Jesus knew from the very beginning that Judas Iscariot would betray Him (John 2:24,25) but He chose to give Judas an opportunity to know the truth and be purified by it. Jesus told His disciples, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (John 6:70). Judas was blinded to his own weakness of character and Christ lovingly placed him where he would have an opportunity to see and correct his life.
Judas wanted to be among the disciples and the Savior did not reject him. He gave him a place among the twelve. And He trusted him to do the work of a disciple. He granted him the power to heal the sick and to cast out devils (Matthew 10:1). Judas witnessed the Savior’s mighty works and he felt in his own person the evidence of Christ’s divinty. He recognized the teaching of Christ as superior to all that he had ever heard. And He loved the Great Teacher and desired to be with Him.
But Judas did not surrender himself fully to Christ. He had a strong love for money and fostered the evil spirit of greed until it became the driving force in his life (Matthew 6:24). He did not give up his worldly ambition or his love for material things. While he accepted the position of an evangelist for Christ, he did not bring himself under the divine power of transformation (Romans 6:16). And he was not pleased when the Lord didn’t capitalize on opportunities to have worldly honor (John 14:22).
Judas was the treasurer for the disciples and used this trusted position to steal from the resources (John 12:6). Finally, at the Last Supper, Jesus predicted His betrayal and identified the him as the betrayer: “Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon” (John 13:26). The gospel of Matthew 26:13–15, tells us that the chief priests paid Judas “thirty silver coins” to betray the Lord. And this disciple made a conscious choice to betray Jesus (Luke 22:48).
Judas’ story is a reminder of two lessons. The first lesson shows the loving patience of the Savior in giving the vilest sinner a chance to reform and change with God’s saving grace (1 Timothy 2:4). And the second lesson tells of the wickedness of sin and how it blinds those that stick to it from getting saved. The history of Judas presents the sad ending of a life that might have been honored by God (2 Peter 3:9).
In His service,
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