Judas Iscariot

by: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org


Judas' name was "Judas, son of Simon" (John 6:71, 13:26.) The term Iscariot probably referred to the town that he was from. Kerioth was a city of Judah in the Negev near Edom (Joshua 15:25). Judas was probably a native of Kerioth since the name Iscariot means "man of Kerioth."

Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray Him.

John 6:67-71, "Then Jesus said to the twelve, .... "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" {71} He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve."

Notice that Jesus said that one of the disciples was a devil. The Greek word for "devil" is: "diabolos." Strongís Concordance #1228 defines this word as "spec. Satan:--false accuser, devil, slanderer." One of the definitions of the word: "Satan" is: adversary. Jesus could have been saying that Judas was cast in the role of an adversary before Satan entered into him.

Another question is: Did Judas have a choice? Yes he did - but his choices were made a long time before he met Jesus.

Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus

Matthew 26:14-16, "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests {15} and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. {16} So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

Judas was preoccupied with money

What we find in Matthew 26:14-16 is that Judas coveted and desired the thirty pieces of silver to betray Jesus.

Let's look at another example of where Judas was preoccupied with money:

John 12:1-8, "Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. {2} There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. {3} Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. {4} Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, {5} "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" {6} This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. {7} But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. {8} "For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

Notice that Judas complained that the costly oil should have been sold and the money given to the poor. This passage also says that Judas did not care for the poor and that he was a thief.

When Jesus called Judas to be one of His disciples, He knew that Judas was a thief at heart.

Satan entered Judas

Letís look in Lukeís account where Judas agrees to betray Jesus:
Luke 22:1-4, "Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. {2} And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him (Jesus), for they feared the people. {3} Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve. {4} So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them." Let's notice that the Jewish Religious Establishment, the chief priests and the scribes, sought how they might kill Jesus. Notice also that Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot.

When did this happen? When reading Matthew you get the idea that it was at a time prior to the Passover as the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near.

But when we read John's gospel we see that Satan entered Judas during the Passover meal.

John 13:21-27, "When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me." {22} Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. {23} Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. {24} Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. {25} Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?" {26} Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. {27} Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly." .... {30} "Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night."

After Judas left, Jesus then gave the sacraments of the bread and wine to the disciples (Luke 22:17-20).

What was Judas' fate? Jesus said "But woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born" (Matthew 26:24.)

When Jesus called Judas to be a disciple, Jesus knew that he would betray Him. Jesus had a reason for Judas Iscariot being a disciple. Why did Jesus do that? To fulfill the Scriptures.

Matthew 26:56, "But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled."

There are many Messianic Psalms relating to Jesus and His betrayal (Psalms 41, 69, 109, 55 and Zech. 11.) If any of the Messianic prophecies failed then Jesus could not have been the Messiah. Scripture was fulfilled perfectly.

The last mention of Judas is in Matthew 27:3-10 and Acts 1:15-19 where he hung himself.

In conclusion: A very important lesson for us to learn from Judas is that we are not to betray Jesus. Jesus said: "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 10:33.)