It is so good to be here with you and see each one. I sure enjoyed the weekend meetings. It was good to see all the different ones who came. It’s always a treat for us too when we can have some other brothers minister to us. I want to thank all of you again for all your help and work putting those meetings together. I feel like it went very well and the Lord blessed us in it
Greetings in Jesus name. Everything we do must be in that name. In Jesus name.
Our lives are lived in his name. We take on his name in baptism. Its more than just a label. It means we are his ambassadors. As he was sent into the world to bear witness of his father so we are sent into the world to bear witness of him. We are to be a living evidence of the power of God, and the living example of the word of God.
There is a phrase I started using a few years ago. And this topic I am preaching tonight I have preached before And it was the first time I preached this message that I used that phrase. And it is a phrase about faith. Faith is not based on feelings or ideas or wishful thinking. But faith is based on the word of God. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing the word. A faith that is based in the word of God is rock solid. A faith founded on the word of God will stand strong.
But a faith that is not founded on the word of God will fall. In fact, faith that is not based on the word of God is not faith at all. It is foolishness.
The wise man built his house on the rock, which Jesus said was his sayings. But the foolish man built on the sand. And you can have all the faith in the world in the sinking sand. But it’s not really faith. Its foolishness. Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing the word. Faith that comes any other way might not really be faith at all.
When I realized that, I began to dig very deep into the bible. Because I wanted to know what my faith rested on. If I got down and started examining the foundation of my faith, what would I find it resting on? Sinking sand, or a solid rock? The word of God, or something else?
I don’t want a false faith. I don’t want a vain belief. So knowing the scripture is very important for me. And knowing the scripture helps us to know God. One of the chief ways he reveals himself to us is through the scripture, which is his word.
I’ve known people in life who really think they know a lot about the Lord. But when you open up and read the Bible, you find that the God of the Bible is an entirely different character than the God they know. Their Jesus is a different Jesus. And you and I will just pray that God will open hearts and minds and help those who are being led astray be brought back to the true knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The title of my message is the Betrayal of Christ, and that’s where I want to spend the most of my time this evening. I have in my heart to start here at the betrayal and take a few messages and work our way through the arrest, trial, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus
It Will take a few services for us to work our way through those scriptures. But There are powerful lessons and timeless truths we will have an opportunity to look at. I want to look at that so we can draw a lesson from it. We are in the time of the year when all these things came to pass, near the Passover season. And these things can be beneficial to stir our hearts. Turn with me if you would to Matthew chapter 26, and I will start reading at verse 1
Matthew 26 (KJV)
1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples,
2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas,
4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.
6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
9 For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.
10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
Judas the Betrayer
As we read these verses, we get a very good picture of the drama that is unfolding. If we imagined it a little bit like a movie, we could see the scenes. It opens with Jesus warning he is going to die. Then the scene cuts Caiaphas’s house, where the priests and leaders of Israel are plotting to kill Jesus.
But just how can they do it? They don’t want to cause an uproar. There must be some way they can do it subtly. And they are left with a dilemma, a problem without solution. How can they secretly catch Jesus and kill him?
So with that cliff hanger, the scene changes back again to Jesus. And we are going to find out just how the priests were going to get their hands on Jesus. So Jesus is sitting at dinner in Simon’s home. And in comes a woman, Mary, with a box of very expensive anointment in a costly alabaster box. She has in heart a great love for Jesus, and she comes to him and puts this expensive oil on his head.
This thing she is doing is an act love and worship. Something flowing from her heart. Something she has made great sacrifice to do for the Lord. You can just imagine what this meant in her heart to her.
Jesus has come to town for a visit. The man who saved your life. The man who delivered you from many things. And he did it all because he loves you. And there he is sitting, and you take the most precious costly thing in your possession, and you give it to him. Because you love him. Think about how you would feeling in your heart while you did that.
But while she is doing this, someone is looking at her. Someone is not happy about what she is doing. And here in Matthew, it don’t give us the name. But turn over John chapter 12, and we will get a few details Matthew left out.
John 12 (KJV)
1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
4 Then saith one of his disciples, (which one?) Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?
6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.
7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.
So there we can see him. It was Judas. Judas was watching while Mary anointed Jesus with this precious oil. And he watches with an evil eye. And this situation reveals a lot to us about the character of Judas.
