7726 - Judas, the Traitor


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Our study in the book of Luke has brought us to chapter 22, verses 1-6. Listen:

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. They were delighted and agreed to give him money. He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.

The political climate in Jerusalem as the Passover time was eminent was a boiling cauldron. The Jewish leaders were plotting to kill Jesus. On the other hand the people believed that Jesus was present in order to establish his Kingdom, thus overthrowing the Romans.

The passage today reveals to us how the plan of God would be fulfilled in this hotbed of feelings.

The parallel gospels tell us that this incident given by Luke in this passage occurs as the disciples and Jesus were in the home of Simon in Bethany where Mary anointed Jesus. Judas was indignant in his perception of Mary’s waste of this costly ointment, so he reproved her for not donating this gift to the poor (Jn. 12). John’s gospel tells us this was not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and being the keeper of the group’s purse he helped himself to what was available for his own personal use.

Jesus stood up for Mary and this stung Judas and he left the group and went to the chief priests and captains of the guards to bargain about how he might turn traitor and deliver Jesus into their hands. Of course, he asked money from them, and they agreed.

Then, as the passage recounts, Judas was watching for the right opportunity to accomplish the arrest and demise of Jesus when there was no crowd around to riot over such injustice.

The natural question by many is, “Did Jesus know that Judas was a traitor?”

The answer is a strong affirmative “Yes! Jesus was aware that Judas would betray him, and he had known that from the beginning (Jn. 6:64).”

In fact in some of the early training Jesus gave to his disciples, Jesus actually said to them, “Did I not choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil? (Jn. 6:70)” Scripture adds, Jesus spoke of Judas for he would later betray him.

We get further insight into this question from the words Jesus uttered to the Father shortly before being arrested. He prayed regarding the disciples, “...I protected them and kept them safe...None have been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that the Scripture would be fulfilled (Zech. 11:12)(Jn. 17:12)”

So not only did Jesus know about the deceptive heart of Judas, but this was all in God’s plan to have every event of prophesy fulfilled to the letter, even his betrayal (Zech. 11:12), as the life of Jesus unfolded and was given up by Jesus to redeem the lost world of people.

Perhaps you caught that phrase from the passage we read which told us Satan entered Judas. After a selfish, deceptive life; even after being taught by Jesus and walking with him, Judas refused to yield in obedience to the truth Jesus taught and demonstrated. Thus, he opened the door of his heart for the king of devils, Satan himself, to enter and control Judas to the end.

In future studies we will see Judas led the officers and a hostile group to where Jesus was praying, and according to a pre-arranged sign he betrayed Jesus with a kiss to identify him as the one to be taken captive.

Later, in remorse, Judas threw his bribe money into the temple, and went out and hanged himself (Mt. 27:5).

O friend, today’s study is sad because Judas passed into eternity apart from Jesus.