2013-12-14 - The Disciple Judas Iscariot
The Disciple Series ~ Part 12
In the final installment of this series, we look at the most infamous of the 12 Disciples of Jesus--Judas Iscariot. The name Iscariot comes from the word Kerioth, which is a village in Hebron. So this Disciple's name means Judas "a man from the village of Kerioth. Judas' father was Simon Iscariot, who also came from this village. Judas' occupation was treasurer or cash- keeper. We don't know details about how Jesus called Judas to become a Disciple.
Judas was a miser and a thief. In the Gospel of John, we find the story of Mary pouring expensive perfume on Jesus' feet, to anoint him. Judas objected, saying that the perfume should have been sold and the proceeds given to the poor. John explains that Judas "did not say this because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it." (John 12:6, NIV)
Judas is best known for betraying Jesus to the Jewish officials. Judas went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me, if I hand Him over to you?" (Matthew 26:14) Judas agreed to hand Jesus over for 30 pieces of silver. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas led the chief priests, elders, and soldiers to arrest Jesus. Judas' actions showed him to be "The Disloyal Disciple." Shortly after Jesus' arrest, Judas, full of remorse, tried to return the silver to the Jewish leaders. Judas realized his sin saying, "I have sinned and betrayed innocent blood." (Matthew 27:4) He then went and hung himself.
The word "Judas" appears in common dictionaries as "one who betrays a friendship or trust." Even non-Christians know what a "Judas" is. A "Judas" is one who betrays a friend. Judas, who was called to be a Disciple of Christ, ended up being the Betrayer of Christ.
What can we learn from the Disciple named Judas? First, we should guard our actions and consider our motives. Second, we should be faithful to Christ. Finally, we should confess our sins and repent. Judas could have turned to Jesus at any time and ask for forgiveness. Jesus came into the world to pay for our sins, even the sins of Judas.
Richard Moser, Jr