Why Jesus Was Betrayed by Judas Iscariot
Judas Iscariot sealed his own fate from the moment he planted a kiss on Jesus of Nazareth in the Garden of Gethsemane.But by identifying Jesus to the Jewish authorities, Judas set in motion a series of events that became the foundations of the Christian faith: Jesus’s arrest, his trial, his crucifixion, and ultimately his resurrection, known collectively as the Passion of Christ.WATCH:Jesus: His Life in HIST.
In recent years, the discovery of the long-lost Gospel of Judas, a Gnostic document that was originally written in the second century, has prompted some historians to reexamine Judas’s participation in the events of the New Testament, even questioning if he was wrongfully accused of betraying Jesus.
Who Was Judas Iscariot? What We Know from the Bible
Despite the fact that the Bible provides little details concerning Judas’s upbringing, he is listed as one of Jesus’ closest disciples, or apostles, in all four of the New Testament’s canonical gospels. Intriguingly, Judas Iscariot is the only one of the apostles who is (possibly) identified by his hometown in the Bible, which is a unique distinction. Some academics believe that his surname “Iscariot” is derived from the town of Queriot (also known as Kerioth), which is located south of Jerusalem in the Judean Hills.
- The northern section of Israel, or Roman Palestine, is where Jesus hails from.
- However, there is nothing in the Bible that links Judas to the Sicarii, and the Sicarii were only discovered to be active after Judas’ death.
- Because people are always attempting to justify why he would have done anything like this.
- At the Last Supper, Jesus announced his betrayal to the assembled guests.
- Images courtesy of David Lees/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images
Possible Motives for Judas Iscariot’s Betrayal
According to the Gospel of John, Jesus revealed to his followers over the Last Supper that one of them would betray him if they didn’t repent of their actions. In response to their question, Jesus responded, “It is the person to whom I offer this piece of bread after I have dipped it in the dish.” Later, Judas, who was recognized as the “son of Simon Iscariot,” was given a piece of bread that had been dipped in a dish by the apostle. “Satan came into Judas when he received the piece of bread,” the Bible says.
The Gospel of Luke, like the Gospel of John, attributed Judas’ treachery to Satan’s influence rather than simple avarice, as was the case in the Gospel of John.
In the words of Cargill, “there have always been some who have sought to attach Judas’s treachery to the fact that he had a love of money.” Others have speculated that his disloyal behavior was motivated by a greater political purpose.
Alternately, according to Cargill, Judas (along with Jewish authorities at the time) might have perceived a rebellion as potentially dangerous for the Jewish people in general, similar to what happened when Rome destroyed Sepphoris earlier in the first century: “Maybe he decided to hand Jesus over, in effect, to put a stop to a larger rebellion.” More information may be found at: Why Did Pontius Pilate Order Jesus’ Execution?
What Happened After That
No matter what his motivations were, Judas led troops to the Garden of Gethsemane, where he recognized Jesus as the Messiah by kissing him and addressing him as “Rabbi.” (Matthew 14:44–46) As recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, Judas instantly repented of his conduct and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the church’s treasurer, declaring, “I have sinned by betraying the blood of innocent men and women.” When the authorities dismissed Judas, he left the money on the floor and committed himself by hanging himself from the ceiling fan (Matthew 27:3-8).
- The Bible contains several different versions of Judas’s death.
- The Book of Acts, on the other hand, portrays his death as more akin to a spontaneous combustion than anything else.
- As a result, he proceeded into a field, where he “fell headlong into the center of it and burst asunder, with all his guts gushing out” as a result of “falling headlong into it” (Acts 1:18).
- Because of Judas’ treachery, Jesus was arrested, tried, and executed by crucifixion, following which he was raised from the dead.
- However, the name “Judas” came to be associated with betrayal in a variety of languages, and Judas Iscariot would come to be depicted as the prototypical traitor and false friend in Western art and literature as a result.
- MOVE ON TO THE NEXT PAGE: Mary Magdalene: Prostitute, Wife, or None of the Above?
Was Judas Really That Bad?
According to Joan Acocellawrote in The New Yorker in 2006, “the most essential aspect about Judas, aside from his betrayal of Jesus, is his association with anti-Semitism.” Judas has been held up as a symbol of Jews by Christians almost since Christ’s crucifixion, representing what they believe to be the Jewish people’s deviousness and thirst for money, among other ethnic vices.” Due to the historical inclination to associate Judas with anti-Semitic stereotypes, following the horrors of the Holocaust, this significant Biblical figure has been given a second look, and his image has even been somewhat restored in some quarters of the world.
