the 12th Apostle, an enigma and archtype even 2,000 years later.
THE 12 APOSTLES:
1. Years ago in Ireland, there was a priest who was very anti-British. Every Sunday he would blast them from the pulpit. He became so notorious that the Pope himself summoned the priest to Rome for an audience.
2. The Pope, "I want peace between the British and the Irish. You're not helping matters at all. I want you to swear that you'll never so much as mention the British in public again."
3. "But Your Holiness, I - I - " the priest stammered.
"No buts," said the Pope. "Swear it here and now or there'll be trouble!" "Aye, Holy Father, I swear it."
4. The very next Sunday just happened to be Easter, and the priest was back at his pulpit in Ireland, giving his annual Easter sermon.
5. He got to the part of the Easter story where Jesus said, "And one of you shall betray Me." Saint Andrew jumps up and says, 'Is it I Lord?' and the Lord says, 'Nay, Andy darlin', it's not you. Sit down now and dunna worry.'
6. Then Saint John the Divine gets up with tears in his eyes and cries, 'Is it I Lord?' And the Lord says, 'Nay, Johnny me boy, it's not you. Sit down now and dunna fret yourself.'
7. "Then that dirty dog Judas Iscariot slowww-ly rises to his feet, and (with a strong British accent) said, 'Blimey, Mate. Ya think it's me?"
1. Tonight is the 12th part in our series called, “The 12 Apostles of Jesus.” Tonight we’re looking at one of the most interesting of all, Judas Iscariot.
2. This disciple of Jesus is such an enigma that even 2,000 years later, debates and theological discussions swirl around him.
3. In the spiritual realm he went from among the closest to divine glory to the lowest depths of hell. Dante’s Inferno rates him so evil that his punishment is to be forever chewed upon in the mouth of Satan and to be clawed on his back! Whoa!
4. So let’s open the Bible and embark on the surprising study of the 12th of the 12 Apostles: Judas Iscariot.
I. JUDAS’ APOSTOLIC MINISTRY
A. NAMED ONE OF THE TWELVE
2. This inclusion meant that Judas also exercised power over unclean spirits and preached and healed the sick.
3. Peter said, “He was one of our number and shared in our ministry” Acts 1:17.
B. MADE THE TREASURER
1. When the 12 became an organized body, traveling around, receiving money and other offerings, and distributing to the poor, it became necessary that someone should act as treasurer, and we learn (John 12:4-6; 13:29) that this duty fell to Judas.
2. Close proximity to money is always a danger!
C. SHOWED SIGNS OF GREED, SELFISHNESS
1. John stated that Judas would steal money from the offering bag (12:4-6).
2. At Bethany (Mt. 26:6-13; Mk. 14:3-9; Jn. 12:3-9) when Mary poured out her love for Jesus buy breaking the Alabaster Jar of ointment and anointing Jesus, Judas’ greed and disregard for Christ are revealed.
3. John 12:4-6, “4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” 6 He did not say this because he cared about 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.”
4. Judas declares that it’s a waste of money to use the valuable ointment to anoint Jesus. Under the plea of ‘care for the poor’ he covers his own miserable theft.
II. MOTIVE OF THE BETRAYAL
A. EXPLANATIONS WHY JUDAS BETRAYED
1. Some think that Judas expected Jesus to overthrow Roman rule and became disillusioned when Jesus failed to do it. (Some think it was national/ religious pride.)
2. Satan 'enters into' Judas, causing him to offer to betray Jesus. Luke 22:3, “Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.” [before the Last Supper]. John 13:27, “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.” [during the Last Supper].
3. 3rd Possibility: MONEY. In the Gospel of Matthew account, on the other hand, he asks what they will pay him for handing Jesus over.
B. THE EXODUS OF DISCIPLES
1. The Gospel of John says that in Jesus’ 3rd year of ministry "many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him" (6:66), triggered by Jesus’ hard sayings, refusal to become King, and refusal to use His power for worldly power grabs. Then Jesus began to speak of His death.