Judas Iscariot (John #21)

The crowd has gone from over 10,000 people to 12.  And one of those twelve is a betrayer.

  • John 6:70 – one of you is a devil.  In 6 chapters the devil will be in control of Judas Iscariot.
  • John 13:2 – devil was now controlling Judas Iscariot with his own set of commandments.  He is in total control of Judas Iscariot, but how did that happen?

How was the devil given that opportunity?  You know, the answer to a question like that is usually much simpler than we like to think.  Modern psychology would rather it be very complicated then at least there may be some justification for it.

  • Aldrich Ames – CIA agent arrested in 1994 for spying against the United States
    • Ames later claimed that he had not prepared for more than the initial “con game” to satisfy his immediate indebtedness, but once having “crossed a line,” he “could never step back.”
    • Ames soon identified more than ten top-level CIA and FBI sources who were reporting on Soviet activities.
    • Aldrich Ames initial desire for money ended up destroying the lives of several men.
  • Robert Hansen
    • Hansen approached the GRU (the Soviet military intelligence agency) and offered his services. Hanssen never indicated any political or ideological motive for his activities, telling the FBI after he was caught that his only motivation was the money.
    • Robert Hansen’s initial desire for money ended up destroying the lives of several men.
  • The greater tragedy after the fact of betrayal is that the motive was so simple.  Money.
    • And that simple motive opened the door for the devil.  These spies simple motive of money brought about the death of multiple agents.  Many funerals were attended by friends and families because of the love of money.
    • Think about the collateral events because of a man’s motive.

The Trusted Apostle

  • Judas was the one that held the bag of money.  The apostles are wondering even up until the last minute who it is that should betray Jesus Christ.
  • If you were going to pick an apostle to betray Jesus Christ you might pick Peter.  Or maybe Matthew, he worked for the IRS for a while.  Even at the table the apostles think it may be themselves before they think it would be Judas Iscariot.
  • Gifted, But Not Right
    • He’s given everything the other disciples are given.
    • Judas Iscariot has the power to cast out devils, heal the sick since he’s been given it in Matthew 10.
    • 1 Corinthians tells you gifted people are not necessarily spiritual people.
    • We make much of talent and ability, but little of character.  You see this in professional sports.  Or musicians.
    • In Christianity we do the same with gifting.  The people that have been given the most in the way of gifts aren’t necessarily the most spiritual people

The Poisonous Apostle

  • We would say in a sense that all the apostles were tainted.  They each had their flaws.  But it was the motive of Judas Iscariot that tainted him.  For all the flaws of the apostles, they desired to do the right thing.  They desired to please God
  • Following Jesus Christ, but Not Following Jesus Christ
    • Judas Iscariot one of the twelve.  He’s in church.  He’s faithful.
    • He’s trusted.  Taking care of the money.
  • He became an unclean spirit by his defiled motive
    • We get much of our idea of unclean spirits from Hollywood.  That the possession of a vessel turns that vessel into something grotesque physically.  Wickedness tries to camouflage itself.  It doesn’t reveal itself.  But we get so much of our idea of unclean spirits from Hollywood.
    • The second part is that when an unclean spirit works through a vessel in a way like Judas Iscariot there is a root cause.  Possession of a vessel in the Bible came from the participation of the vessel.
    • The three enemies you and I face are not independent operators.  They work together.  One lays the groundwork for the other.  One provides distraction so the other can enter in and take root.
    • That inordinate affection provides a perfectly paved road for the devil and his unclean spirits to travel.  It is an opportunity for him to work in your life.  Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
  • What’s Judas after?  What offended him?  What made him bitter enough to become a traitor?
    • Matthew 26:6-16 – Judas wonders how could Jesus be so careless with that much money?!
    • Mark 14:3-11
    • John 12:1-6, 13:1
    • Love of money is the root of all evil…1 Timothy 6:6-11, 17-19
    • Judas said, how can you waste this much money?!  You just took almost a years worth of salary and dumped it out.  You know we don’t make that much money.  How can you do that!
    • But we always robe our bitterness in some spiritual garment.  This money could’ve been given to the poor.
    • The point where that motive gets tested now the blood begins to boil.  The animosity begins to burn.  HOW DARE HE!
    • BEWARE!  Judas is now possessed of that unclean spirit.
  • The poison spreads
    • All the disciples begin to grumble and agree with Judas.  Matthew 26:8
    • The trouble with sin is it never only affects you.  It started in you, but by this time it is now bearing fruit and spreading its seed to others.
    • You may see your offence and bitterness and indignation show up in your children.
    • You’ll definitely see it worm its way into the lives of others as you badmouth the person that crushed your motive.  As you verbally destroy them.
    • His dad is identified as Simon. Luke 7:37-50
  • The poison destroys its victim
    • Matthew 27:3-5
    • Acts 1:15-19
    • There is only one end to bitterness and that is regret.  If you start on this road, let me just tell you where this one ends up.  It ends up in a place called regret.
    • Matthew 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

Practical applications to handling offenses

  • Learn to Love the words of God
    • 6:68 thou hast the words of eternal life.. and that’s what we need.  May not like it, but it is what we need.
    • The words of God are what brought the offence to the multitudes and then to Judas Iscariot.
    • Some of you have not applied it enough in your life to love it.  You love something that you’re familiar with.  And if you love it, you’ll get more familiar with it.  If you have no appetite, no desire for the words of God, your own salvation should be a serious question in your mind.
    • Others of you have seen some growth around the words of God and are learning these words are important and helpful and needful and my affection towards them is starting to change.
  • Quit Making it About You
    • Judas became offended to the  point of betrayal when “his” money was put to someone else’s use.  I can’t believe Jesus would be so careless with that money.
  • Forgive.  Quit holding grudges.
    • that only hurts you.  Let it go.
    • If you’re saved, you’ve been forgiven.  Why don’t you think about what the Lord Jesus Christ had to go through just so he could provide you with forgiveness.
    • Forgiveness is a choice you make.  And after that, it is a choice that  makes you.
  • If you’re offended, keep it to yourself.
    • If its absolutely necessary to bring it up with the offending party then do that.  But don’t spread it, especially if you’re not willing to try to fix it.