When writing about Judas in 1997, Canadian biblical historian Professor William Klassen asserted that many elements of his betrayal had been fabricated or embellished by early Christian church leaders, particularly as the Church began to drift away from Judaism.
What Is the Gospel of Judas?
It was revealed in 2006 by the National Geographic Society that a long-lost document known as the “Gospel of Judas” had been discovered and translated. The text is thought to have been composed about A.D. 150 and subsequently transcribed from Greek into Coptic in the third century, according to historians. The Gospel of Judas was first mentioned in writing by the second-century cleric Irenaeus, and it is one of a number of ancient texts that have been discovered in recent decades that have been linked to the Gnostics, a (mostly Christian) group who were denounced as heretics by early church leaders for their unorthodox spiritual beliefs.
According to this version of the story, Jesus begged Judas to betray him to the authorities so that he may be released from his physical body and fulfill his mission of redeeming people on earth.
Getty Images/Universal History Archive/Universal Image Group Despite the fact that it is a well-known piece of literature, the Gospel of Judas is surrounded by controversy, with some scholars claiming that the National Geographic Society’s version is a faulty translation of a Coptic text and that the public was misled into believing it depicted a “noble Judas.” According to whatever interpretation you choose, given that the Gospel of Judas was written at least a century after both Jesus and Judas died, it offers little in the way of historically reliable information about their lives, and certainly does not provide the missing link to understanding Judas Iscariot”s true motivations.
As Cargill points out, “the fact is that we don’t know why Judas did what he did.” “Of course, the great irony is that without it, Jesus would not have been delivered up to the Romans and executed.
Why did Judas betray Jesus?
QuestionAnswer While we can never know for definite why Judas betrayed Jesus, there are several things we can be confident of. First and foremost, despite the fact that Judas was chosen to be one of the Twelve (John 6:64), all scriptural evidence indicates that he never believed Jesus to be the Son of God. He may not have even been convinced that Jesus was the Messiah at the time (as Judas understood it). Unlike the other disciples, who addressed Jesus as “Lord,” Judas never addressed him as such, instead referring to him as “Rabbi,” implying that Jesus was nothing more than a teacher.
This lack of confidence in Jesus serves as the foundation for all of the other concerns that will be discussed further down.
If we fail to accept Jesus as God incarnate and, as a result, as the only One who is capable of providing forgiveness for our sins—along with the everlasting redemption that comes with it—we will be vulnerable to a slew of other issues that arise as a result of having a distorted vision of the divine.
- When the synoptic gospels list the Twelve, they are usually given in the same basic sequence, with minor changes, with the exception of Matthew and Mark (Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19; Luke 6:14-16).
- Regardless of the differences, Peter and the brothers James and John are always mentioned first, which is consistent with their personal ties with Jesus and the apostles.
- Aside from that, the only known exchange between Jesus and his betrayer Judas is Judas being scolded by Jesus after making a greed-motivated comment to Mary (John 12:1-8), Judas’ denial of his treachery (Matthew 26:25), and the act of betrayal itself (Matthew 26:26).
- In a third instance, as we can see in John 12:5-6, Judas was overwhelmed by greed to the point of betraying not only the confidence of Jesus, but also that of his fellow disciples.
- The fact that Judas was in control of the organization’s moneybag would show that he had a financial stake in the group (John 13:29).
- Judas may have followed Jesus in the hope of reaping the benefits of being associated with Him as the next political force in the world.
- By the time of Judas’ betrayal, Jesus had made it obvious that He intended to die rather than instigate a revolt against the Roman authorities.
- Some Old Testament scriptures, some more precisely than others, allude to the violation of the king’s trust.
- “I also told them, ‘If you believe it’s best, give me my salary; if you don’t, keep it,'” says the author.
And the LORD said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter,’ referring to the great price at which they had valued me.’ And with those thirty pieces of silver in my possession, I gave them to the potter who worked in the LORD’s temple (Zechariah 11:12-13; see Matthew 27:3-5 for the fulfillment of the Zechariah prophecy).
- But, if God was aware of Judas’ treachery, did Judas have a choice, and is he held accountable for his role in the betrayal?
- This is due in great part to our limited understanding of time.
- In a linear sense, we see time as a straight line, and we go from one place to another gradually, recalling the past we have previously traveled through but being unable to see into the future we are about to enter into.
- He exists outside of time.
- However, Judas had the entire capability to make his decision—at least until “Satan came into him” (John 13:27), and God’s foreknowledge (John 13:10, 18, and 21) in no way exceeds Judas’ ability to make any particular option in any specific situation.
