Summary: The Materialism of Judas (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: John chapter 12 verses 1-11.


• Each year since 1970 at Madam Tussaud’s Wax Museum in London;

• Thousands of international visitors are asked a question.

• They are asked to name which person, past or present, real or fictional

• That they hated or feared the most.

• The name that has topped the list the most number of times has been Adolph Hitler,

• This past couple of years it has been Osama Bin Laden.

• But through the years the list has included Idi Amin, Richard Nixon, Margaret Thatcher,

• Jack the Ripper, Liam Gallagher (front man for the British rock band Oasis).

One made who has never made the list was Judas Iscariot:

• Even though he commited the greatest act of betrayal for a human being to do;

• He is the man who betrayed Jesus Christ, the son of God, King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

• ill: His name is synonymous with betrayal.

• None of the other eleven disciples made Collins English Dictionary,

• But Judas did!

• Ill: Collins defines Judas as “Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, a traitor or betrayer.”

• Ill: The dictionary also tells us that a "Judas kiss";

• Is a false expression of affection.

• Ill: And that a "Judas hole";

• Is a hidden slit in the wall through which guards spy on prisoners.


• Judas is a great name, it means: ‘Praise’.

• Yet as a result of this one man, nobody ever names their baby Judas!


• For that matter you might remember;

• That Jesus younger brother’s name was Judas Mark chapter 6 verse 3).

• But when he wrote the letter that would eventually become a part of our New Testament

• He used the diminutive of his name which was Jude.

• Now we don’t read the books of I I and II and III Jack,

• So why was it that Judas felt that he had to shorten his name to Jude?

• Answer is simple:

• Because he didn’t want to be identified with Judas Iscariot...............would you?

(1). His Name:

• When it comes to Judas Iscariot, we don’t really know all that much about him,

• We do know that his father was Simon.

• We do know that his surname Iscariot was a combination of two Hebrew words;

• ‘Ish’ and ‘Kariot’, which would then be translated, ‘Man of Kariot’.

• The city of Kerioth belonged to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:25).

• And was in the South. (Cariot) was a city in Judea 12 miles south of Hebron

• This would mean Judas was probably the only disciple who was not a Galilean;

• The others were all northerners, but Judas was a southerner!

• Ill: You may have Noticed that in all of the lists of the names of the twelve disciples,

• Peter is always listed first and Judas Iscariot always last.

(2). His motive.


In most films about the life of Jesus;

• Judas is often pictured as a political figure, a nationalist, a disillusioned zealot.

• He is often portrayed as betraying Jesus to force him to politically ‘come out’;

• To force the hand of Jesus to establish his kingdom on earth.

• I cannot find that insight in the scripture;

In fact there is only one motive that consistently reveals itself in the gospels;

• One motive for his betrayal of Jesus;

• Money!

Example 1:

• In verse 6 of our reading we are told (John chapter 12) that;

• Judas was the treasurer of the group of disciples.

• We are told that one of his jobs was to distribute money to the poor;

• (John chapter 12 verses 5 hints at this and chapter 13 verses 29 confirms it).

• Notice with hindsight; John is able to record;

• That Judas had been pilfering money out of the treasury:

• “He was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it"

• (John chapter 12 verse 6).

Example 2:

• John chapter 12 verse 4:

• When Mary is worshipping Jesus by giving to him expensive perfume.

• It was an extravagant act of love that Mary was demonstrating;

• The ointment was worth a year's wages, this was a costly act!

• All Judas was thinking about was not the Lord but the money;

• Judas' question is really quite telling; "Why this waste?" (Matthew 26:8)

• He has no appreciation of her act of worship;

• He is thinking about what a year's wages would have done for the treasury; & of course Judas!

Example 3:

• Matthew chapter 26 verse 15;

• Judas was given a bribe of 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus;

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