I remember hearing his name before I could really process who this person truly was. I heard it over and over again. It didn’t sound right, but then who is a child to question?
And when I heard it was when someone in my world 🌎 was either 😲 shocked or 😠 angered or both. What came out of his mouth was the name JUDAS!!!!!! Spoken most often with disgust and even fury. Heavy emphasis on the first syllable – JUUUDAS!
As if that wasn’t strange enough, sometimes that mystery person was also given a last name. Not just JUDAS, but with the same emotion JUDAS PRIEST! As a youngster with fetal notions at best, I conceptualized that this JUDAS PRIEST fella must be a CATHOLIC PRIEST, and not the Judas Iscariot of the Bible who I had heard of. Must be a different guy.
He wasn’t alone. Another name that was often uttered with great emotion was HOLY MOSES! I of course had heard of the Moses of the Bible. But this fella’s name was HOLY MOSES.
I FIGURED that JUDAS PRIEST and HOLY MOSES must both be part of the Catholic Church. And after all, they do pray to saints.
Or maybe they were neighbors, or friends, or something like that. Both were popular, for both of their names were uttered with similar regularity. They are still uttered today a lot.
JUDAS PRIEST and HOLY MOSES, their names were commonplace in our community. I never met them, and still haven’t to this day
As best as I could tell, no one who spoke those names really knew the meaning of what they were saying. Of course, the gravity of what was happening was not even a thought.
These names had become tradition, and traditions have a way of becoming acceptable. That is enough. Mindless! Thoughtless! But somehow useful!
JUDAS – ONE OF THE 12 APOSTLES
He looked like everyone else. You would never know that something was wrong with him. Yes, He was more quiet and reserved than some, but He was one of the guys. You would never single him out as abnornal.
And so it goes. How often is that said of someone who turned jawdroppinly bad! Who would have ever guessed it? Everybody is stunned. Know what I mean?
Judas Iscariot appeared to a regular upstanding guy. He was perhaps from the village of Kerioth, which territory belonged to the Tribe of Judah. At least he had good pedigree, and as best as could be determined had no criminal record.
In Matthew 10:4, you will find his name listed among the original 12 disciples/apostles. There he is big as life for all to read:
Yes, true, this is added after his name:
“WHO ALSO BETRAYED JESUS.”
But that was put in there by Matthew as a dark historic remembrance of what came later.
But what he is here recounting is the THE CALLING OF THE 12 DISCIPLES BY JESUS TO SEND THEM FORTH AS THE 12 APOSTLES. The Jesus Team is being introduced, like a President introducing his Cabinet! And we all know now how transient and changeable Cabinets can be!
Mark it well,
-Judas Iscariot was a disciple of Jesus Christ. One of the 12. A disciple means A LEARNER UNDER DISCIPLINE.
-Judas Iscariot was an Apostle of Jesus Christ. One of the original 12. An Apostle is ONE SENT FORTH BY JESUS CHRIST to preach the Gospel and establish ⛪ churches.
There we go! The Jesus Movement is off and running 🏃. Or should we say that the Army of Jesus is off and marching! And give them their marching orders Jesus does in Matthew 10. Strong and breath- taking orders they are.
A little regimen indeed! Judas, Peter, John and the 9 others are now under Jesus’ orders to HEAL EVERY KIND OF SICKNESS INCLUDING THE DEADLY LEPROSY, and to BRING INTO SUBMISSION EVERY DEMON OF DARKNESS. This was all out war!
No signing up kids for DVBS HERE. No holding seminars about exorcism. From day one, they would be on the front line in hand to hand combat with the demonic powers of darkness. This is no commission for the faint in heart!
OVER HILL, OVER DALE, WE SHALL HIT THE DUSTY TRAIL, AND THE ARMY KEEPS MARCHING ALONG.
And then Jesus adds the real banger – RAISE THE DEAD! What? Not one of them had ever healed a leper, let alone raised a dead one. That hadn’t even crossed their minds. Lord, can’t we start out with a lighter agenda like signing up new recruits. You know, have a booth with a big picture of You with the words, I WANT YOU!
Then to make it even more intimidating, Jesus says to them in Matthew 10:16,
“Behold I send you forth as sheep 🐑 in the midst of wolves.”