- “I’ll tell you the truth: one of you will betray me—and it will be the one who is eating with me right now” (Mark 14:18).
- As for culpability for this betrayal, Jesus said: “Woe to the one who betrays the Son of Man!
- We see in John 13:26-27 that Satan played a role in this, and he will be held accountable for his actions as a result of them as well.
- Because Satan assisted in the sending of Jesus to the cross, sin and death were vanquished, and God’s provision of redemption is now freely available to anyone who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior (Romans 6:23).
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Why Did Judas Betray Jesus after Following Him for Three Years?
However, although hundreds of individuals accompanied Jesus during his career, occasionally giving housing or providing for basic necessities such as food (Luke 8), the majority of us are aware that Jesus had 12 disciples whom he specifically picked. The twelve apostles of Jesus would be comprised of individuals like these. Of these, Judas Iscariot is the most infamous. After three years of following Jesus during the course of Jesus’ public ministry, Judas Iscariot handed his companion over to the religious leaders, who tried him and sentenced him to death.
We may recall close pals from our high school or college years who have remained with us for more than three years if we reflect back on our past experiences.
I certainly hope not.
The reasons why Judas betrayed Jesus will be discussed in this article, as will the reasons why Judas finally took his own life when he learned the consequences of his conduct.
What Does the Bible Say about Judas?
Identifying what the Bible has to say about Judas is essential before delving into the reasons for his betrayal of Jesus. For one thing, as noted out in the Crosswalk piece mentioned above, we don’t have a clear understanding of why Judas did what he did. Theologians have developed a number of hypotheses, which we will discuss in more detail later. The Bible says in Psalm 41:9, “Even my close buddy, in whom I put my faith and who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me. This text, which may be found in the Old Testament, predicts that a close friend of Jesus’ would rise their heel against him.
Judas took a bite out of it.
Judas is one of the twelve disciples that were chosen by Jesus.
But one of his students, Judas Iscariot, who would eventually betray him, objected: “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?” (John 12:4-6) “It was the equivalent of a year’s pay.” But he didn’t say this because he was concerned about the impoverished; rather, he said it because, in his capacity as the money bag’s custodian, he used to help himself to whatever was placed in it.” During Jesus’ career, it appeared that the apostles played a variety of duties.
- Judas was in charge of the money, acting as a type of treasurer.
- However, because Judas betrays Jesus for money, the magnitude of his betrayal is magnified even further.
- In terms of spiritual possession or tyranny, we’re not sure what we’re dealing with.
- Judas, on the other hand, had already agreed to betray Jesus before to this night’s events.
- Despite the fact that Judas had previously devised a plan in his heart to betray Jesus, Satan appears to provide the final push here.
- ‘When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been sentenced, he was overcome with guilt and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,’ says Matthew 27:3 (New International Version).
This appears to imply that he did not wish for Jesus to be crucified. Possibly he was bored up with Jesus, or perhaps he was disappointed that Jesus did not turn out to be the insurrectionist that he had hoped. He, on the other hand, is filled with remorse.
Why Did Judas Betray Jesus?
Theologians are divided on this point. In the words of the Crosswalk article referenced above: “At the other extreme of the idea spectrum is the proposition that Judas betrayed Jesus because Judas was a nasty man all along.a wolf in sheep’s clothes.” This idea is primarily based on the image of Judas in the Gospel of John, which paints a highly negative portrait of the betrayed apostle.” When we examine Judas’ guilt in the paragraph above, we can see that this idea falls short at times.
- Although Jesus foresaw that Judas would eventually betray him, we do not know if Judas really did so.
- Despite the fact that Satan did enter Jesus’ body, and despite the fact that some may argue that Judas had no autonomy, we observe Judas forming a pact with the religious authorities long before Satan appears during the Last Supper.
- This appears to indicate that Judas had great expectations for Jesus at the beginning of his mission, but that after three years, he was dissatisfied with what he had witnessed.
- This is supported by the Crosswalk article: “During the time of Jesus, the people of Israel were subject to the control of the Roman Empire.
- They were in desperate need of a monarch who had been anointed to guide them on their journey.
- He was unquestionably selected by God.
- He talked with authority regarding the establishment of a new monarchy.
- This might explain Judas’ surprise when he learned that Jesus had been sentenced to death.
- The religious elders demand that he repay the 30 pieces of silver to them since he has committed sin by “betraying innocent blood.” Whatever the circumstances, Judas was ultimately responsible for Jesus’ betrayal.
How Did Judas Die?