We can see here how he moves to manipulate the situation to his own advantage.
He wants as much money coming into the treasury as possible. Because he helps himself to the money that is in there. Its a very selfish thing driving Judas. Yet he cloaks his wicked motive with a false righteousness.
“Why, this money should be given to poor! You should have sold that oil, and given me the money.” He is pretending that he had a righteous motive behind his statements.
To the natural eye, Judas looked like he was thinking about some higher good. Outwardly, there was really no way to tell the difference. But down deep, hidden inside, was a wicked motive. His true motive was utterly selfish. Utterly self-centered.
Judas Abuses Mary
And just consider each aspect of what Judas did. He was accusing Mary of being wasteful. He was accusing Mary of not being concerned with those in need. To get what he wanted, he was willing to misrepresent himself and attack someone who was doing good. He was accusing Mary of having a bad motive in her heart. When in fact, the bad motive was in his heart.
I have to think that really hurt Mary’s feelings. It would be pretty hurtful to have an Apostle of the Lord false accuse you. But that’s exactly what Judas did. And why did he do it? For his own selfish reasons.
Mary had given Jesus something that Judas wanted for himself. He didn’t want that praise and worship and love going to the Lord. He wanted the value of those things directed towards him. He wanted for his own possession the gift Mary had given Jesus. He wanted not only to take from Mary, but he wanted to take from Jesus himself.
And consider how he is belittling Mary. He takes this show of love and appreciation towards Jesus, and he puts her down for it. He belittles her for it, and makes light of it. His words treat Mary’s love and gift to Jesus as though she had done something wrong. He is treating her love of Jesus as something she should be ashamed of.
And notice this too, and this is important: Judas thought he had a right to tell Mary what to do with her own things. He was taking to himself a level of authority and control over Mary’s life which he had no right to do. He thought he could tell her what she could and could not do with her possessions. What she could keep, What she should sell, What she could give as a gift, What she should donate. And he felt he had right to pass judgement on her for not doing what he thought was right.
It seems like it did not cross his mind that Mary was within her own right. The very premise of his words suggest he believed Mary had no right to do what she did, without getting his permission.
Mary was free to decide what she wanted to do in this matter according to the dictates of her own heart. But Judas wanted to control her. He felt like it was his right to control her decision.
As we read Judas’s words, we do not see any real love or concern for Mary in his words at all. All we read is accusation and condemnation. Judas was an accuser.
And this thing Judas said against Mary, it had an effect on Mary. It left her feeling troubled. It left her feeling like she was the dirty rascal. And we can see that by the words spoken in Mary’s defense.
And while Judas, an apostle of the Lord, is rebuking Mary, who is it that comes to Mary’s defense? If we went back to Matthew, we would see the other apostles seemed to take Judas’s side. It sounds reasonable what Judas was saying. That oil cost a lot of money. And it was a good thing to help the poor.
Maybe if we think about ourselves, and if we were sitting there with Judas, Who’s side would we take? Would we take the side of Judas, the apostle of God? Or would we take the side of this nobody woman?
The other disciples, Matthew tells us, took Judas side. No one was on Mary’s side
No one defended her. Except one. And it was Jesus.
Jesus Defends Mary
Jesus, he knows better. He knows exactly what is going on. The other apostles couldn’t see through Judas and what he was. He appeared to be a wonderful man who loved the poor, in their eyes. But Jesus knew better.
Jesus rebuked Judas. Jesus came personally to the defense of Mary. Jesus said, “Judas, you leave her alone.” Back in Matthew, he said, “You quite troubling her,” because what Judas was saying was troubling Mary’s heart. Jesus confronted Judas. He said, “why are you troubling this woman for doing a good work?” What is wrong with you Judas? Jesus defended in Mary.
It’s quite the scene. Its quite the passage of scripture to ponder over. And this exchange between Judas, Jesus, and Mary, is one the first places in scripture that we get a good look at the character of Judas.
Judas the Conman
Now just focus a minute on who Judas was up until this point. Judas had not been a problematic disciples. He did not ask a lot of questions like Thomas or Philip. He hadn’t been rebuked before, like Peter or James or John. If you asked someone, which of these men is most likely to betray the Lord Judas probably would not have been anyone’s first guess.