Oh how comforting! Wolves were very common then, and made frequent forays upon sheep, killing them and carrying them off.
Not a pleasant picture and the disciples knew it! 12 sheep against a pack of wolves? What do you say we think this over some more and talk about it together. Let’s not rush into anything foolhardy!
(Little did they know that already in their small company was a WOLF in sheep’s clothing. That shocking unveiling would come much later.)
Until then, Jesus instructs them with these fiats:
“BE WISE AS SERPENTS, AND GENTLE AS DOVES.”
In other words,
“LET YOUR MAIN WEAPONS BE PRUDENCE AND INNOCENCE.”
“THE CHIEF WAY TO BE FREE OF FEAR IS TO BE FREE FROM SIN!”
That would go unheeded by one of their company. It would cost him his life.
THE ELEVEN PLUS AN APOSTOLIC CROOK
We have all heard such regrets and post mortems as the following:
-It was his Achilles Heal!
-It was the one chink in his armor!
-It was that one flaw in his character!
-It was that one door left open!
I recall the water pump in the basement of our house one day began to constantly run. I am very noise sensitive, so after awhile I went down to the basement to see 👀 if I could find anything wrong.
Sure enough, there it was. A tiny pin prick hole in one of the pipes from the pump was spraying water in a tiny piercing stream over the basement floor. The hole was not visible to the naked eye, but the damage being done was. The water had to be turned off, and the pipe replaced. Thank God for 👌plumbers.
All it takes is one uncorrected flaw to create a mess!I
The twelvefold band of Apostles is now getting organized. As becomes clear, PETER more and more emerges as the BETA MALE, at least in his own eyes. JESUS of course is the ALPHA MALE of the pack, but Peter again and again exerts his next-in-command bluster. He issues commands to Jesus, and rises as the Lord’s defender and cuts off a soldier’s ear. You just have to love Peter in spite of and even because of the buffoonery.
JOHN emerges as the closest to Jesus. There was just something about John that brought forth the comment about him – THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED. Of course, Jesus loves them all, even the one who would turn rogue against Him!
We are also told that Judas Iscariot was the group’s treasurer. Offerings came in from loyal supporters. John 13:29 puts it simply:
“JUDAS HAD THE BAG….”
That simply means that Judas was the chosen treasurer. He took care of the purse. It also means that He was smart.
Why Jesus didn’t appoint Matthew to that position I don’t know. After all, Matthew was a former IRS man, and was good with numbers. But, Judas Iscariot it is, and the little apostolic band is taking on a shape and coming into order.
Then we read something in John 12:6 that causes our hearts to sink. It is a strong kick to the gut. There it is bluntly and harshly stated about Judas Iscariot,
“BECAUSE HE WAS A THIEF, AND AS HE CARRIED THE MONEY BOX, HE PILFERED WHAT WAS PUT INTO IT.”
The treasurer is a CROOK, A THIEF, A ROBBER. No matter what you call it, Judas was siphoning gas out of the tank. And as Jesus and His disciples moved from place to place, Judas Iscariot was committing HIGHWAY ROBBERY. Sticky fingers was pilfering the purse 👛.
Was this the case:
“IT WASN’T THAT JUDAS CARRIED THE PURSE WHILE HE FOLLOWED THE MASTER. RATHER, HE FOLLOWED THE MASTER SO THAT HE MIGHT GET HIS HANDS ON THE PURSE?”
We will never know. One other thing for sure:
“WHILE JUDAS WAS CARRYING THE PURSE, HE WAS NOT CARRYING HIS CROSS.”
There is a striking and suggestive text found in Psalm 36:2 which states:
“THAT THE SINNER FLATTERS HIMSELF IN HIS OWN EYES, TILL HIS INIQUITY BE FOUND OUT.”
That is a categorical statement about all sinners – THE SINNER. In other words, we all do it from time to time. No exceptions!
This much we know, that flattering means the sinner cheats and betrays himself by false reasoning and excuses. It is done all the time!
In this regard, and against this background, it is not surprising, though it is ingenious, that the HOMOSEXUAL community has chosen the 🌈 RAINBOW as its official symbol.
