Sermon 3/18/18 Judas Iscariot

Intro: Our text today deals with a man named Judas Iscariot. He is, without a doubt, the most notorious and most vilified of all the disciples. His name appears last in every list of the disciples, except in Acts 1, where his name does not appear at all. Every time he is mentioned in the Bible, the Word of God reminds us that he is a traitor who betrayed Jesus to His death.
Judas was a failure as a disciple. He was exposed to the same teaching the others heard. He saw the same miracles and was involved in the same ministries. Yet, Judas never came to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Judas spent three years with the Lord Jesus Christ and he died lost. The others were converted during their time with the Lord; Judas only became spiritually hard, calloused and hateful.
The other eleven disciples were used to God’s in amazing ways. Their lives demonstrate the truth that common, ordinary people can be used of the Lord in extraordinary ways. Judas, on the other hand, stands as a stark warning about the dangers of wasted opportunities, hardness of heart, wicked lusts, and spiritual carelessness.
While Judas was a failure as a disciple, he was the most successful hypocrite of all time. He played his part so well that no one but Jesus Himself knew that Judas was a fraud and a pretender. He was as common and as ordinary as the rest of the disciples. He was so ordinary that he never stood out from the rest. He hid behind the camouflage of hypocrisy and no one but Jesus ever realized it.
Dr. John MacArthur reminds us that Judas and his life teach us two basic truths.
1. It is possible to be near Jesus and to associate with Him closely and still be hardened in sin.
2. Judas is a clear reminder that the purposes of God stand sure. No matter what anyone may do, they will never thwart the plan of Almighty God. God always accomplishes what He determines to do, Isa. 46:10-11; Eph. 1:11.
This morning, I want to reveal some of what the Bible teaches about this man we will call The Great Pretender. I want you to see Judas And His Personality; His Privileges; His Problem; His Plan; and His Punishment.
I. v. 10 JUDAS AND
HIS PERSONALITY
(Ill. We really do not know a lot about Judas Iscariot from the biblical record. He is mentioned 20 times in the Gospels and twice in the book of Acts. He speaks on just two occasions. He is an enigma and he is a mystery. Yet, from what the Bible does say about him, we can learn a few important truths about this man and his life.)
A. Consider His Designation – His name is “Judas”. It is the Greek rendering of the Old Testament name “Judah”. Judah was the son of Jacob and the father of the largest and most dominant of all the tribes of Israel.
The name has two possible meanings, “Jehovah Leads” or “He Whom Jehovah Praises”. This name suggests that his parents had hope for his future. They were probably a deeply religious family, who hoped that he would be led by God and that his life would bring praise to the name of the Lord. Little did they know that their son would only be led by, and bring praise to, the devil.
Judas stands as living proof that having a godly heritage is not enough to save the soul. Having Christian parents cannot guarantee the salvation of the soul. There must be a conscious turning from sin to embrace the Gospel message by faith. There must be a life-changing, soul-saving encounter with Jesus Christ.
B. Consider His Dwelling – His surname was “Iscariot”. This name tells us something about where Judas came from. The word “Iscariot” is derived from the Hebrew. “Ish” means “man”. “cariot” refers to the town of “Karioth”. Thus, Judas is called “man of Karioth”. Karioth was a humble farming town located 23 miles south of Jerusalem.
We are told that his father’s name was “Simon”, John 6:71; 13:2, 26. Simon was a very common name in that time period. Nothing more is known of his family. Judas was a common man from a common family in a common town in Judea.
II. JUDAS AND HIS PRIVILEGES
(Ill. A study of the life of Judas reveals that he enjoyed many of the same privileges of the Lord’s genuine disciples. A few of them are mentioned in Mark’s record of the choosing of the twelve disciples by the Lord Jesus Christ, Mark 3:13-19.)
A. Mark 3:13 How He Was Called – There is no question that Judas was “chosen” by Christ. He was chosen by Him to fulfill a divine plan.
Three Old Testament prophecies need to be considered right here.
• Psalm 41:9 – “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” In John 13:18, Jesus said that this prophecy would be fulfilled in His betrayal.
• Psalm 55:12-14 – “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.” This passage also speaks of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas.
Jesus makes it crystal clear that when He chose Judas, He knew who he was and what he would do, John 6:70. Everything Judas did, was part of the eternal plan of redemption ordained by God before the foundation of the world, Acts 2:23.
It is clear from the Gospel record that Judas was chosen to damnation and not to salvation! There is tension here between divine sovereignty and human responsibility. There is no debating the fact that Jesus Christ was foreordained to suffer for sin, Rev. 13:8. There is also no doubt that Judas Iscariot was help responsible for betraying the Lord, Mark 14:21.
While Judas was born to fulfill the ancient prophecies related to the betrayal of Christ, he was not forced to do anything against his will. He was chosen by God to be the one to betray Christ; but Judas betrayed Jesus because he wanted to. So, while Judas was chosen by God for the role he fulfilled in betraying Christ he fulfilled that role willingly.
Some people have a hard time with the idea that Judas could live with Jesus for over three years and still not believe in Christ. Yet, we see the same thing happening around us all the time. People sit in church for a lifetime, under the Word of God, the preaching of the Gospel, the prayers of God’s people, and the clear evidence of His saving power in the lives of those around them, and still some of those people die in their sins and go to Hell. It is a real tragedy! Don’t let it happen to you!
IV. JUDAS AND HIS PLAN
A. It Involved Betrayal – After being rebuked by Jesus at the feast, Judas approaches the Jewish leaders and negotiates a deal to betray Jesus into their hands. Matt. 26:14-16 tells us that the price they came to was “thirty pieces of silver”. According to Ex. 21:32, it was the price of a slave. It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was all Jesus Christ was worth to Judas! He hated Jesus so much that he betrayed Him for what amounted to nothing.
By the way, Judas betrayed Jesus for about $25.00 in today’s money. It doesn’t seem like a lot does it? It isn’t, but people sell Him out for less.
V. JUDAS AND HIS PUNISHMENT
A. His Despair – After Jesus was arrested, Judas began to have pangs of remorse for what he had done. He never came to a place of repentance, but the powerful influence Satan held over him subsided and he realized what he had done. He tried to return the money, but it was too late, Matt. 27:3-4. The deed was done and Jesus was on His way to the cross. Satan used Judas for his purposes and then discarded him like he was a piece of trash.
Even now, Judas is not interested in salvation. He is not interested in believing in Jesus. He is not interested in getting right with God. Judas has crossed the line. The door of salvation has closed in his life forever. He is the perfect example of “a reprobate mind”.
The word “reprobate” means “worthless”. In Rom. 1:28, the word is used of people who thought God was worthless so God gave them over to a worthless mind. The result was that they gave themselves to every kind of defilement imaginable.
Judas looked at Jesus, His works, His teaching, His claims and said, “He is worthless!” Therefore, the Lord gave up on Judas. He abandoned him to his own choice. Judas would forever remain lost and separated from God.
B. His Death – When Judas saw that he could not fix what he had done, he threw the money down in the Temple and he went out and committed suicide by hanging himself, Matt. 27:5.
Apparently, he couldn’t even do that right, because the limb or the rope broke and his body fell from a cliff and burst open on the rocks beneath, Acts 1:18. The money Judas left at the Temple was used to purchase a field where strangers could be buried, Matt. 27:6-10. Judas was the first person to be buried there. It was a tragic end to a tragic life!
It is interesting to consider the deeds of the chief priests. They gave Judas the money to betray Jesus and when Judas gives them back the money, they refuse to put it back in the

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