Summary: There were certain traits in Judas Iscariot’s life that led to his betrayal of Christ.

The Treachery Of A Traitor

Text: John 13: 18-30

Intro: The very word traitor stirs up certain feelings of indignation in all of us. The thought of someone who has gained our confidence and trust betraying us is utterly disgusting and humiliating.

One name that flashes into our minds when the word traitor is spoken is Benedict Arnold. His name has lived on in infamy as the traitor of our country for more than two hundred years. Today there stands a monument somewhere in New York State, built to honor Revolutionary War heroes. Around that monument there are four places, but only three statues to various generals who served in the Revolutionary War. “Why is the fourth place vacant?” you ask. That place was intended for Benedict Arnold, who became a traitor.

However, there is a man who will forever bear far greater reproach for his treachery than any other man. That man is Judas Iscariot. He betrayed not merely a country, but the Lord of glory Himself.

It was bad enough that Judas betrayed the Lord at all. But the really sad part of it all is that he trampled under foot Christ’s love for him. It is almost unthinkable that a man could personally live and fellowship with Jesus for three and a half years and still betray Him. Is it any wonder that no one in our day would even think of naming one of their sons “Judas?” It is a name that is associated with all that is vile and treacherous. It is the name of a traitor.

My, how Judas must have broken the heart of Jesus. In our text, Christ described His traitor as a friend by alluding to Psalm 55: 12-14, which says:

For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him:

But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.

We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.

Apparently, the friendship that existed between Jesus and Judas was only one-sided. Jesus cared for Judas. Judas however, cared only for Judas. My, what selfishness! What treachery! But such was the man Judas Iscariot.

Before we puff out our chests and declare, “I’d never betray Jesus!” let’s look at what led to Judas’ betrayal of Christ.

Theme: The treachery of Judas was produced by:


John 13: 29a “…Judas had the bag…”

I Tim.6: 10a “For the love of money is the root of all evil…”

A. How His Priority Was Revealed.

1. Notice Mary’s loving act.

John 12: 3 “Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.”

NOTE: Mary’s generous, selfless act of love for Christ filled the room with a sweet aroma. But there is another thought that sticks out to me in this loving act: Because Mary wiped the ointment-covered feet of Jesus with her hair, the fragrance of her love for Christ followed her everywhere she went that day. The principle of Mary’s act is still true today. Think about it. If you truly love Jesus, your life will carry the sweet aroma of that love, which will permeate all that you do.

2. Notice Judas’ loveless agitation.

John 12: 4 “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,

5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.”

NOTE: [1] The bottom line here is that Judas was given over to the god of materialism. Money, and the things it could buy, was the priority of Judas’ life. His greed had trapped him.

[2] Judas’ situation reminds me of the method used in Africa to catch monkeys. The natives will cut a hole in a coconut just large enough for the monkey’s hand to go through. They then put fruit inside the coconut. When the monkey sticks his hand in the shell to get the fruit, his clenched fist traps him. His clenched fist cinches his fate.

[3] Judas was a greedy man. Material things were his first priority. Therefore he was critical of Mary’s generosity to the Lord. How you respond to what others do for the Lord says a lot about your own relationship with God.

[4] Like Judas, some people’s priorities are all wrong:

Surprised to see an empty seat at the Super Bowl stadium, a diehard fan remarked about it to a woman sitting nearby.

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