Judas, Juda, Jude [Jū’das]—PRAISE OF THE LORD.
1. The disciple surnamed Iscariot, who betrayed the Master and then hanged
himself. He was the only one of the Twelve who was not a Galilean. He acted as
treasurer of the apostolic band (John 6:71; 12:6; 13:26, 29).
The Man Who Was Guilty of a Horrible Crime
The Gospels represent the betrayal of Christ by Judas as a horrible,
diabolical crime. And it stands out as the darkest deed in human history. The
word “betray” is a remarkable one meaning “to deliver up.” This is what Judas
did—delivered up Jesus. Yet such a dastardly action was overruled, for Jesus
was delivered by the determinate counsel of God.
Judas is a strange character and everything about his choice and conduct is
mysterious. Why was he chosen? All we can say in answer is in the declaration,
“that the scriptures might be fulfilled” (Matt. 26:56). The greater mystery
is, why did Christ choose you and me to be His followers? Think of these
I. Judas’terrible crime was predicted (Ps. 109:5-8; Acts 1:16).
II. His cruel bargain was foretold (Zech. 11:12, 13).
III. He became a devil incarnate. “One of you is a devil.” As Jesus became
God-incarnate, Judas became the devil-incarnate.
IV. He is called “a son of perdition.” Because the same designation is used of
the Man of Sin, some writers feel that this grim figure will be Judas
incarnate (2 Thess. 2:3).
V. He was a thief. He kept the bag which represented responsibility. Christ
chose Judas as treasurer for the Twelve because of his commercial instinct and
business acumen, but he prostituted his gift. His very endowment became a
snare. A blessing was turned into a curse.
VI. He betrayed Christ with a kiss. The hatefulness of his crime reached its
limit when he gave the enemies of Christ the symbol of affection. How wicked
is the human heart—deceitful above all things!
VII. He was the recipient of divine patience. Why he persisted in following
Christ we cannot say. All we can do is marvel at the love and patience of
Christ as He bore with Judas for three years. He knew all along that this
so-called disciple would betray Him, yet He kept the door open. Even when He
met Judas after his contract with the foes of Christ, He greeted him as
“friend.” We would have scorned the traitor and hissed “enemy” or “traitor.”
Not so Christ, who is patient toward all men.
VIII. He went out to his own place (Acts 1:25). It was in
self-excommunication. Christ did not excommunicate Judas—He only ratified the
choice. Up to the last He gave Judas a chance to halt and turn from his
wickedness. But when the die had been cast, Jesus said, “What thou doest, do
We leave our glimpse of the despicable man of the Bible with two lessons in
The journey into sin gains momentum. We never know where a wrong path may end.
Sin only needs opportunity to carry us to its utmost depths.
It is sadly possible to be associated with Jesus, to hear His gracious words,
witness His wonderful works, yet refuse Him our heart’s allegiance and be
2. Half-brother of Jesus, brother of James and writer of the epistle known by
his name (Matt. 13:55; Mark 6:3; Luke 6:16; Acts 1:13; Jude 1). See JUDE.
3. An apostle also known as Lebbeus or Thaddeus (John 14:22).
4. A Galilean who stirred up sedition shortly after the birth of Christ (Acts
5. One with whom Paul lodged in the street called Straight (Acts 9:11).
6. The prophet surnamed Barsabas, sent with Silas to Antioch (Acts 15:22, 27).
Today’s reading taken from Herbert Lockyer’s “All the Men of the Bible.”
“Have a blessed day!”