Judas Iscariot - Apostle of Infamy

Date: 03/20/2021 
This message talks about Judas Iscariot and his call, character, camouflage, covetousness, choice, coldness, confession, and his cemetery.

Point of No Return - Paper or Digital Download

Point of No Return - Paper or Digital Download
When you post, you agree to the terms and conditions of our comments policy.
If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.
To help maintain a Christian environment, we closely moderate all comments.

  1. Please be patient. We strive to approve comments the day they are made, but please allow at least 24 hours for your comment to appear. Comments made on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be approved until the following Monday.

  2. Comments that include name-calling, profanity, harassment, ridicule, etc. will be automatically deleted and the invitation to participate revoked.

  3. Comments containing URLs outside the family of Amazing Facts websites will not be approved.

  4. Comments containing telephone numbers or email addresses will not be approved.

  5. Comments off topic may be deleted.

  6. Please do not comment in languages other than English.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or by Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate.

Announcer: This presentation is brought to you by the friends of the Amazing Facts Ministry.

Doug Batchelor: It's remarkable to look back and to see how the Lord has led through time. And it's through progression in providence His will is made clear. Throughout scripture, step by step, the Lord has led His people from generation to generation. Even here at "Amazing Facts" I clearly see God's guiding all the way from that very first 15 minute broadcast in 1966 from radio, to television, to publishing, to global evangelism. It's evident that God has a divine plan in motion.

Friends, the Lord has a plan for you as well. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "'I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" That great hope is Christ and through Him "Amazing Facts" is moving forward. But you might wonder, what is God's specific purpose for your life? As you trust God with your life and walk with Him day by day, He will wonderfully unfold His good plan for you. We pray that today's program will be a stepping stone to strengthen your walk with Jesus, giving you clarity and fulfillment in the days ahead. And remember, stay tuned for the very important free offer following this presentation.

Doug: Right now, because we're dealing with that time of year, we're getting close to the Passover, the time of Christ's sacrifice, and many are thinking about those events and the Resurrection, I thought, well, it would be appropriate to deal with some of those events that focused around and rotated around the closing scenes of Jesus's earthly life. And as I was reading that material, a character kept popping into the story. And I thought, you know, we need to talk about this because there's some very valuable and, yes, redemptive lessons that we can learn about Judas. Judas Iscariot, the apostle of infamy.

Judas, evidently, as far as we know, he was the only one of the apostles that was not from Galilee. And it tells us that he is the son of Simon. Simon means hearing with acceptance, one who hears and obeys. Everything about him, outwardly, would seem like he was a good man. In fact, if Judas had died ten days before the Crucifixion, he would be probably revered as a saint. Everything really came to light later. By all outward appearances, Judas seemed like he was a loyal, honorable apostle of Jesus.

Now, you read in the Bible that it says that Jesus chose him. And I think that actually shocked some people. "'Did not I choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?' And He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for he it was who would betray Him, being one of the twelve." Now, how did that come about? Did Jesus, you know, go out in the multitude and He said, "Eeny, meeny, miny moe"? And He said, "Here's one, and here's one, and here's one, here's one," or was there something more deliberate to how He picked the apostles?

They had been walking with Him for a while before He picked the 12 out of the disciples. And I think that it became clear there were some that were very close to the Lord. And we know when He called Peter, and Andrew, and James, and John, He talks about the call of Matthew, and when He called them that they stayed very close to Jesus. Sometimes He picked them out by name and who were the three that Jesus typically picked out by name? A little trinity of the apostles. Peter, James, and John. Once it says, "Peter, James, John, and Andrew," but usually it's Peter, James, and John, that little trinity of the apostles that He picked. They were the ones who went up with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. He called them to come and pray with Him in the garden. And often He counseled with them together as sort of the inner circle.

Now, Judas was a very ambitious man. They all believed that Jesus was the Messiah. Judas thinking, this is the Messiah. He saw His miracles, he saw what He did. He said, "I want to be close to this guy because He's going places and I want to go with Him." So, who is he thinking about? He's thinking about himself. So, Judas was called, he was one of the apostles. You know what that means? Think about what Judas saw and what Judas did. Judas saw Jesus walk on water. Judas saw Jesus cast out devils, even a man possessed with a legion of devils. Judas was there taking the bread that Christ had put in His hands, breaking it and watching it multiply in His hands. Judas saw Jesus raise Lazarus to life. I think he was probably a little jealous when Peter, James, and John were invited to see the little girl raised and he couldn't go in and witness that.

