The goal of this series is to study the group of 12 young men who spent approximately 3 years with Jesus, from the time of his baptism until his resurrection. We’ll look at their character, their transformation, and their relationship with Jesus and learn from their lives.
You can read the full preface to this series to see how I have defined discipleship and see a timeline of how the disciples met Jesus and followed him.
Judas Iscariot is remembered for one thing: his betrayal of Jesus Christ. Even though Judas showed remorse later, his name has become a symbol for traitors throughout history.
Judas, the Rockstar Manager[media-credit id=1 align=”alignleft” width=”550″][/media-credit]
Different from the start
Judas was marked out as different from the start.[media-credit id=1 link=” [/media-credit]
Instead, he was from Judah, a very different place indeed – much smaller and less fertile than Galilee. Though smaller, the center of worship and administration lay in its capital, Jerusalem.
He was a hand-picked disciple of Jesus Christ: a preacher of the gospel, a healer of the sick, a traveling companion of Jesus.
Judas was so trusted that he was made treasurer of the team of disciples. He didn’t get elected to the position – Jesus personally picked Judas for the job.
So what was he doing with Jesus?
He apparently had a gift for financial administration. He was sort of the organizer of the group, the fixer. He took care of the money and how it was spent, saw that the group had food and shelter, kind of like a tour manager! We never read of the disciples struggling to find a place to eat or stay.
John, however, accused him of being mean with money, recalling the incident when Judas asked why Mary of Bethany poured such expensive perfume over Jesus instead of using the money to help the poor.
It is so hard to see how anyone who was so close to Jesus, who saw so many miracles, and heard so much of the Master’s teaching could ever betray him into the hands of his enemies.
So what can we learn from Judas?
3 Lessons from Judas:[media-credit id=1 align=”alignleft” width=”460″][/media-credit]
1. Outward Loyalty is Meaningless
An outward show of loyalty to Jesus is meaningless unless we also follow Christ in our heart. Satan and the world will try to get us to betray Jesus, so it’s critical that we ask the Holy Spirit for help to resist all of the tiny betrayals.
We have to live out what we believe.
2. Forgiveness is Always Extended to Us
Although Judas attempted to undo the harm he had done, he never sought the Lord’s forgiveness. Instead, Judas ended his life in suicide, thinking it was too late for him
As long as we are live and breathe, it’s never too late to come to God for forgiveness. 1 John 4:9 makes it clear that when we confess, He forgives and cleanses us from our sin.
Sadly, Judas completely missed the most important message of Christ’s ministry: forgiveness and reconciliation.
He had been given the opportunity to walk in fellowship with Jesus, but somehow missed the main teaching.
3. The Enemy Blinds Us to Negative Changes
Judas’ eyes were slowly veiled by the enemy so that he could not see how he had been changing. The disciple became blind to the slow trickle of evil that had settled into his heart.
Judas was familiar with the prophecies about the Messiah who would betray the Redeemer. Can you imagine how many times he read or heard the words: “Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9)?
Never once did Judas think of himself as filling that awful role! But the slowly deceptive change in his heart blinded him to the truth and the same happens to us. How many times have you found yourself doing what you thought you would never do?
One Last Look
We can benefit from thinking about Judas Iscariot’s life and considering our own commitment to the Lord.
Are we true followers of Christ or pretenders? If we fail, do we give up all hope, or do we accept His forgiveness and seek restoration and reconciliation?
Preview of the Next Disciple:
I hope this has opened your eyes to the fact that Judas was a real man. He wasn’t just a character on a few pages of the Bible. He was real and there’s so much we can learn from him.
Next, we will look at Nathanael. What do we know about Nathanael and what lessons can we learn from his life? You can find out this and much more in the next post.
Wait! Don’t Leave Without Saying Hi!
Thanks for taking the time to read. Below is a place for you to say hi, what you thought about the post, and ask any questions you may have. And yes, I’ll respond! In fact, I’m looking forward to interacting with you! So what are you waiting for? Leave a comment below!
*For related reading about the disciples/apostles of Jesus, please visit my friend’s page here.
Check Out the Rest of the Series
Also published on Medium.