Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Mark 14:10-11; 43-51

Many names go down in infamy, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Jim Jones, to name just a few. But no name is so despised or despicable as the name of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed our Lord Jesus Christ. Mother’s don’t name their baby boys Judas. I’ve heard of Thomas, Peter, James, and Matthew; but not Judas. Johnny Cash sang about a boy named Sue, but no one even jokes of naming their sons Judas.

In the west of England, the people took the old custom of driving out winter and gave it a new meaning. A jack-o-lantern figure was dragged through the streets on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. It was then shot to pieces. They called the figure Judas.

In Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, life-sized figures of wood or straw are beaten, kicked, cursed, spat upon, and finally destroyed on Good Friday. It is called punishing Judas.

In Liverpool, England, on Good Friday morning children carry a straw-stuffed effigy of Judas from house to house demanding money. They cry, "Judas is short a penny for his breakfast." Later the figure is burned in a bonfire.

Judas’ story is a warning to us all. A reminder that we can be close to the Lord, we can be conversant with spiritual concerns, we can walk with the Lord’s people, yet in our hearts never really love Jesus or have eternal life.

The heart of a betrayer is a dangerous and destructive thing.

That is why from time to time we need to study the life of Judas. He is a warning to us all.


Who was Judas?

He must have had a good beginning. I imagine that 2000 years ago his mother’s heart was full of hopes and dreams for her little boy. After all, she named him Judas – which means “praise.” She hoped his life would bring praise to God. And at first it seemed certain that he would do just that.


1) Chosen by Jesus-Mark 3:13

2) Traveled with Jesus for 3 years-

3) Heard Jesus teachings, observed his miracles. His Bible education was the best, his seminary training unequaled!

B) HE WAS A PREACHER - Sent out to preach the Good News of the Kingdom-Luke 9:1-10

No doubt People called him, Brother Judas. He ministered, he worked, and served.

C) C) HE WAS TRUSTED-He had the money box. You chose someone to keep up with the money that you can count on, you chose the best and the brightest. He obviously had the trust of the other 11 disciples.

None of the other disciples seemed to suspect a thing before this moment. This tells me that Judas had an impeccable reputation among the disciples. No one saw it coming. When Jesus first tells them that one of them will betray Him, not one of them turns to Judas and points his finger, saying – it’s probably him, I never trusted him in the first place.

He appeared outwardly to be a believer. To be sold out to Jesus Christ. If anyone had been questioned they would most likely have believed Judas to a devoted and committed disciple of Jesus Christ.

D) HE WAS A SPIRITUAL IMPOSTOR- He wasn’t what he appeared to be.

He was a church member, yet he died and went to Hell. Jesus said, Have I not chosen you and yet one of you is a devil.


These are symptoms we find in Judas

1) HE RELIES UPON AFFILIATION- “He was one of the twelve”. Judas never received Jesus as His Lord and Savior. He does not confess his sins, repent and follow Christ. He is simply affiliated with Christ.

True Salvation is not a matter of appearance or affiliation. ILLUS: Listening to PBS – All things considered. The subject was a book called “Blind faith: The unholy alliance of religion and medicine..” The writer made this statement in the interview. He was talking about how difficult it was to judge how much of an impact going to church had on a person’s health. One reason he gave was that there are so many different reasons people go to church. He closed by saying: Sitting in Church doesn’t make a person a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes one a car! Sloan is anything but a Christian, but he understands something about following Christ that many who come to Church every Sunday don’t. Affiliation never saved anyone from Hell.


He was a like a bottle sealed and tossed out to sea, surrounded by an ocean of water, yet on the inside dry and empty.

He traveled with Jesus, heard his sermons, saw his miracles. He was surrounded by the things of God, yet none of it seemed to have had any effect on him.

He was like the people of Ezekiel’s day. Ezekiel 33:31-32 (NASB95)
“They come to you as people come, and sit before you as My people and hear your words, but they do not do them, for they do the lustful desires expressed by their mouth, and their heart goes after their gain. 32 “Behold, you are to them like a sensual song by one who has a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument; for they hear your words but they do not practice them. [1]

He was like Herod. In Mark 6 the Bible tells us that after Herod imprisoned John the Baptist that he would often go down to the dungeons to hear the man preach. He loved a fiery preacher, but had no interest in applying what he heard.

He was like so many today surrounded by the music, the message, the ministry of the Spirit, yet unmoved by the things of God.

3) HE IS UNCOMFORTABLE WITH TRUE DEVOTION-John 12:6 He cannot understand it. He sees it as abnormal. Let Revival come to a Church and the Judas’ in the fellowship hate it. Let a young man or a group of men get radically saved and on fire for Jesus and the unsaved membership will do their best to dampen their devotion and put out their fire. Why?

1) It Convicts-

2) It Confronts-

There are many people, members of our church, who are spiritual Judases. They have never been born again, and there are thousands, perhaps millions in that same condition. They are going to Hell surrounded by baptismal certificates, receipts for church offerings, Sunday School attendance pins and all the rest of it. They have never been saved.

One preacher stated that the saddest road to hell begins in a church pew and travels right past the pulpit and the preaching of God’s Word.

A true Christian has the spirit of Christ dwelling within him. He is not perfect, but there is a difference between them and the world. Jesus said “you will know them by their fruit”.


To betray someone is to hand them over with evil intent to the power and authority of others. To sell them out. Immediately after Jesus rebukes Judas in vs. 1-8, vs. 9 states “Then Judas Iscariot”. This incident motivated Judas to make the biggest mistake in his life.