How FLATTERING! For you see, the 🌈 RAINBOW is the promise of God that He will never again judge or destroy the whole world with a flood. The perverts have latched on to that assurance that they are safe from God’s judgement and destruction under the RAINBOW 🌈.
IRONICALLY, it is a total perversion of Scripture by the perverts. They flatter themselves that under their icon, they will not come to the end that Noah’s world came to! God did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah with a flood. He destroyed those wicked cities because of their pandemic gay rites population and obsession. The rainbow 🌈 did not protect them from fire and brimstone!
I am sure that in Judas Iscariot’s case, there was a whole lot of self -flattering going on! After all, He was the treasurer, and they always know best. He perhaps thought that he was keeping the money in two separate places as double protection.
One day Jesus and the disciples were in the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus after Lazarus had been raised from the dead by Jesus. (John 12) Mary lavished the feet of Jesus with some very expensive ointment, in fact a whole pound of it. Judas complained that the ointment should have been sold and the money 💰 given to the poor.
I can hear his self-flattering wheels turning, thinking that his value standards were superior to Jesus and the guys, so that it would be wise to set some of the purse 👛 funds aside for a more commendable cause. Grind, grind, ding, ding, chink, chink!
TOLERATING SIN – LETHAL
Ephesians 6:13 talks about THE EVIL DAY that we must all stand against. This is not a period of time, but is a specific DAY when as no other day Satan unloads all of his biggest guns against us to once and for all bring us down, and then all the way down to Hell.
It is HIS BIG KAHUNA DAY, when he brings all the forces of Hell against us. Everyone at one time or another will face that day in his or her life. IT IS THE FOREVER MAKE OR BREAK DAY! Will we Stand or Fall in that day?
But Satan will for a long time try to fatten us for the kill! More exactly, He will try to weaken us for the big howitzer to do the final death blow.
STRATEGY # 1
Satan will try to get us COMFORTABLE with a certain sin. That was the case with Judas Iscariot. Judas became COMFORTABLE AND COMPATIBLE WITH ONGOING THIEVERY. No, it wasn’t big time bank robbery. Some would call it PETTY THEFT. But it was all that was needed to topple him on THE EVIL DAY.
You see, when we engage in the same sin, what happens is the bit by bit erosion of our spiritual and moral muscle, all of which we will need for THE EVIL DAY! It happens imperceptibly, but the more the habitual sin is repeated, we then become BOLD, STIFF, RESOLVED SINNERS in that area of our lives. And yet a spiritual and moral SHELL of our former selves.
Yes, we may soothe ourselves by thinking of all the right things we do. There is the flattery we talked about before. So that the one repeated sin only seems like a mere half sin. In the total balance of things, we are still way ahead on good points.
Satan in your habitual sin has you in “SIN COMFORTABLENESS.” Satan is setting you up for THE EVIL DAY in your weakness.
Satan knows he is bringing you down. He won’t let up! In Matthew 12:24-27 we find that one of Satan’s names is BEELZEBUB which means
“THE LORD OF THE FLIES.”
Flies of course are known for their remarkable boldness and persistence. Drive them off from that which smells good to them, they are sure to be back again and again. In your habitual sin you smell real good to Satan. He loves your scent!
JUDAS ISCARIOT THE SOP DRINKER
Fast forward! Things have gone downward very fast in the life of Judas Iscariot. Sin has eroded his SENSUS DIVINITATUS – his SENSITIVITY TO GOD. He already is in a sorry state! Satan is standing at the door of his heart.
Jesus is with His disciples in the upper room. What takes place now is unlike any real life drama that I have ever read or seen.
Jesus now tells them 👎 that ONE OF THEM SHALL BETRAY HIM. KAWAM! It was like a bombshell exploded.
12 pairs of eyes began to twitch and flit around the room. A great sense of uneasiness filled the air. Mutual suspicion naturally became part of the sour mix.
John who was reclining upon the Master’s breast, asked Him, “Lord, who is it?” No doubt waiting for the answer with halting breath.
Jesus answered in John 13:26,
“HE IT IS TO WHOM I SHALL GIVE A SOP, WHEN I HAVE DIPPED IT. AND WHEN HE DIPPED THE SOP, HE GAVE IT TO JUDAS ISCARIOT, THE SON OF SIMON.”