Outwardly Judas had looked the part. He was pious, he dressed right, he said the right things. Through his prayers the sick were healed, signs and wonders happened. It goes to show, you can’t judge by what you see – Good or Bad.
That is why God judges according the heart.
Judas successfully hid what was in his heart from all the people around him for years. Only Jesus knew the truth about Judas. And this was the truth: Judas was a thief, who had been helping himself to the treasury. He was abusing the people around him for his own personal benefit. He was lying and manipulating others. And something deep in his heart didn’t really believe in Jesus as his Messiah.
And this event here with ointment pushed him over the edge. The Lord’s rebuke was the last straw for Judas. His problem was not that he was a thief. If you asked the Lord, he will forgive you for being a thief. Judas problem was that somehow he didn’t believe. He did not believe Jesus was who he said he was. And Satan was playing with that in his mind.
The idea of betraying the Lord for money didn’t come about in one day’s time. Satan had been playing on Judas mind for a long time. He had clearly thought this thing out. Judas did not just decide on this day all of sudden that he was not a believer. Judas had known for a long time that he was not a real believer. And when I say a believer, I mean a believer in Jesus.
For quite a while, there had been something in him that just did not believe some of the things Jesus was saying. Somehow, he just did not believe that Jesus could be the Messiah. Judas knew he did not believe. He knew he did not agree. He knew he was just there for the money, or for the popularity, or for whatever it was. He was not there because he loved Jesus or the people. But he had kept up pretense for some reason.
Judas was a fraud, and he knew he was a fraud. And when you live like that, it will take a toll on you. And bit by bit Satan planted thoughts in his mind. At first he may have brushed them aside. But gradually he started to entertain ideas of selling Jesus. And as Jesus rebukes Judas for mistreating Mary, Judas finally went over the edge.
A man who had been an apostle of God. A man who had signs wonders and miracles in his ministry. A man who had touched and held Jesus. He ended up possessed by Satan.
There are people in the world who sometimes, they are scared by the story about Judas. I have met people like that. They will say, I am afraid I am Judas. But as long as there’s a pull in you, as long as you are striving to serve the Lord
you’re not a Judas. As long as you are holding on, you are not a Judas.
But here, in this exchange between Judas and Mary, we see here, at this moment, as Jesus rebukes Judas, Judas finally gave up. This was the point where he crossed a line. He let go.
He rejected Jesus as his savior.
He rejected Jesus as his messiah
He rejected Jesus as his Lord
And he began participating in a plot to murder him
He gave up going any further with Jesus
And then Satan entered into him.
Some people get scared by scriptures about Judas. But my purpose is not to scare you. My purpose is that we should learn a lesson from these things. It’s a lesson for me. You and I, we are not the Judas. We love our Lord Jesus. We have sacrificed greatly to follow him.
I think you and I, we might better find ourselves like Mary in this story. We are people trying to do our best, and maybe the only one who knows the truth of story is Jesus. Maybe the only one who will speak in our defense is our Lord. But that was enough for Mary. It is enough for me too.
There are lessons even we can learn from Judas too. One lesson is this:
It don’t matter how close people may have been to miracles, or how much they heard the word of God, if someone starts entertaining evil ideas, it can gradually lead them to a very dark place.
Another lesson is this:
Is we see how Jesus reacted to Judas’ betrayal. We see how the Lord handled it.
Jesus was more disappointed than angry. It’s a sad thing to watch someone go down a dark path. Someone like Judas, who you see abusing innocent people who love the Lord. Someone like Judas, preying on the weak, and abusing his position for his own gain. Someone with evil motives they have cloaked in form of godliness. Jesus was saddened by it.
And as I read these verses, Jesus extended love to Judas until the very end. Even though he could see it coming, when it was with his power to derail Judas, to destroy Judas, and to put a stop to him, he let him go ahead with his plan. And gave him opportunity to change course several times But Judas was determined to destroy Jesus.
Judas goes over the edge
Turn with me over to Luke 22, and we will pick up a few details Luke recorded
This is what happened after Jesus told Judas to leave Mary alone.
3 Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. 5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. 6 And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
It says Satan entered Judas at that time. Judas completely turned himself over to evil. That was his reaction to being confronted by Jesus for mistreatment of Mary.