1) BY SCRIPTURE- Psalm 55:12-13; 21 These verses predict that one of the inner circle of Jesus’ associates would betray Him. Judas could have seen himself in the scriptures.

God is not caught by surprise when there are Judas’ in the church. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said that at the Day of Judgment there would be many who will cry out Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name and cast out demons in your name and work wonders in your name? And he will say, I never knew you, depart me you workers of iniquity!

2) BY THE SAVIOR-14:17-21 When Jesus reveals this, each of the disciples ask “Is it I? Why? Because I believe that each of them understood that the possibility of betraying him is the heart of every one of us.

B) HIS BETRAYAL WAS SATANICLLY ORCHESTRATED- Luke 22:3 Satan entered him, possessed him. This is proof He was never saved. Satan cannot enter the heart of a child of God. Why? The heart of a Saint is God’s Kingdom. Satan can never enter it! Because he had never given his heart to Christ, he was without protection against the evil one. Unsaved people in the Church today are Satan’s best tools. They stir up trouble, cause fights and betray Christ and His Church.

C) HIS BETRAYAL WAS PREMEDITATED- Vs.11-He sought how he might conveniently betray him. He began to seek out a way to get rid of him. “In Luke’s gospel it says that he communed with them about a price; the word really means that they bargained over it. Finally, they agreed that he would receive thirty pieces of silver to betray the trouble maker from the North Country.” Vines. Thirty pieces of silver-the price of a slave.

Thirty pieces of silver. Some people today betray Jesus for a lot less. They betray the Lord for popularity, for pleasure, for position, for power, and yes for profit.

Why Did Judas do it? I think it was about a lot more than money. It seems he has a pretty good racket going on here. Over time he could probably skim off a lot more than 30 pieces of silver. I think that Judas was disappointed. Jesus was just not who he thought he was going to be. He thought that Jesus was going to set up a great kingdom and make Judas one of his rulers.

I think there are people who betray Jesus today for the same reason. They come to Christ thinking that He is going to solve all their problems, fix their marriage, keep their children from rebelling, or God help them, make them rich and comfortable. Then when trouble and hardship come they jump ship.

They did not get it that Christ came not to give us a comfortable, problem free life, but to save us from our sins. He came because each one of us are rotten sinners, bound for Hell for eternity, and we deserve every minute of it. He came to forgive us, to love us, to give us an abundant life, but not a problem free, fat-cat Christianity. He came so that we might have joy and peace here on earth and then everything in eternity.


A kiss was a sign of homage in Middle East culture. A hug and a kiss on each cheek were reserved for close friends and associates.

Rabbi, Rabbi! Master-Master. The falseness of it all is sickening.

Kissing is an active verb, which implies that intensely and repeatedly kissed Jesus. All the while plunging the dagger of betrayal into the back of the Lord Jesus Christ.

APPLICATION-Your hypocrisy mocks Jesus. You kiss his cheek on Sunday and call him ‘Master, Master’-Yet on Monday you live such a careless and sinful life that others are turned away from Jesus because of you.

Some of you here may have said, I’ll never become a Christian, I’ll never go that Church, I’ll never be a member there; I know a lot of those folks and they are all a bunch of hypocrites. You know what – you are not consistent friend. Some doctors are quacks, but when you get sick you go to a doctor. Some lawyers are shysters, but when you need legal advice you call a lawyer. Some money is counterfeit, but you haven’t burned the rest of yours, have you?

Don’t let some hypocrite you from Jesus this morning.

“I had rather spend a few years with some of the hypocrites in the church than spend an eternity with them in hell.” Adrain Rodgers

III) THE DESTRUCTION OF JUDAS- We read no more about Judas in Mark. Matthew and Acts tell us of his end.

A) EMOTIONAL DESTRUCTION- Judas was remorseful.

He brought back the silver pieces. Imagine this scene. However, his remorse was not repentance. No godly sorrow. No time of confession, and weeping before God. He simply felt bad because Jesus had been condemned. Perhaps he had not believed that Jesus would actually be put to death. But no repentance, only guilt.

1) Could Judas have repented? Yes. Without a doubt. Jesus offered him every opportunity to turn aside from his actions and seek forgiveness. He could even have found forgiveness after his action. No sin-not even betraying the Lord Jesus Christ is unforgivable. Apply: Peter – Peter was forgiven and became the great preacher to the Jews.

2) Some of you understand what emotional destruction is all about. You know what Judas felt as he labored under an intense load of guilt and shame. Your sin is different for sure, but the end results are not. Why not find forgiveness today? Why not bring you troubles and cares to the Lord’s altar and leave them there?

B) PHYSICAL DESTRUCTION- “He hanged himself”. He took a rope, threw it around his neck, and hanged himself rather than live with the guilt and shame of his actions. The Bible describes the horror of his end. He hung himself, then his rotting body fell upon a field, the field of blood, where it burst open. Why tell such grisly details? Because sin is incredibly destructive. Sin brings death and separation from God. Sin carries with it guilt. Guilt may bring depression, withdrawal, even suicide.

C) ETERNAL DESTRUCTION - Judas swung out into eternity. He swung into Hell. There is in the pits of flame, reserved for those who refused the grace of God, Judas suffers today. Every teaching he heard from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ will ring in his ears for all eternity. Every miracle he saw, every sermon he himself preached, all torture his immortal spirit and will do so for all of eternity. Can you imagine the regret? Can you imagine the sorrow, that Judas must feel. Knowing he betrayed the only one who could have saved him from this torment. He must cry out in his Spirit, “If only I had….if only I had….if only I had.

It is too late for Judas. It is not too late for you and I.

1 John 1:9

9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.