But he saw the power of God. He saw the miracles of God. He saw the genius of the way that Jesus dealt with His enemies. But as the time went by and Jesus was not putting Himself forward and He was not taking any action, Judas had a pretty high estimate of himself and he thought, you know, Jesus really needs me. I mean, here He's got these motley crew of ragtag fishermen, and shepherds, and tax collectors following Him. I'm the only one that really has an education. He says, "I'm probably going to have to help Jesus take the initial steps. He's too humble. He's too meek. He needs someone like me to, kind of, urge Him on so that He is finally declared the king." And after Jesus multiplied the bread and the crowd was just filled with a fever, a frenzy, of wanting to make Jesus king, Judas went in among the crowd and tried to urge them on, say, "We ought to take Him by force and make Him king. He's too humble. You guys are going to have to take the initiative."

And when Jesus saw what they were doing, He stopped it all. He told the disciples, "Get in the boat, go across the water, and I'll meet you." And that really hurt Judas, that he was really put in his place. He said, "I was trying to help You take the initiative, make Yourself the Messiah. Declare it openly." Judas was very excited when they went down into Jerusalem and Jesus is riding on the donkey and they're saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David." And he thought, this is the moment I've been waiting for. And then they have a feast at Simon's house and Jesus takes no other steps to have Himself declared king and he's trying to figure out what's going on.

Now, the apostles weren't perfect, but they all struggled a little bit with hypocrisy. You know, one moment, Peter said, "Though all men should forsake Thee, I will never forsake You." And a little later Peter says, "I don't know who He is. Never seen Him before," and he punctuates that with swearing and cursing. What really bothered Judas, it comes to light when they have this feast at Simon's house in Bethany. And this is during the last week or so of Christ's ministry. You read in John 12, verse 4 as Mary is washing His feet, and she anoints His head with the oil, and she's wiping His feet with her hair and washing them with her tears, and the whole room is filled with the fragrance of this very costly ointment, very expensive. It costs more than 30 pieces of silver. And Judas sees that devotion and he is convicted by the generosity and the humility of Mary that she is content to be at the feet of Jesus, to be adoring Him and worshiping Him, and he begins to murmur among the other disciples, ridiculing her. John 12, verse 4, "Then said one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot," see, John is the only one who says who it was, "Simon's son, who should betray Him, 'Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence and given to the poor?' This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, he had a bag, and he bared what was in it. And then Jesus said, 'Let her alone; against the day of My burying she has kept this. For the poor you have with you always.'"

That really convicted Judas. Said, "Leave her alone. You get the poor with you all the time." Judas was in charge of the bag of money where they used to give little disbursements to the poor. They were pretty poor themselves and John releases that Judas was pilfering from that bag. Now, Judas probably didn't really think it was stealing. He probably thought, you know, I--look, I'm not turning in any business expenses and I'm not getting any kind of mileage for this job. And he says, "I'm doing all of the treasury work." He says, "Surely, you know, if I take a little bit for my personal expenses, there's nothing wrong with that."

You'd be surprised how many Judases are out there in the Christian world. They rob from their bosses and they say, "Well, you know, I don't get paid enough, so if I take a ream of paper home from the office, and I know there's plenty of extra rubber bands and paper clips in the closet." And you think, well, that's not really stealing, that's probably how Judas got started. Just a coin here and a coin there. So, Judas was trying to cover his greed by piousness. "Why, this could be given to the poor," and he didn't care about the poor, but he was trying to look religious.

I heard about a minister that was sitting on a bus driving through New York City and they went by a very elaborate church building project. And the man sitting next to the pastor said, "The world would be a lot better off if the Christians would not spend all this money on churches and give it to the poor." And the pastor said, "Someone else in the Bible said the same thing." He said, "Who's that?" "Judas Iscariot." You know, sometimes people try to put on that air of piety.

Then another thing really turned Judas--began to bother him. Not only that he was exposed by his greed there at the feast in Simon's house, but a young rich ruler came to Jesus after Jesus blesses the children. Says, "Good Master, what good thing shall I do that I might have eternal life?" Jesus said, "Why do you call Me good? None is good but one and that is God. But if you would enter into life, keep the commandments." Said, "Which ones?" And He began to recite to him the Ten Commandments. He went through the commandments that dealt with man's relationship with his fellow man. Do not kill, do not steal, do not bear false witness.