The killing of Judas is described in great detail in the Bible, although in graphic detail. As soon as the religious authorities refuse to take the 30 silver pieces, Judas throws them on the ground and walks to a nearby field where he hangs himself. I won’t go into much more detail than that, but if you want some hyper-realistic depictions, go no further than Acts 1:18, which is available online. The religious leaders then spend the monies to purchase a potter’s field, which allows them to fulfill an Old Testament prophecy that they would do so (Matthew 27:9).
- After all, when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, people greeted him with palm branches and shouted “hallelujah.” He was put to death less than a week later, according to the authorities.
- Judas was predicted to betray Jesus in the Old Testament, and it was through his treachery that Jesus died on the cross for our sins.
- Even though he was aware that Judas would betray him, Jesus nonetheless bathed Judas’ feet before the Last Supper (John 13), demonstrating his willingness to serve.
- We betrayed Jesus by our actions.
- Jesus, on the other hand, chose to wash our feet.
- And, eventually, to save our lives.
- Heaven, so close yet so far awayBetrayed!
- More than 1,200 of her pieces have been published in a variety of journals, ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids, among others.
- Jenkins and Michelle Medlock Adams.
She is also a co-author of the Dear Heroduology, which was published by INtense Publications and is available for purchase online. Her inspirational adult novel Picture Imperfect, which will be released in November of 2021, will also be released. You may learn more about her by visiting her website.
Judas Iscariot: The Mysterious Disciple Who Betrayed Jesus with a Kiss
When it comes to Judas’s death, the Bible provides a lot of grisly detail. As soon as the religious authorities refuse to take the 30 silver pieces, Judas throws them on the ground and walks to a nearby field where he hangs himself. While I won’t go into further depth on this topic, Acts 1:18 is a good place to start if you want some hyper-realistic depictions of what happened. Once the money have been spent, the religious leaders use them to purchase a potter’s field, thereby fulfilling an Old Testament promise (Matthew 27:9).
- As a result, when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, the crowds greeted him with palm branches and joy.
- The actions of Judas, no matter how heinous they were, played a crucial role in Jesus’ death and resurrection.
- One of Jesus’ final encounters with Judas is very poignant and should be remembered.
- It’s easy to snort when we hear about Judas’ actions, until we understand that we are, in reality, the ones who committed the crimes against humanity.
- He died as a result of our sins, Our feet are washed by Jesus, nevertheless.
- Episodes from the Ministry that are related include the following: So Close, Yet So Far: The plight of the Palestinian people Judas Iscariot’s Surprising Life and Times.
- ‘Heaven’ is so close, but so far away.
- More than 1,200 of her writings have been published in a variety of magazines, ranging from Writer’s Digest to Keys for Kids and beyond.
- Jenkins, Michelle Medlock Adams, and others for a variety of publishing businesses, periodicals, newspapers, and literary agencies, among others.
- She is also a co-author of the Dear Heroduology, which was published by INtense Publications and is available for purchase.
- Her website has further information about her.
The Gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke, and John, as well as the Acts of the Apostles, all contain accounts of Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (also called the “Book of Acts”). The biblical accounts do not specify where or when Judas was born, and they give several distinct accounts of how he passed away. According to legend, Judas was a follower of Jesus who betrayed him by consenting to hand him up to a mob commanded by the chief priests in return for money — 30 pieces of silver, according to the Gospel of Matthew — in exchange for the death of his master.
The crowd then took Jesus to Pontius Pilate, the Roman ruler of Judea, where he was arraigned.
A 1,200-year-old manuscript written in Coptic — an Egyptian language that employs the Greek alphabet — and newly translated alleges that Judas used a kiss to betray his commander because Jesus had the capacity to change his appearance.
While the four gospels make no attempt to explain why a kiss was used to identify Jesus, they do make some observations.
As recorded in the Gospel of John, Jesus approached Judas during the final supper, warning him, “Whatever you are going to do, do it now.” Several times in the Gospels of Luke and John, Satan is said to have “entered” Judas at different points in his life, which may have affected his choice to betray Jesus.
According to the story, Judas was the treasurer for Jesus and his 12 disciples, responsible for transporting the money bag that the group shared and occasionally stealing from it.
I could have made a year’s salary off of that.’ He didn’t say this because he cared for the poor; rather, he said it because he was a robber who used to help himself to whatever was put into the money bag while he was in charge of it.” John 12:4-6 is an example of a parable.
Death of Judas
The Bible has two separate narratives of Judas’ death, each with its own explanation. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Judas was remorseful for betraying Jesus and attempted to return the 30 pieces of silver that he had been compensated with. In Matthew 27:3-5, Judas informs the chief priests and elders that he has betrayed them “‘I have sinned,’ he confessed, ‘for I have betrayed the blood of innocent people.’ ‘What does that mean to us?’ they inquired. You are solely responsible for this.
