How Much of Judas is in You?
March 21, 2021
How Much of Judas is in You?
Since Easter is a few weeks away, I want us to look for a few minutes at Judas’ betrayal of Jesus from the Gospels of Matthew and John.
Judas had been a disciple for over 3 years. He had seen the miracles, heard Jesus’ personal teaching, was personally involved with Jesus and His closest associates.
Yet, he went astray. How could this happen?
It’s an amazing phenomenon of human personality that we can be in the middle of something, yet it does not affect us.
Demas forsook Paul after ministering with him:
2 Timothy 4:10 (NLT)
Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia.
2 Corinthians 13:5 (MSG)
Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need first hand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it.
As we look at Judas, stay aware that from the time we give our lives to Jesus, we are all in the process of change.
Philippians 2:12-13 (GW)
My dear friends, you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I’m absent. In the same way continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. 13 It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him.
The Feast of Passover and Unleavened Bread
Luke 22:1-6 (NLT)
The Festival of Unleavened Bread, which is also called Passover, was approaching. 2 The leading priests and teachers of religious law were plotting how to kill Jesus, but they were afraid of the people’s reaction. 3 Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, 4 and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. 5 They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. 6 So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.
After Israel left Egypt, God instituted the Feast of Unleavened Bread to commemorate Israel leaving Egypt in haste.
After the Passover, commemorating God delivering the firstborn of Israel and the firstborn in all of Egypt being slain, and Israel leaving the bondage of Egypt, God instituted the Feast of Unleavened Bread. During this feast of 7 days, the Israelites were to spotlessly clean their homes, removing any leaven.
Ancient Jewish Rabbis believed that leaven represented the evil impulses of the heart.
(From The Feasts of the Lord by Kevin Howard and Marvin Rosenthal – Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1977. Digital location 604).
Leaven (yeast) permeates dough and sours and ferments and causes the dough to become much larger than normal. It changes the dough significantly. It contaminates the dough and infects the dough with its fermenting properties.
Paul refers to leaven as sin in 1 Corinthians 5:
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NLT)
Your boasting about this is terrible. Don’t you realize that this sin is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough? 7 Get rid of the old “yeast” by removing this wicked person from among you. Then you will be like a fresh batch of dough made without yeast, which is what you really are. Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us. 8 So let us celebrate the festival, not with the old bread of wickedness and evil, but with the new bread of sincerity and truth.
Here is the story of Judas betraying Jesus.
This story is more significant to us than we realize.
Judas allowed the leaven or yeast of greed into his life, and it remained undealt with by him.
How much of Judas do you have in you?
Matthew 26:1-5 (NLT) The Plot to Kill Jesus
When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, 2 “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” 3 At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, 4 plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. 5 “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.”
Matthew 26:6-13 (NLT) Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. 7 While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. 8The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. 9 “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.”
Matthew 26:14-16 (NLT) Judas Agrees to Betray Jesus
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests 15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
In the passages we just read, there are four valuations of Jesus’ worth:
Leading Priests and elders: Jesus was worth only death
Mary – Jesus was worth (supposedly) wasting a year’s salary on – Nard was expensive and was imported from India – worth a year’s salary!
Disciples – Jesus’ was just like anyone else – What a waste…
Judas – Jesus had no more value than a slave – 30 pieces of silver was the price for buying a slave.
Matthew’s angle on Jesus’ betrayal
Think about this for a moment. Judas had been on Jesus’ staff team for 3½ years, and Jesus knew he had some bad stuff in him.
Matthew 26:17-25 (NLT) The Last Supper
On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to prepare the Passover meal for you?” 18 “As you go into the city,” he told them, “you will see a certain man. Tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My time has come, and I will eat the Passover meal with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus told them and prepared the Passover meal there. 20 When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” 23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” 25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?”
And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”
John’s angle on Jesus’ betrayal
John 12:1-8 (NLT) Jesus Anointed at Bethany
Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2 A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3 Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance. 4 But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5“That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself. 7 Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”
John 13:18-30 (NLT) Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I AM the Messiah. 20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.” 21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” 22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” 28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night.
Jesus let Judas stay on His team, knowing what He would do. Why? Was Jesus giving Judas a chance to change? Was Jesus believing the best of a man who would betray Him?
I have to ask myself: How much of Judas is in me? How much of Judas is in you?
God allows such imperfect people into His family by grace through faith.
We have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
We are imperfect, and God gives us an opportunity to change day after day, year after year.
What seeds in you could germinate like leaven and spoil your life in God?
1 Timothy 5:24 (NLT)
Remember, the sins of some people are obvious, leading them to certain judgment. But there are others whose sins will not be revealed until later.
Song of Solomon 2:15 (NKJV)
Catch us the foxes,
The little foxes that spoil the vines,
For our vines have tender grapes.
Remember that sin will:
Take you farther than you want to go.
Make you stay longer than you planned to stay.
Make you pay more than you planned to pay.
Sin left unopposed opens a crack in the door of life for Satan to enter.
What leaven is in you that Jesus wants to put His finger on and deliver you from? What do you need to submit to Him by faith?
It may be:
Addictions – Food, work, drugs, sex.
- What in my life leaves an open door for Satan to take advantage of me?
- Silence does not mean approval. Jesus knew what Judas was about for a long time.
- God in His grace gives all of us opportunity to change and grow.
- Take regular time for self introspection. What do I need to give to Jesus by faith?
Reference: Festival of Unleavened Bread
Exodus 12:14-20 (NLT)
This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the Lord. This is a law for all time. 15 For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. 16 On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food. 17 Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. 18 The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. 19 During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. 20 During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.
Leviticus 23:6-8 (NLT)
On the next day, the fifteenth day of the month, you must begin celebrating the Festival of Unleavened Bread. This festival to the Lord continues for seven days, and during that time the bread you eat must be made without yeast. 7 On the first day of the festival, all the people must stop their ordinary work and observe an official day for holy assembly. 8 For seven days you must present special gifts to the Lord. On the seventh day the people must again stop all their ordinary work to observe an official day for holy assembly.