Now, this man's problem, this rich man, was covetousness. He was obvious, from the way he was dressed, he had a reputation in town that he was a very wealthy man, bright man, young man. And Judas is thinking to himself, wow, if we added somebody like that to our inner circle with their resources, I wouldn't have to carry around this little meager bag of coins. We'd have plenty of money. You know, where did their money come from? They didn't have a lot. It says there were certain women that followed Him that ministered to Jesus of their substance. So, He didn't have a very big bank account and Judas sees this rich young ruler, he's wealthy, he had great possessions, the Bible says. And Judas thought, that's just the kind of person we need. He wants eternal life like the rest of us, bring him in. We'll have 13 apostles, Lord.

And Jesus says, "If you would follow Me, you need to take up your cross. Sell what you have, give it to the poor." Judas, you care about the poor? Not that much, he didn't. "Sell all you have, give it to the poor, you'll have treasure in heaven, you'll have a mansion in heaven. Take up your cross and follow Me." But he went away sad. And Judas wanted to go after him like Gehazi went after Naaman and say, "No, no, no. Don't turn this guy away. These are the kind of people we need. You preach smooth things to the rich and it helps subsidize your program." And Jesus, He gave that rich man the same straight message as He gave everybody else. You cannot put God second place. That really bothered Judas.

So, after he was rebuked in Simon's house and He said, "Leave this woman alone," and he was convicted by the generosity of Mary, Judas thought, all right, look, You're not going to appreciate me. I'm going to go to someone who will appreciate me. His pride had been injured. And I heard someone say once, "You're never more like the devil than when you're proud." What did the devil want? "I will exalt my throne. I will be like the Most High." He was thinking about his own personal ambitions, to be his own kind of God.

Why did Judas love money? Why does anyone love money? Do you love paper? Is that why you love money? Do you love the gold? The coins? It's the power. It's what it can buy. Now, the Bible doesn't say that money is a sin. Paul tells us it is the love of money. 1 Timothy chapter 6, verse 8, "Having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation," that's what happened to Judas, "and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition." What profit is it if you gain the whole world and you lose your own soul?

Now, I want to take a minute and I want to talk about the choice of Judas because some people struggle with this. You know, because the prophecy said that Judas was going to betray Jesus, they think, well, poor Judas, someone had to be the fall guy. Someone needed to be the betrayer. He was the one, he didn't really have a choice. You can read in John 6:64, "'But there are some of you who do not believe.' For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe, and who would betray Him," and again, written by John. So, it was foretold in the scriptures.

You read in John 13, verse 10 after Jesus goes to the Last Supper, note, Judas has already covenanted with the religious leaders that he's going to sell Him. He's got the money jingling in his pocket. He keeps it in a separate account from the other money. And at the Last Supper Jesus begins to wash the disciple’s feet. And there He goes around the circle, He gets to Peter and Peter says, "Lord, are you washing my feet? Breaks my heart to see You in the position of a lowly servant." And Jesus said, "That's how I came, as a servant. As an example for you. You are to be servants." Said, "You're not going to wash My feet." Jesus said, "If I don't wash you, I have no part with you." We all need to participate in the communion service and that exercise. And he said, "All right, Lord. You mean so much to me. Even though this is difficult, wash my hands and my head." And Jesus said, "No, those that are washed--if you've been washed, you only need your feet washed," the symbol of baptism.

And He comes around to Judas and Judas sees Jesus washing his feet and I believe there was a tremendous battle going on in his heart. He could have said, "Lord, I've got to tell You what I've done. Now, there's still a way out. I had agreed to betray You, but I see how much You love me. I just can't bring myself." Would Jesus have forgiven him? You know what that means? Part of the reason Judas was lost is because he doubted the mercy of Christ. He didn't trust, he didn't believe in it. I also think then it began to bother him. He thought, if He was really the Messiah, what would He be doing on His hands and knees washing the dirty feet of these guys, these incompetent guys that He's chosen? Again, he was proud.

