Summary: Disciple Judas
In 1982 the heavy metal rock band Judas Priest went to the top of the music charts with their hit song “You Got Another Thing Coming.” This was the band’s only top 100 chart song they ever produced, today they are just another name of the past.
Interesting their name is Judas Priest, looking at each name separately are the ones who handed over Jesus Christ to have Him killed. The Bible Judas had “another thing coming,” that he never expected. The events surrounding Judas has seeped into modern culture through a variety of avenues. Ever heard the phrase, “sealed with a kiss” or the “kiss of death?” These two phrases remind us of Judas kissing Jesus in the dark to identify to the soldiers the actual Jesus.
The chief priests used the money returned to them by Judas to purchase a “A Potters Field.” Today that term is still used to identify a cemetery where unknown people are buried. Hart Island in New York has a “potters field” that is located in the east part of the Bronx, the island is a mile long a quarter mile wide. It is the location of a 45-acre potter’s field for New York City. Approximately 600,000 dead are buried there, approximately 8,000 a year, many of them infants and stillborn. No ceremony is conducted at the burial, and no individual markers are set. Land is currently reused after forty years have passed, allowing for sufficient decomposition of the remains.
Potter’s Field also describes a small cove of the East River just below the Williamsburg Bridge on the Brooklyn side, where bodies that have been in the river from November through the winter season surface in April as the rising temperature causes them to decompose and rise to the surface. The fluid dynamics of the East River causes a collection of these bodies every year off the docks of Potter’s Field.
The betrayal by Judas strikes a nerve in the people of each generation, even those who do not believe the Bible to be God’s inherent word. Judas became a pawn of the devil, and he realized after trying to undo what he had done, he had another thing coming. A thing he never expected nor would he have conceived the years he walked with Jesus as one of his trusted disciples. During this time, if there would have been one discipled titled the most influential it would probably have been Judas. He being the money man and the keeper of the purse for Jesus and his band of disciples.
Judas would have been the one who purchased food and other essentials for the disciples. When people wanted to donate money to Jesus’ ministry they would naturally have gone to Judas. With Judas being such a respected disciple it is hard to imagine how such a person could accomplish such a deed as we are about to look at.
Judas’s name means “may God be praised” (Genesis 29:35). However he obviously did not live up to his name. The writers of the Bible will always attach to this Judas either Iscariot, the traitor or the one who betrayed Jesus, to clearly identify the correct Judas. Judas being a common name in the first century, the writers wanted to clearly identify which Judas is which as we saw with Thaddaeus. The idea of Judas betraying Jesus became so repulsive the name rapidly went out of favor. Today, you will hardly ever hear a person with the name Judas, much less would someone even name their dog after him.
Ecclesiastes 7:1 says a good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth. Jesus said it would have been good for Judas to have never been born (Matthew 26:24) if he carries out this betrayal. That should end any speculation as whether Judas went to heaven or not. Judas does not carry a good name and it would have been better for his soul if he would never have shown up on planet earth. How would you like someone to say that about you at your funeral?
The exact meaning of Iscariot is debatable between two possible meanings. Interesting is if you trace the meanings they both point to a startling revelation. The first possible meaning is the name derived from the Greek word “sikarios” meaning assassin . There were a group of radical zealots, remember Simon the Zealot (patriots), in Jerusalem called the a member of the Sicarii.
The Sicarii seem not to be an organized group but are the guerillas of the Zealot movement. They begin to use the (concealed) dagger when Felix (a Roman ruler) takes harsh measures to crush resistance. During the revolt they use the dagger against Jews who are friendly to the Romans. They are motivated, not by lawlessness or fanaticism, but by zeal for God’s honor and the law. They prefer suicide or martyrdom to Roman rule . Using the term assassin could be an appropriate term for Judas did exactly that, he played the part of the assassin, singling one man out to be killed.