No bitter-sweet moment like it in all of history. The SOP was a piece of 🍞 bread dipped in soup or broth of some kind, and given as an expression of love and friendship. Jesus dipped it and gave it to Judas who is now publicly designated as the one who shall be His betrayer.
Awful word is BETRAYER – TRAITOR – DOUBLE AGENT – TWO FACED – CHARLATAN – all of that awful stuff is sopped on Judas Isacriot.
I can scarcely process the exchange.
What I am hoping for now are the following words to come out Judas’ mouth,
“MASTER RABBI. I AM SO VERY ASHAMED. EVERYONE IS LOOKING SO SHAMEFULLY AT ME. I REALLY WAS NOT GOING THROUGH WITH IT. HERE, TAKE THE SOP BACK AND TELL THEM IT WAS ALL A BIG MISTAKE.”
But no, as best as we can tell, Judas accepted the SOP and sucked it down along with all the gross infamy attached to it. Moreover, I doubt very much that it even gave him a case of mild heartburn.
Picture it now as Jesus adds about His betrayer in Matthew 26:24,
“IT WOULD BETTER FOR THAT MAN IF HE HAD NEVER BEEN BORN.”
In other words:
“IT WOULD BE INFINITELY BETTER FOR YOU JUDAS IF YOU NEVER HAD A BEGINNING CONSIDERING YOUR YOUR AWFUL ETERNAL HELLISH END.”
Even then, Judas Iscariot takes the SOP with fire flaming all around it :
“SORT OF LIKE A SOP HELL FLAMBEED.”
To eat and drink that SOP, with the words BETRAYAL and BETTER NOT BORN blistering the air, Judas literally had to digest hell, and make a meal out of damnation. He did!
It only goes to show us:
“THAT SIN CAN STILL INFATUATE EVEN WHEN THE SINNER IS CATCHING A GLIMPSE OF HELL.”
STRATERGY # 2
Now disastrously we read in John 13:27,
“AND AFTER THE SOP, SATAN ENTERED INTO JUDAS. JESUS SAID UNTO HIM, ‘THAT THOU DOEST, DO QUICKLY.'”
Satan has already greased his way into Judas by getting him to be comfortable with habitual sin. Satan now makes his slimy entrance into Judas. From outside influence to now inside control. Now slip and slide with Satan his internal guide.
Yes, Judas is now DEMON POSSESSED. He is now a FULL BLOWN ROGUE.
Why do I call him now ROGUE. Because of what Satan does next. We read in John 13:30,
“AND JUDAS HAVING RECEIVED THE SOP WENT IMMEDIATELY OUT, AND IT WAS NIGHT.”
Now Satan has him right where he wants him:
1. Get him COMFY WITH SIN.
2. Get him AWAY FROM THE FELLOWSHIP OF BELIEVERS.
This is the next step🚶in getting Judas set up for the BIG KILL – the EVIL DAY! Turn him into A ROGUE ELEPHANT AWAY FROM THE HERD where his sinful impulses can run most freely and destructively.
A person in this second stage generally will start to skip church, prayer meetings, fellowship group etc. The protection of fellow Christians, the necessary checks and balances are taken away, and the ROGUE is now a much easier target for the FINAL ONSLAUGHT BY SATAN!
When these two stages are in place, THE EVIL DAY IS NEAR.
30 PIECES OF SILVER WILL DO IT
The ROGUE ELEPHANT GOES BESERK! They always do! Nothing will stop ✋ Judas now. The chief priest makes a deal with the ROGUE, 30 silver Roman coins for the whereabouts of Jesus. The deal is done. The rest is redemption history, praise God, for what man means for evil, God turns into good!
STRATEGY # 3
Get the person willing to throw it all away! No matter what the cost! All that He knows! All that He has learned! All the miracles he has seen! All the dead that have been raised! Scrap it all! Cash it all in 🏧 for dirty money.
The deal was bad! All of Satan’s deals are bad! It wasn’t worth it! It never is! He gained nothing, and lost everything!
So we read in Matthew 27:5,
“JUDAS WENT AND HUNG HIMSELF.”