Then he walked out and committed himself by hanging himself.” In turn, the 30 pieces of silver were put to use to purchase a parcel of land that would eventually be utilized as a burial cemetery for foreigners – a location known as the Field of Blood.
“After receiving money for his wickedness, Judas went out and purchased a field, where he fell headfirst, causing his body to break open and all of his intestines to stream out.
According to the Acts of the Apostles, a man called Matthias took Judas’ position as one of the twelve disciples.
Gospel of Judas
National Geographic released the “Gospel of Judas” in 2006, a late third-century document that may portray Judas in a more favorable light than previously thought. The work is classified as a “apocryphal” document, meaning it was never included in the Bible, according to academics. Apocryphal literature about Jesus and his life were written all across the ancient world, and many of them are still in existence today. The Gospel of Judas, like certain other ancient manuscripts, is written in the Coptic language.
According to the translation, Jesus begged Judas to betray him in order for his execution to take place on the cross.
It is conceivable for you to get there, but you will suffer greatly as a result of your efforts.
April DeConick, chair of the department of religion at Rice University in Houston, wrote on her website that the Gospel of Judas is actually a “parody about a ‘demon’ Judas written by a particular group of Gnostic Christians we call the Sethians,” and that there are a number of errors in the translation.
Oxford University Press is planning to publish a new translation and study of the Gospel of Judasis in April of this year, according to their website. Additional materials are available at:
- Learn about the history of Ancient Israel, as well as who Jesus was and what he did. Learn about the World’s Earliest Christian Engraving in this article.
Owen Jarus is a writer for Live Science who specializes in archaeology and all topics relating to the history of mankind. A bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto and a journalism degree from Ryerson University are among Owen’s qualifications. He loves learning about fresh research and is always on the lookout for an interesting historical story.
Judas Betrays Jesus – Bible Story
The story of Judas betraying Jesus is told in all four gospels, and it is a well-known biblical event. It is widely recognized in Christian theology as one of the most serious instances of treason ever to have occurred. There are various possible theories for Judas’ betrayal of Jesus, including bribery and demonic possession, that differ throughout the gospels. According to the Gospels, Jesus knew about Judas’ treachery and gave his consent to it. One perspective is that Jesus authorized the betrayal because it would allow God’s plan to be realized, while another is that Jesus was ultimately doomed to be crucified as part of God’s plan regardless of the betrayal.
- As he sits down to eat at the Last Supper, Jesus predicts that “one of you will betray me,” a reference to Judas Iscariot.
- He offers to lead them to Jesus in exchange for a payment of 30 silver coins.
- “Greetings, Rabbi!” says the narrator.
- “Fellow, what is your purpose in being here?” says the speaker.
- (Matthew 26:49; Matthew 26:50) “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” Jesus asks, responding to his own inquiry.
- “Should we strike with the sword, Lord?” they inquire of the lord.
- Malchus’ ear is caressed by Jesus, who uses it to cure the wound.
- The reason why Jesus is willing to be taken is because, as he says, “How else would the Scriptures be fulfilled that state that it must take place this way?” (See Matthew 26:52 for further information.) This ultimately leads to Christ’s trial and execution on the cross.
Why Is Judas Such a Tragic Character in the Bible?
Each of the four gospels has a version of the story of Judas betraying Jesus. It is widely recognized in Christian theology as one of the most serious instances of treason ever experienced. Judas’ betrayal of Jesus is explained in several ways throughout the gospels, including bribery and demonic possession, all of which differ from one another in detail. According to the Gospels, Jesus knew about Judas’ treachery and gave his consent. Some believe that Jesus authorized the betrayal because it would allow God’s purpose to be realized, while others believe that Jesus was destined for death regardless of the betrayal since it was part of God’s plan all along.
- As soon as Judas leaves the table, he heads to the Roman authorities, who are eager to arrest Jesus.
- Jesus and the disciples were going to a garden outside Jerusalem, which Judas knew about.
- I’d want to wish you a pleasant day, Rabbi!” When Judas says this, Jesus receives a very small kiss from him in response.
- After a while, the apostles realize what is going on and rush to Jesus’ side.
- Peter uses one of the two swords that the apostles have at their disposal to do so.
When Peter doesn’t listen, he tells him to put his weapon back where it belongs: “For everyone who takes up the sword will perish as a result of the sword.” After all, “How would the Scriptures be fulfilled,” he explains, “if it were not to take place this way?” he is willing to be taken captive.
