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I’ve been thinking about Judas this week. There are a couple of questions that keep running through my mind that I want to try to answer as best I can.
1) What was it that led Judas to the point that he would betray Jesus? The obvious answer is greed, he did it for the money. But I think there was more behind it than just greed. I think his greed was fueled by disappointment. Judas had been disappointed by Jesus. Jesus did not live up to Judas’ expectations. It had become obvious to Judas that Jesus was not the kind of Messiah that was going to restore the kingdom to Israel. As far as Judas was concerned Jesus was not the Messiah at all. He didn’t talk like a Messiah. He didn’t lead like a Messiah. And He certainly didn’t act like a Messiah. At least not like a Messiah that Judas was looking for. So when it became apparent to Judas that Jesus was not who he thought He was, why not try to profit from His undoing.
2) Why did Jesus choose Judas as a disciple? I can think of at least 2 reasons. First, He did so to demonstrate the magnanimity of His love. Think about it. Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him and still he loved him and gave him every opportunity to turn from his wicked ways and choose Life. It is easy to love those that love you. It is far more difficult to love those that despise you and what you stand for. And yet that is what Jesus did. Secondly, Jesus chose Judas that the Scriptures might be fulfilled. John MacArthur puts it like this:
Prophecy was clear that Christ would be betrayed by a close friend. Why did Jesus choose Judas, then? He chose him to fulfill prophecy–not only the prophecy specifically about Judas, but also the prophecies of His own death. Somebody had to bring it to pass, and Judas was more than willing. God used the wrath of Judas to praise Him, and through the deed that Judas did, He brought salvation. Judas meant it for evil, but God used it for good.
Psalm 41:9, Psalm 55, Zechariah 11:12-13 were all fulfilled in the betrayal.
“Father, again I am reminded of how great Your love is for me in Jesus. And may I always be aware of the great price that was paid for my salvation.”
Next Week’s Passage: John 18:15-27