Just because Jesus knew how the story was going to end does not mean that Judas did not have a choice. Does God know, right now, whether or not you're going to be saved? Just because God knows whether or not you're going to be saved or lost does not mean He's making it happen. If you are saved or lost, you are making choices every day that determines your destiny. Some of you wish, well, God, can you fill me in? Let me know if I'm going to make it. You're making that decision every day. It's usually through a series of little choices that decision is being made. "He that is faithful in that which is the least is also faithful in much."

If we continue daily to come to Christ and turn from our sins, we're being sanctified, we become more like Jesus. But if we continue putting off that decision, we're going to get settled and the concrete hardens, it's becomes harder and harder. This is why Judas was lost. He had so many opportunities. His heart thrilled with the Spirit of God. He felt the power of God working through him. He was casting out devils, he was healing the sick, working miracles. He knew Jesus was real and he had this covetousness, these sins, in his life. And whenever he was convicted, he kept putting it off and putting it off and putting it off until, finally, he saw Jesus washing his feet. He thought, how can He be the Messiah down there doing that? And he hardened his heart and he would not surrender his sin.

Judas had a choice. John 13. "When Jesus said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and He testified and He said, 'Most assuredly, I say to you,'" this is during the dinner, "'one of you will betray Me.'" You notice, Jesus never said Judas is the traitor. He never exposed him. Why? Jesus gave him as many redemptive opportunities as He could. You and I, in our quiet moments, need to praise the Lord that He hasn't unveiled our secrets. Can you say, "Amen"? He wants us to be redeemed. He's trying to save us from shame. He's giving us as much opportunity as possible to repent. But you know, the day is coming when the curtain is going to fall and those things done in secret will be proclaimed from the house top. And Judas actually did it to himself.

Christ is giving him an opportunity now to confess and to change His mind, "One of you will betray Me." Matthew 26, same story. Matthew's version, "As they were eating, He said, 'Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written by Him in the scriptures.'" It's in the prophecies, but it doesn't mean he has to do it. He had a choice. God just knew what would happen. "'But woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!'"

Now, this is the only time in the Bible it says this, '"It would have been better for that man, it would have been good, if that man had not been born.'" Can you imagine the eternal infamy on your name? The treachery, the betrayal, of being the one Jesus trusted and loved and forgave, Jesus brought into the inner circle. You know, it really hurts when you're betrayed by a friend, by someone close to you. And this is prophesied. Look in Psalm 41, verse 9, "Even My own familiar friend whom I trusted, who ate My bread," it's there at the Last Supper, "has lifted up his heel against Me." And this is what made it especially keenly evil for what Judas did. Jesus gave him no reason to do what he did. Jesus only did good to him. That's why David, when he confronted Saul, he said, "Tell me, what have I done to deserve you trying to kill me?" And Saul finally confessed, "You've done nothing." It was just the devil in Saul that made him do it. And it was the devil in Judas, the pride.

What happened to Judas, we are not immune. All of us have potential to do what Judas did. Isn't that kind of--shakes you up a little bit? You and I, all, can become little Judases. When we say that we follow Jesus and then we betray Him by following the devil, aren't we doing what Judas did? Every time we turn to sin instead of turning to Christ, we're taking the road of Judas. And it's by degrees that Judas made that decision, he never fully surrendered. Finally, Jesus is betrayed at the dinner. He said, "Do what you do quickly."

You know, they're going around the table and they're saying, "Lord, is it I? Is it I?" Isn't it something? Jesus said, "One of you is going to betray Me," and they're probably all looking at Peter. I mean, didn't Jesus at one point say to Peter, "Satan, get behind Me"? "I'm almost sure," He said, "one of you is going to betray Me." All eyes went to Peter. Nobody was looking at Judas. And they're going around the table and Judas with, you know, pious sanctimony, he said, "Lord, is it I?" And Jesus said, "You have said." And you wonder, they must have been talking to each other and weren't paying attention because they didn't seem to catch that. And Jesus said, "What you do, do quickly." You can read in John 13, verse 26, "He said," and John is talking to Jesus, "he said, 'Lord, who is it?'" Give me a tip. Can you give me a little inside information? "Jesus answered, 'It's the one to whom I give a piece of bread when I've dipped it.'" And He must have felt very close to John because He told him before anyone else knew. And He dipped a piece of bread in the sauce and gave it to Judas who was on His left-hand side. "After the piece of bread, Satan entered him."