(2:52) According to Matthew 26:52, Following this, Christ is brought before a court of law and executed by hanging on a stake.
Who Was Judas in the Bible?
It is in Matthew 10:1 that Judas is first named, as part of a list of the 12 disciples to whom Jesus presented special gifts and who thereafter became his closest associates. There were 72 disciples who Jesus sent out to undertake ministry, according to what we know. We also know that several hundred individuals were following Jesus at any given time (Luke 10). Some of the 12 disciples were reportedly closer to Jesus than others, and they formed an inner circle within the group of 72. Individual time with Jesus was spent by Peter, James, and John, and the Gospel of John refers to “the disciple Jesus loved” on a number of different occasions.
- The incident in which he encountered Jesus is not described in the Gospels in the same way as it is for Peter or Philip.
- In addition, the Gospels do not provide any specific situations in which Judas is seen with Jesus.
- The writers would have concentrated on repeating the key events (those that are mentioned in many Gospels as important occurrences) as well as their own personal experiences (Peter recalling the Transfiguration, for example).
- This absence of mention of Judas may also imply that Judas did nothing out of the usual during his time in prison.
- Nobody would remember him as the “disciple most likely to succeed” since he didn’t accomplish anything particularly cool.
- He didn’t appear to be any less spiritual or more rebellious than the other lads, despite the fact that he was one of them.
- The gospels of Matthew 26, Mark 14, and John all agree that when Jesus warned the disciples that one of them would betray him, no one singled out Judas as the one who would betray him.
Even after Jesus recognized Judas as the betrayer and ordered him to go, the other disciples believed something more benign was taking place (John 13:27-30).
Why Did Judas Betray Jesus?
The Bible does not take us directly inside Judas’ thinking, nor does it contain any scenarios in which he attempts to justify his conduct. As a result, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what he thought of Jesus when he first began following him, and what happened that caused him to decide to betray his master. However, we do know that in John 6:64-70, Jesus told his disciples that he was aware that some of them did not believe, and that one of them was even a demon. This condemnation shows that there was something basic about Jesus’ teaching that Judas failed to recognize or understand.
- Due to the fact that others attempted to assassinate Jesus on multiple occasions, Judas must have believed he had something significant to gain by being with Jesus, something that made the danger worthwhile.
- When it became evident that Jesus was not acting in the manner of a political champion (riding into Jerusalem on a warhorse, murdering Romans), Judas may have rethought his decision about who he wanted to support.
- He was simply unhappy because if Mary had sold the perfume for the group, he would have accessed the earnings and taken part for himself, according to the author’s interpretation (John 12:6).
- This scenario implies that Judas was financially gaining from his association with Jesus, and he may have been concerned that Jesus was aware of his stealing because of this association.
- As blasphemy was claimed by the religious officials (Leviticus 24:16), Judas was probably definitely aware that things were not going to finish with Jesus “making a bargain” and walking away alive from the scene of his betrayal.
- It was difficult for Pilate to understand what the people were requesting (Luke 23:1-56) (John 19:4-6) because the Romans did not inflict penalties for religious disagreements at that time.
However, it is apparent that Judas was not a psychopath who did not accept responsibility for what he had done in the first place. He eventually came to terms with the truth of his conduct and was grieved by the realization.
Why Is Judas’ Life So Tragic?
The Bible does not take us directly inside Judas’ head, nor does it contain any scenarios in which he attempts to justify his conduct to the other disciples. As a result, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what he believed of Jesus when he first began following him, and what happened that caused him to decide to betray Jesus. While we don’t know exactly what Jesus said to his followers in John 6:64-70, we do know that he acknowledged that some of them were not believers and that one of them was even the devil.
- Possibly he didn’t believe in Jesus as the Messiah, but he simply went along for the ride in order to gain influence as Jesus rose to prominence and gained power and authority.
- Perhaps he believed, like did the other disciples, that the Messiah was on his way to liberate Israel from Roman rule (Acts 1:6), so establishing himself as the new king of the Jews.
- The only time we get a glimpse into Judas’ intentions is when he reprimands Mary for pouring perfume on Jesus’ feet.
- After Jesus urged Judas to leave Mary alone, Judas met with religious leaders and accepted money in exchange for betraying Jesus.
- When Jesus was sentenced to be crucified, it’s also noteworthy to remember that Judas felt a pang of remorse (Matthew 27:3-10).
- The fact that the authorities were able to convince the Romans to execute Jesus via crucifixion may have taken him completely by surprise.
