The Followers of Jesus – Judas Iscariot

Posted: 14 November, 2010 in Messages given in church
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Now we turn to the last of Jesus disciples; last not only in our order but last in all the lists of the Gospel record.  He is Judas Iscariot.  He is always mentioned in regard to his betrayal of Jesus.

Judas appears to be one of the twelve; one of Jesus regular band of learner-companions.  He is first mentioned in the Gospel stories in the Gospel of Mark with the same story appearing in Matthews Gospel almost word for word.

Jesus was at the home of Simon the Leper (not a name you would be very proud of) when a woman came and poured expensive perfumed oil on his head.  With the sweet fragrance of the oil same the stink of complaint: “Why wasn’t it sold and the money used to help the poor?”  These words are used to reflect the thinking and the muttering of the guests, the disciples and Judas in particular. John lets us into the secret that Judas, who managed the money of Jesus and his band of disciples, was dipping his fingers into the till and using for himself.

Mark & Matthew hint that this was one of the triggers for Judas to betray Jesus to the religious authorities.  John also mentions the story or one very similar and tells us that the Evil One got into Judas’ head.

From this point on Judas is looking for a way, an opportunity, to betray Jesus.  Really, we don’t know why.  There are a bunch of theories out there; some quite plausible and others quite contrived and unhelpful.  However, in the end, we do not know.  What we do know is that the human heart “is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9

Judas probably did not set out to be the betrayer, but the temptation to betray snuck up on him from the inside out.  Weather it was shear hated of Jesus or a consuming love for something else we do not know.  What we do know is that within a very short space of time, Judas had conspired with those who had it in for Jesus and for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a Jewish slave, he organised a rendezvous at which he would identify Jesus to the authorities and hand him over to them.

Luke simply records it this way:

While Jesus was still speaking, a crowd came up. It was led by Judas, one of the twelve apostles. He went over to Jesus and greeted him with a kiss.  (48) Jesus asked Judas, “Are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”  Luke 22:47-48

There is a little bit of the betrayer in all of us.  The motive behind our betrayal will be unique to each of us:  jealously, pride, loss of stats, the desire for riches, the need to manipulate and get our own way, fear of failure, fear of success, laziness, envy, wanting to keep things just the same because we like it that way, wanting to make things different because we don’t like it the way it is, the list goes on.  When we act on these we sell Jesus out for our own reward.  We don’t need to know Judas’ motivations we just need to recognise that he was motivated by a heart that was corrupted in some way.  Our hearts too are damaged and therefore open to being corrupted in some way.  We need to guard our hearts and have relationships in which we can guard one another’s hearts.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brooks Trelawney, Brian Pember. Brian Pember said: The Followers of Jesus – Judas Iscariot: […]

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