Now, the way that this is worded, he had been tempting him, he had been harassing him. But now Satan entered him. Says, "Jesus then turns to Judas," this again is John 13:26, "'What you do, do quickly.' Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night."

You know, friends, those words really strike me. He walked out of the presence of Jesus and it was dark. He walked from the presence of Christ into darkness. At this point, I believe Judas had done what we call--committed the unpardonable sin. For the last time, after Jesus washed his feet, he had grieved away the Holy Spirit, he had lost all redeemable qualities in his nature, and now we're impressed by the coldness of--of Judas.

If you look in Matthew chapter 26, verse 48 after Jesus prayed in the garden, we're turning to that verse we looked at earlier. "Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, 'Whoever I kiss, He's the One; seize Him.'" You know what he's actually saying? The word seize means get a hold of Him and don't let go. That's good advice for you and me. You get a hand on Jesus, don't let Him go. Now, the reason Judas said it, every other time that Jesus had been arrested, or they tried to arrest Jesus, He slipped through their fingers. They would take up stones to stone Jesus and all of a sudden He'd make himself where they just didn't even know who He was or where He was, and He walked through their midst because Christ was being protected by the Father.

Judas had seen Jesus slip through the fingers of His enemies time and time again, over the period of three and a half years. Judas, when he betrayed Jesus, never really believed Jesus would die. He had seen the power of Christ more than you and I can even imagine. He thought, I am actually going to be thanked later because I am putting Jesus in a position where He's going to have to use His supernatural power right here in Jerusalem during the feast, declare Himself to be the Messiah. They're going to try to arrest Him. He's going to suddenly have the power of Samson, He'll overthrow the mob. And he'll say, "I told you to hold Him tight. So it's your fault He got away from you."

See, he thought he was creating an out. He believed that Jesus was going to use His power to deliver Himself. That's why when they arrest Jesus and they begin to spit Him--on Him, and beat Him and tie Him up, and He's bound, and Jesus is taking no action to free himself, Judas suddenly is overcome by a terrible sense of horror of what he's done. He believed that Jesus was the Messiah and now he's just betrayed the Messiah. Instead of helping Jesus to the throne, he's sending Him to the cross.

Doug: Here at Amazing Facts International we strive to reach the world with the amazing truths of the Bible and proclaim the love of Jesus. We print thousands of easy-to-read materials such as books, tracks, and fully-illustrated magazines that are all designed to change lives by clearing up the many misunderstandings people have regarding the Word of God. Our warehouse is filled with resources ready to mail out and we're eager to send them to you. Make the most of your Bible study today by requesting our free offer. It'll surely enhance your knowledge of the Bible while imparting a blessing to you and those in your life. Simply follow the instructions on the screen and we'll send it to you free of charge. And once you read it, be sure to share it with a friend.

Announcer: Have you ever skipped a meal? Not a bad idea if you need to watch your waistline, but there's a heavenly food you should never skip: God's Word. Yet, how can you dive in daily when you're so busy? "Amazing Facts" has you covered and it's as easy as signing up for our daily devotional and verse of the day, both sent directly to your inbox ready to bless, inspire, and inform you. To start receiving the "Amazing Facts" daily devotional and verse of the day, visit amazingfacts.org and click on Bible Study in the main menu. You'll be glad you did.

Doug: Thank you for tuning in to "Amazing Facts." Have you ever wanted to study the teachings of the Bible in an easy-to-understand step-by-step way? The Amazing Facts Bible school offers free, simple to follow lessons that will guide you through all of the vital teachings of scripture. Visit AmazingBibleStudies.com to sign up for your free lessons. They're available by mail or online. Studies are also offered in multiple languages.

Announcer: Let's face it. It's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible. With over 700,000 words contained in 66 books, the Bible can generate a lot of questions. To get biblical straightforward answers, call into "Bible Answers Live," a live nationwide call-in radio program where you can talk to Pastor Doug Batchelor and ask him your most difficult Bible questions. For times and stations in your area or to listen to answers online, visit bal.amazingfacts.org.

Announcer: Don't forget to request today's free offer, it's sure to be a blessing. And thank you for your continued support as we take the gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.

Announcer: This presentation was brought to you by the friends of the Amazing Facts Ministry.

Share a Prayer Request
Ask a Bible Question



Prayer Request:

Share a Prayer Request


Bible Question:

Ask a Bible Question