- Given that Judas had spent years traveling with Jesus, it’s possible that he was overwhelmed by the emotional weight of what he’d done, especially in light of the amount of time he’d spent with this guy in the past.
However, it is obvious that Judas was not a psychopath who did not accept responsibility for his actions. When he finally came to terms with the truth of his actions, he was devastated.
How Can We Learn from His Mistakes?
While we hope that none of us will find ourselves in the same situation as Judas, we may all take a few lessons from his actions: Please consider our reasons in great detail. Judas’ reasons for following Jesus were corrupted, whether it was because of money, a different concept of what the Messiah was meant to be, or anything else. We all need to take some time to consider what we actually want in a circumstance and whether we are acting out of selfish intentions (and maybe not admitting to ourselves).
- Similar to this, we must acknowledge our selfish reasons and question ourselves whether our desires will ultimately lead to anything positive.
- In a similar vein, what the devil promised Judas appeared to be a fair deal at the time—a chance to silence someone who would expose his illicit activities—but the outcome revealed that it was a horrible deal.
- Recognize that our prior performance does not imply that we are flawless.
- Many of us want to point to our past successes as evidence that we will continue to perform well in the future.
- As long as we remain on this side of the veil, we will continue to be imperfect human beings who are capable of making mistakes.
- Learn more about Judas betrayed Jesus by reading the whole tale in the scriptural text below, as well as articles, videos, and audio sermons that relate to this illuminating event.
Why Did Judas Betray Jesus?
Assume you’re in biblical times during the week of Passover. In a few days, on Sunday, Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem for the first time. A massive throng of people gathered along the streets where he was traveling. Some of them lay their cloaks out on the side of the road. Another group of people removed branches from the trees and spread them across the road. “Hosanna to the Son of David!” the crowd exclaimed. A blessing is upon him who comes in the name of the Lord! “Hosanna to the highest degree!” Nonetheless, on this day, Jesus instructs his followers, saying, “You are aware that the Passover is approaching, and that the Son of Man will be handed up to be crucified after two days.” These remarks have caused consternation and confusion among the disciples.
“Can you tell me what you’ll offer me if I surrender him to you?” Judas approaches them and asks them a question.
The Price of Betrayal
They give Judas 30 pieces of money in exchange for his services. One of Jesus’s followers betrays him on Thursday evening, as he and his disciples are having the Passover supper in an upper chamber. “Truly, I tell to you, one of you will betray me,” Jesus says. “Is it really I, Rabbi?” Judas inquires of Jesus. “You have stated as much,” Jesus responds. Judas departs from the upper chamber. After praying in Gethsemane for a few hours, Jesus declares, “Behold, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.” “Rise, let us get moving; look, my betrayer is right around the corner.” At that point, Judas appears, escorted by a large group of people wielding swords and clubs, who have been dispatched by the chief priests and elders of the community.
They apprehend Jesus and force the disciples to escape.
By the afternoon, he had passed away.
What might possibly motivate one of the twelve disciples to betray their Lord?
Theory 1: Judas actually didn’t betray Jesus.
Towards the other extreme of the theoretical spectrum is a proposal made by Research Professor William Klassen, who passed away in the spring of 2019. Klassen argues in his bookJudas: Betrayer or Friend of Jesus? that Judas tried to construct a connection between the Jewish authorities and Jesus, and that Jesus was fully aware of what Judas was up to at all times. Instead of betraying Jesus to the authorities, Klassen claims that Judas was betrayed by the authorities themselves, rather than by Jesus.
In the words of Klassen, there is “a plethora of reasons to give Judas the benefit of the doubt.” Klassen’s thesis suffers from a main and, in some cases, fatal flaw: he assumes that Jesus was completely unaware of what was about to take place.
He had no desire to die, and he makes no indication that he want to die at any moment.
Nobody knew what would happen as a result of it.”
Theory 2: Judas was bad from the beginning.
Those who believe that Judas betrayed Jesus do so because Judas was a wicked man all along.a wolf in sheep’s clothing, to put it another way, are on the opposite extreme of the theory spectrum.
In particular, this view is predicated on the portrayal of Judas in the Gospel of John, which paints a highly negative picture of the betrayer. Here are a few illustrations:
- Following his statement that they should eat his flesh and drink his blood, Jesus claims that his words are spirit and life, but some of his disciples do not trust him. This is followed by a parenthetical note – “For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.” – which suggests that Judas did not believe in the first place. Immediately following Peter’s statement that they “have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God,” Jesus asks, “Did I not chose you, the twelve? ” “Yet one of you is a demon,” says the other. For the record, according to John, “He talked of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot,” because he was one of the twelve who was about to betray him.
