Some might ask why I am defending such a man. Primarily it is because an aspect of what we have learned inside the brick walls we call the church, has imposed bad teaching and skewed traditions upon us; in doing so we have developed into some of the most judgmental people you will ever meet. Do we as Christians run around with swords and guns imposing our will on people, as some groups do, hopefully not, but our words and teachings have a comparable effect.
Secondly, the question itself demonstrates a horrendous judgmental attitude by the one doing the asking, but I suppose, to some degree, it is a legitimate question.
I guess you can say I am standing up for Judas-Iscariot because I am a lot like the man. I too am Sick of my government lying to me; I am annoyed to tears about “law enforcement” bullying good people, while no one seems to care about the drug dealer next door to me; I am fed up with most organized religion, as it is no different today than when the chief priests and elders corroborated to kill Jesus; It grieves me that within the church body I scarcely find anyone willing to focus on and talk about the Word of God (I am excluding those who, as one brother experienced, think they are learned, and therefore have to say whatever they want, including opinion, as they push some skewed teaching on us.) Oh sure, the men will talk sports, cars, and how important they are at their jobs, but God and the reality of life has no place in their lives, and most of these men, whether they have money or not, have credit cards and therefore put their faith in the credit card instead God – they are thus enabled to actively pursue their idols. So when it comes to “men” who will talk about Godly things I am only aware of a handful, and I sit regularly with two of them.
There is a point to most of this ranting; I am painfully aware that the things going on around us are a part of the birth pains, known as Jacob’s troubles depending upon the translation you use. (You will find the reference to Jacob’s troubles in Jeremiah 30:7.) All this is a lead into the time of God’s wrath; the seven-year period we so foolishly call the “Tribulation.”
We, as followers of Christ, have been given the power and authority to stand against much of this onslaught, and it is coming in many forms. Most recently France, with the yellow vest protests, has withstood some ridiculous taxation and it seems, for the moment, they won that battle. Sadly, some of us will die (Matthew 26:52.)
Judas-Iscariot was no worse or better than any of the disciples. Are we not told that “all have sinned and come short”? (Romans 3:23)
I have made comments in defense of Judas-Iscariot below the bulleted points. The original document has, for the most part, been turned into bulleted points and paragraphs are highlighted in bold type.
- In fact, Judas was empowered to do what he did by the devil himself: “As soon as Judas took the bread [that Jesus had given him], Satan entered into him” (John 13:27).
Let’s take this verse one step further.
John 13:25-27 NIV Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” (26) Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (27) As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”
The “he” in this passage is Peter; so can I assume that Peter knew who it was that was going to betray Jesus. The inference is reasonably direct, and yet John 13:28 tells us that NO ONE understood what was happening. One other thing I noticed as I read John 13:27, “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” We always assumed that Jesus was talking directly to Judas-Iscariot, but what if He wasn’t? What if the statement, “what you are about to do, do quickly,” was directed at Satan? Think about the interactions Jesus had with Peter and the demonic. How did he speak? He spoke directly to the demon(s) and ordered them to come out. Anyway, it’s just a thought.
If I stick with the NIV, I get a point-blank inference that Satan entered into Judas. So let’s examine that and see if it is a true statement.
The Greek word for entered is eiserchomai and means (According to Thayer’sDefinitions) 1) to go out or come in: to enter; 1b) of Satan taking possession of the body of a person.
So, yes, it is true that Satan entered Judas.
What does Satan entering Judas do to the previous three years and events in Judas’ life? Nothing. Get serious; there is not a man on the face of the earth that is immune to Satan’s deception unless they have accepted Jesus as the Lord of their life, receive the power of the Holy Spirit, and get firmly planted in God’s word; then, you stand a chance.
It seems like being a follower of Jesus Christ would be firm and common ground, but spend a little time in recovery and you will see that people fall off the wagon with regularity. Every few months they come dragging themselves back to meetings, not understanding what they did, or what happened in their religious moment at some altar or a church bench. This lack of understanding opens the door for Satan to run them ragged.
How about those who think they are the pillars of the church; can they be deceived and battered about? Absolutely. The Apostle Paul, in his letter to Timothy, instructs the young man about moving in gentleness and wisdom toward people who seem to betray their salvation, when in fact, they have been taken captive by Satan at his will.
2Timothy 2:24-26 NASB The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, (25) with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, (26) and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.
If Satan can snare a believer, then he can catch Judas as well.
- The other disciples had no clue that Judas Iscariot harbored treacherous thoughts.
This idea that the other disciples had no clue seems to be a contradiction to most everything the authors of this treatise have conveyed. It is, however, a true statement, because, as I said moments ago, when I pointed out John 13:28, that none of them understood what was going on.
- When Jesus mentioned a betrayer in their midst, the other disciples worried that it was they who would prove disloyal (John 13:22).
- No one suspected Judas. He was a trusted member of the Twelve.
- Even when Jesus told Judas, “What you are about to do, do quickly,” (John 13:27), and Judas left the Last Supper, the others at the table simply thought Judas had been sent to buy more food or to give something to charity (verses 28–29).
- Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord with a kiss, perfectly in keeping with his brazen duplicity (Luke 22:47–48).
Again, that word betrayal. Luke indicated a kiss most likely because it was dark (I say this because they had tried or wanted to kill Jesus on several occasions. The Jewish council knew who he was and what he looked like. They may not have known precisely where he was that night,) who Jesus was.
Judas-Iscariot’s actions fulfilled several prophetic words that night; and, played precisely into a Godly timeline that was to be achieved only a few hours from this moment.
- After committing his atrocious act, Judas “was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders” (Matthew 27:3). But we learn that remorse does not equal repentance—rather than make amends or seek forgiveness, “he went away and hanged himself” (Matthew 27:5).
The Complete Jewish Bible translation tells us that “he was seized with remorse.” Few other translations treat Judas so kindly. Most read something like this,
Matthew 27:3 NASB Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,”
Saw is the Greek word eidō and means to perceive with the eyes, notice, discern, and discover, among others.
Condemned is the Greek word katakrinō and means judged worthy of punishment.
Some questions: if Judas truly wanted Jesus to die because of this so-called “betrayal,” why would he care what became of Jesus?
We are told that Judas-Iscariot saw (perceived) that he had been condemned. From whom and how did this perception come? Did it come from Jesus? I don’t think so, and we never see any interaction between the two after the kiss in the garden.
Did the condemnation come from the other disciples? Quite possibly, however, only those who were in the upper room and then the garden would have been aware of what transpired.
Could the condemnation come from the chief priests and elders, the same ones who lured Judas in, that they could have Jesus killed? This type of behavior would have been a common occurrence for them.
Felt and remorse are merely the same Greek word used twice. It is because of conjunctive words, that the meaning can be ascertained as “feeling remorse.” Old English, however, can occasionally be a poor translation and it mandates that we pursue the alternative possibilities from a concordance.
The Greek word is metamellomai and means to care afterward, regret, and repent, denoting a change of place or condition, and mélomai, mid. of mélō(n.f. see mélei[G3199], to concern), to be concerned.
So when we talk of repentance in the Christian community, aren’t we talking about 180 degree turns from that troublesome thing or a change in condition? All these words are religiously applied to repentance, and yet we can’t find any room for that in Judas-Iscariot.
So I could read Matthew 27:3 as, when Judas Iscariot determined what the Jewish council’s real intent was, he had a deep concern about delivering Jesus over to the Jewish council; as he has now learned their hidden agenda was to have Jesus killed.
© Copyright 2002-2018 Got Questions Ministries.