Posted by: missionventureministries | September 4, 2011

JUDAS ISCARIOT AN UNBELIEVER, TRAITOR AND THIEF – Matthew 26:24

“Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” – Matthew 26:24. 

It is important to note that Judas was not a true believer; he was a hypocrite. He had never believed in Jesus (John 6:64-71). Just before the Passover meal took place Jesus washed the disciple’s feet. “Jesus said to him (Peter), “he who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean– John 13:10-11. Here Jesus is referring to Judas, because he had not been among the chosen ones whom the Father gave to the Son: “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’ From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He.” – John 13:18-19 

We also see Jesus’ reference to Judas in His intercession prayer to the Father: While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. – John 17:12  

It is hard to perceive how close a person can come to salvation and yet be lost forever! Judas was the reasurer of the group. He had the appearance of being “concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it. – John 12:6. The interesting thing to observe is that in that position he must have certainly been held in high regard by his fellow disciples. 

The other remarkable thing is that the other disciples as they sat around the table getting ready for the Passover meal did not know that Judas was an unbeliever, a traitor and a thief, even though earlier in the ministry Jesus had told them: “there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him – John 6:64. He continues telling them: “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” – John 6:70, but the disciples did not take it to heart what He was saying, or they did not understand since the Scriptures do not mention them question Him about it. 

Judas was exposed to the same spiritual teachings as the other disciples, yet they did not penetrate his heart. In spite of all that our Lord said about money, and all of His warning about covetousness, Judas continued to be a thief and steal from the treasury. Even with all of the Lord’s warning about unbelief, Judas persisted in his rejection. Jesus even washed Judas’ feet, yet his hardened heart did not yield. 

Now at the Passover meal, when He spoke openly about it at the table, His disciples were perplexed. Peter signaled to John, who was the closest to Jesus at the table, and asked him to find out who the traitor was. The Lord’s reply to John was certainly not heard by all the men; in fact, they were carrying on a discussion among themselves about who the traitor might be: “And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing” – Luke 22:23. When Jesus gave the bread to Judas, it was interpreted as an act of love and honor. In fact, Judas was seated at the place of honor, so our Lord’s actions were seen in that light, He was bestowing a special honor on Judas. No wonder, after Judas left the room, the disciples got  into an argument over who was the greatest. (Luke 22:24-30) 

John was no doubt stunned by this revelation, but before he could say or do anything, Jesus had sent Judas on his way. Even though Satan had taken possession of Judas, it was Jesus who was in charge. He lived according to the purposes given to Him by the Father, and He wanted to fulfill what was written in the Word. Since Judas was the treasurer, it was logical for the disciples to conclude that he had been sent on a special mission by the Lord. Judas had hypocritically expressed an interest in the poor (John 12:4-6), so perhaps he was on an errand of mercy to help the poor during the Jewish Passover Feast.  

Keep in mind that Judas knew what he was doing and that he did it deliberately. He had already met with the Jewish religious leaders and agreed to lead them to Jesus. Judas had heard Jesus say: “woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” – Matthew 26:24. Yet, he persisted in his unbelief and treachery. 

Judas had also heard Jesus teach: “He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him” – John 12:25-26. This lesson however went unheeded by Judas and the tragedy is that it continues being ignored by lost sinners today. People both in and out of the church, will go to hell where Judas went unless they repent and trust the Savior and make Him the Lord of their life.

 

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