Judas Iscariot

CORE PASSAGE: Luke 22:3-4

Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus’ 12 disciples. He was the son of Simon Iscariot (John 6:71). The word “Iscariot” refers to his hometown of Kerioth in southern Judah. He was from Judah (the only one of the Twelve who was not from Galilee). The name “Iscariot” is used to distinguish him from the other Judas who was also one of Jesus’ disciples (Luke 6:16).

He was the appointed treasurer for the disciples. He did not understand that Jesus’ kingdom was a heavenly one and not an earthly one. He became disillusioned and dishonest (John 12:6John 13:29).

During the week of the Passover festival, Judas went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus for a reward of thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16). After the Passover supper, Judas betrayed Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with a kiss, and Jesus was arrested. Afterwards, Judas regretted what he had done and tried to return the money to the chief priests. They refused to take it. Judas then threw the money before the chief priests and elders (Matthew 27:3-10) and went and killed himself (instead of asking Jesus to forgive him).

It is difficult to understand why Judas betrayed Jesus. He was in charge of the disciples’ finances, so he probably didn’t do it only for the money. Some people think that Judas didn’t really understand Jesus’ mission and was hoping his betrayal would force Jesus into asserting His true power and overthrowing the Romans. Others suggest that perhaps Judas thought that Jesus was a false Messiah and was someone who mixed with sinners and who didn’t obey all the Jewish laws. After Judas’ death, another disciple was chosen to join the other eleven. His name was Matthias (Acts 1:26)

LIFE LESSONS:

• Stop bad thoughts before they become evil plans.
• Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy: the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:9).
• When you do wrong, ask for forgiveness.
• God’s plan and purposes always work out.

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