BY TOM ALBRECHT
Judas Iscariot is remembered as the one who betrayed the Lord Jesus with a kiss. Judas represents those who appear to be close to Jesus but below the surface are driven by greed. It's true, Jesus chose 12 disciples, yet he called one of them a devil. We are told in John 13:1 that Jesus knew his hour had come to depart out of this world and return to God, His Father. Jesus loved all his disciples ... even the one who should betray him.
A key concept to be noted is that "position does not guarantee character." Doing does not always represent being. Judas had a duty but lacked the character of a true believer. He appeared and talked like he cared for the poor, yet he despised the expression of worship from Mary when she poured out the fragrant anointing oil on Jesus.
It is interesting that Peter tried to leave Jesus during his arrest and trial … but he failed to truly desert Jesus. Judas, however, sought to betray Jesus and succeeded. The chief priests and religious leaders were thrilled to find someone to share in the betrayal of Jesus … for just 30 pieces of silver.
Totally selfish and motivated by greed, Judas discovered too late the horrible results of his actions. When he saw that Jesus was condemned, Matthew 27:1-3 says that Judas repented himself and brought the money back to the chief priests and threw it at their feet. His awakened conscience brought him such guilt and shame that he hung himself.
What a tragedy … to become convicted of betrayal, and finding no one in the temple who would help him deal with the horrific aftermath of betraying Jesus. Similarly, many religious leaders today fail to truly see the Messiah and conspire to destroy Him and His gospel of grace and truth, giving no hope to the awakened conscience of a repentant sinner.
Jesus loved his disciples unto the very end. How his heart must have been broken at not only the betrayal of Judas, but his guilt ridden self destruction. It’s not enough to look like disciples, we must be followers to the very end.