- Jesus’ feet are anointed with costly ointment in John 12, and Judas laments that the ointment might have been sold for 300 days’ pay, with the proceeds going to the needy. Judas, according to John, “was a thief,” and “having custody of the moneybag, he used to help himself to whatever was placed into it.”
There is a flaw in the argument that Judas was a terrible guy from the start, which stems from the fact that Jesus picked Judas to be one of his twelve followers. If Judas was actually bad from the beginning, then:
- For what reason would Jesus choose Judas to be a member of his inner circle for three years
- For what reason would Jesus delegate Judas’ responsibility for managing the money bag
- And for what reason would Jesus grant Judas and the other disciples “power and authority to cast out demons, heal diseases, and proclaim the kingdom of God” before sending them out “to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick”? (SeeMatthew 10, Mark 6, and Luke 9 for examples.) Is it possible that Jesus did not reform Judas over the three years that he spent almost every day with him?
Another flaw in this scenario is what Judas did after Jesus was sentenced to death, which is as follows: As soon as Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus had been sentenced, he changed his mind and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the Chief Priests and the Elders, claiming he had “sinned by betraying innocent blood,” according to the Gospel of John. “What does that mean to us?” they inquired. “Take care of it yourself.” Leaving the temple after hurling the silver coins into it, he proceeded to hang himself.
Why would a wicked guy be remorseful for “betraying innocent blood” in this world?
Theory 3: “Satan entered Judas” duringHoly Week.
While John’s Gospel appears to portray Judas as a wicked guy from the start, other Scripture passages and early Christian scholars picture him as a genuine disciple of Jesus who, at a key moment, came under the sway of Satan and turned his back on Jesus. In contrast to Matthew and Mark, who merely report that Judas went to the authorities to make plans for a betrayal, Luke adds an important term to the statement (which I will stress below):
- Then one of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I bring him over to you?” Matthew 26:14-15: “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver in exchange for his services. As a result, Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them, as recorded in Mark 14:10-11. And when they found out, they were overjoyed and offered to give him some money right away. And he was on the lookout for a chance to betray him. After then, Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve apostles, according to Luke 22:3-4. In the meantime, he walked away and discussed with the leading priests and officers how he could betray him to them.
Some early church academics and theologians, such as Origen, held fast to the view that Judas was a legitimate disciple of Jesus until he came under the sway of the devil (184-253 AD). Origen reminds out in his writings that although Jesus said that one of his followers would betray him, none of the disciples realized that it was Judas who had betrayed him. This might imply that Judas had been an excellent disciple who was well-liked by his Master at the time of his death. Judas’ covetousness is seen by Origen to be a major flaw in Judas, and it is possible that Satan took use of this weakness during Holy Week.
According to Origen, his act of contrition was genuine and heartfelt, and he was forgiven.
Is it possible for a loyal disciple of Jesus to turn bad for a few days before regaining his composure as soon as he fell?
Theory 4: Judas tried to force Jesus to rise to power.
It was under the control of Rome that the people of Israel lived during Jesus’ time. They wished passionately to defeat their oppressors and re-establish their homeland as soon as possible. They were in desperate need of a monarch who had been anointed to guide them on their journey. Is it possible that it’s Jesus? He was unquestionably selected by God. He was able to accomplish miracles. He talked with authority regarding the establishment of a new monarchy. He drew large throngs of people. Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey colt, which was the foal of a donkey, four days before he was betrayed by Judas Iscariot.
- With little doubt, Jesus was the prophesied king who would save the people from the oppression of their political leaders.
- They were inspired.
- including overthrowing the Romans.
- For this reason, in that kingdom, James and John requested to be seated on Jesus’ left and right hands, respectively.
- He had been acclaimed king by the throngs in attendance.
- When Jesus remained silent, it’s possible that Judas chose to push his hand.
- Jesus exclaimed, “I AM!” when surrounded by hundreds of soldiers, causing everyone to fall to the ground (John 18:6).
However, rather than assuming the role of political messiah, Jesus consented to be taken away by soldiers and subjected to a fake trial, conviction, and death. And Judas came to the realization that he had committed a horrible error. According to the fourth hypothesis.
What this means for us
Whatever the reason for his betrayal of Jesus, Judas will be known as a traitor for the rest of time. Jesus predicted that “.woe to the man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!” will happen. For the sake of that individual, it would have been preferable if he had not been born.” (See Matthew 26:24 for further information.) When we follow Jesus, we must do so with diligence and faithfulness, no matter where he takes us. And we need to pray for insight into what his plans are for us at this time.
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