Judas Betrayal: A Bible Lesson
As the Bible teaches, we should learn from the mistakes of others. Who made a more significant mistake than Judas Iscariot? He failed so horribly that we even know him as Judas, the Traitor! Even when looking at him from a non-Christian perspective, he was a very dishonest man. For instance, he also stole money from a group he was part of, and he took a bribe to turn in a friend (Jesus). It did not take long before Judas Iscariot regretted his decision. Unfortunately, he couldn't change the outcome. He was in so much pain over this massive failure; he took his own life.
Judas and His Thirty Coins
Judas Betrayed Jesus
From a Christian perspective, how could Judas, someone who saw Jesus perform miracles, hear him speak, and spend every day with Him, turn Christ into those who would eventually kill him? In Judas's defense, he was unaware that his betrayal would lead to Jesus's crucifixion, but he should have known there was a possibility. Jesus had been foretelling the future throughout the past few days of his life. Many of the disciples still had no idea what lay ahead but realized a little too late what Jesus's words truly meant.
Even before Jesus' death, the Jews, including the disciples, were very aware of the theology. They knew a Savior was going to come. Judas himself lived every day with Jesus and knew this more than anyone else. He was one of Jesus' disciples; what an honor it was to be one of them. The problem was that Judas didn't realize what a great honor he had, yet he still helped work out God's plan for the glory of God, unintentionally.
The Bible Story
For those who are only vaguely familiar with the story, Judas was the treasurer amongst the disciples; therefore, the disciples and Jesus himself must have trusted him at one point to allow Judas to be responsible for the money. Before Judas did the ultimate betrayal, he first betrayed his friends by stealing from the money he was responsible for. In the grand scheme of things, this was a minute sin. His greatest sin came later when he betrayed Jesus!
Judas and Jesus: Pure Intentions?
The thing is, Judas did not become one of the disciples in order to betray Jesus. He most likely followed Jesus, because he saw that He was unique, someone who was worth following. He stayed with Jesus throughout this entire time. Unlike the other disciples, Judas never had a true conversion of spirit. He did not realize who this great man doing amazing miracles indeed was. If he had realized, he would not have betrayed his friend that way.
Although no one knows why Jesus accepted him into his circle, God, the father, revealed much to His Son. My guess is early on Jesus knew someone close to him would betray Him. No one knows how much God the Father revealed to His Son and how early on. But we do know it was all in God's ultimate will that there would be a betrayal. That does not change the fact that Jesus allowed Judas in His group of the most trusted disciples. Maybe it was merely to fulfill God's ultimate plan, so we all could find salvation.
Kiss of Judas
Judas' Original Sin
Regardless, the question remains, where did it all go wrong? When did stealing become the ultimate betrayal? Well, let's look back at his embezzlement from the treasury. It may have started innocently enough. It is just speculation, but he probably needed money for bread. Although he could have asked for help, I'm sure Jesus or one of the disciples would have provided. But he stole money, most likely due to pride, jealousy, or love of money. The Word does not reveal this to us.
The small act was a sin. No matter how small, sin is sin, and sin leads to the ultimate destruction of ourselves. When we do "small" wrongdoings, we become immune to the Holy Spirit, telling us we are in the wrong. It becomes easier to do that small sin; therefore, an even bigger crime seems not so wrong.
Maybe the next time he stole, it was because he wanted more comfortable sandals. He didn't need them, just wanted. That didn't seem so bad after a while, so he did a bigger sin, then a bigger sin. That by the time he asked the priests how much they would pay him for turning in Jesus; he had become immune to the guilty feeling of his conscience.
Is Judas In Hell - a Poll
Do You Think Judas Is In Hell?
Is Judas in Hell?
The problem is, this sin overwhelmed him so much. The moment they took Jesus away, he began to feel tremendous regret for what he did. This regret does not appear to be a repentant regret that would lead to his salvation, but more of a worldly regret.
He tried to relieve himself of this awful pain and even begged the men to take the money back and release Jesus. The men refused. Though he felt so great a pain, I don't believe He truly understood the depth of his sin. For him, it was more like finding out that you were the cause for someone to being put to death, not that you betrayed God. Still, even Judas knew that this sin was great. It was so great; it could not be reversed. He had done something so despicable. He did the only thing he knew to do; kill himself.
Although most of us will never lead ourselves so deep into sin that we take our own lives, we do follow sin to our ultimate destruction. We start small until they no longer feel like sins at all. They get bigger and bigger until we aren't sure what the right thing to do is anymore. We need to be careful of those small sins. They are just as important as the bigger ones. God does not see this sin as great, and this one as small. He sees sin as sin; it's all the same to Him.
© 2010 Angela Michelle Schultz