Summary: This is a study of Judas Iscariot based on 12 Ordinary Men. It has a lot of added notes and scripture.

Note: This is a study from the book 12 Ordinary Men by John McArthur an excellent book. There is also a fill in the blank outline that is also posted.

Twelve Ordinary Men

Judas the Traitor

Mat 26:25 Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Rabbi, is it I?" He said to him, "You have said it."


The last apostle that we will look at is the well known apostle Judas Iscariot. Judas shows us how you can have your name go down in history but for the wrong reason.

We are reminded that Judas was not much different than the other apostles. He also spent 3 years with Jesus and was afforded the same opportunities that the others were. There is not even a slight hint in scripture that the other apostles knew of his treachery, as we will see. Yet he squandered the opportunity to truly follow Christ. He was so close to the gospel and salvation but missed it.

Do you not think that there are some in the church today who are the same? They sit in church every Sunday hear the message of the gospel yet leave unchanged.

I. His Name

a. As we learned from our last lesson the name Judas means " Jehovah leads".

This was the name given to him by his parents. They seem to have bigger dreams for him. Little did they know the role that he would play in history.

b. His surname Iscariot refers to the region he was from. More than likely he was from a town

called Kerioth-hezron.

Judas was from an obscure village probably not well known among the other apostles. They probably didn’t know much about him so this would give him the opportunity he needed to hide himself and his selfish motives.

John 6:64 But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.

II. His Call

a. The call of Judas is not recorded in scripture.

b. It was obvious that Judas was not attracted to Jesus on a spiritual level.

c. Judas had a role to play in history. It was prophesied that there would be a betrayer.

(Ps 41:9; 55:12-14; Zechariah 11:12-13)

The debate between divine sovereignty and human choice. Predestination and election.

Judas was stuck in his position as betrayer. He was afforded many opportunities to change. Many of the parables and lessons that he heard Jesus taught seemed to deal directly with him. (the wedding garments, the love of money, greed, the shred business man, against pride). Jesus even candidly told his disciples in John 6:70 "One of you is a devil."

III. His Disillusionment

a. No doubt at the start, all the apostles thought of the Jewish Messiah as an oriental monarch who would

defeat the enemies of Judah, rid Israel of pagan occupation, and reestablish the Davidic kingdom in

unprecedented glory.

b. But Jesus did not always fulfill their personal expectations and ambitions.

To be honest their ambitions were not all spiritually motivated. Over the next three years they discovered that Jesus had different methods and intentions. Instead of becoming disillusioned, all but one began to understand and accept Christ’s purpose.

I was thinking about this the other day. People "backslide" or "fall out with God" mainly because their expectations of God is different than who he is. Often times their motivations are secular instead of spiritual. A pastor "falls" or a Christian "leaves the church". Why? Because God didn’t do what they wanted him to do.

Illustration: While I was pastoring in Allendale I had a family outside the church approach me. The husband told me that he had left the Church of God because of its teaching against divorce. He had been a teacher and leader in the church yet he left. Why? Because he got a divorce.

Judas had a choice about what he would do. As we will see he was motivated by other things. Greed and hypocrisy.

IV. His Greed

John 12:1-8 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead,* whom He had raised from the dead. (2) There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. (3) Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. (4) Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, (5) "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii 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 money box; and he used to take what was put in it. (7) But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. (8) For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

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