And Judas decision fits perfectly into the plan of the priests and leaders of Israel.
Remember, in the last scene, they priests and leaders had been plotting how to capture Jesus. And then the scene changed to Jesus having ointment applied by Mary. And before its over, Judas has decided to betray Jesus. And he ends up being the answer the priests and leaders were looking for.
He was just the man they needed to do their dirty work. They wanted to catch Jesus, but they wanted to do it privately. And to do that, they needed an inside man. They needed someone close to Jesus, who could betray the Lord’s secrets to them. Who could tell them where to find him, and just how to catch him. They needed a traitor, and Judas was the one. They needed someone to guide their soldiers to find Jesus, and Judas was the man.
Something about that exchange, Something about the way Jesus rebuked him, Something about that whole situation, It pushed Judas over the edge.
Maybe he didn’t like how Jesus was running things. Maybe it was just as simple as he was a complete fraud, and just wanted the money. Maybe he didn’t like Jesus telling him what to do. Maybe he felt insulted. Maybe his pride was bruised. Maybe he thought Jesus was onto him, and wanted to strike first.
Whatever the case, Judas completely gave himself over to an evil desire to destroy an innocent person. Something that was entirely self-serving. And that evil plot took hold of him. Judas sat and watched for just the right opportunity, and then we would spring his trap on Jesus.
Have you ever met anyone like that in life? That is a truly malevolent wicked person. They can look so good on the outside, they have the whole world fooled, But in their heart, they are a murderer and thief. You look behind them and you see a trail of dead bodies and missing funds.
They don’t think twice about who they step on, Who they destroy, Who they hurt, Who they manipulate. And nothing is sacred to them. They will abuse even the holy things of God to get their way. They do not respect boundaries set by God. They do not respect other believers. They will abuse scripture to get power over people. And when someone gets in their way, they will merciless destroy them.
That is the kind of person Judas was. And every evidence of it can be seen in this exchange between Judas and Mary. It was all there, just in a small dose.
A Better Example
We have a perfect example in the scripture. Something Bro. Jordan said at our meetings really stuck with me. He said the love of God is a love that will sit at the same table as Judas.
My, that is difficult thought, isn’t it? While Judas is giving himself over to absolute evil, Jesus was giving himself over to absolute love. The Love of God in Jesus is enough for him to sit at the table, and still show him kindness.
When it was in his power to destroy Judas, he let him go. When it was in his power to derail Judas and put an end to him, he let him go ahead with his plot. He let him follow his heart. He did not try to restrain him. He was reviled, but he reviled not again. He opened not his mouth, like a lamb to the slaughter. You know, Jesus sets a very high bar for us, doesn’t he? Its unlike us, but its just like him.
I want Jesus to live through me. I want others to be able to see him in my life. And he said, by this shall men know that you are my disciples. That ye love one another as I have loved you. If I want people to see Jesus in me, I have to love like Jesus loved. I want that fruit in my life. And I want the holy spirit to flow through me, and cause the love of God to grow in my heart. And love will cover a multitude of sins.
Turn with me back to Matthew 26, and I will pick at verse 16. We will watch this betrayal move forward
Matthew 26 (KJV)
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passover?
18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples.
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover.
20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
You see, every one of them was saying this. Judas was there, playing right along
Judas said, Lord is it me? He was a good actor. Satan can appear as an angel of light.
Judas is possessed by Satan himself at this point. Satan himself is sitting at the table with Jesus. Satan himself is sitting at the table with the Apostles. And none of the apostles could perceive it. Everyone was fooled but Jesus.
Someone could ask, is it possible the devil could fool all those people. And yes, the answer is yes. The devil fooled all of the apostles, for a time.
You know the devil can be that good. He can be such a fake, that there are times the only one who can recognize the fake is God. And until Judas finally did his deed, the evil in his heart was hidden from the others around him. The only way people were going to be able to figure out what Judas was, was to let him carry out the evil in his heart. The evil was going to have to manifest for people to see.
Turn with me to John chapter 13. We will pick up reading in verse 27. Jesus has just finished having the Passover meal with the disciples
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Jesus knew exactly what kind of person Judas was. He knew exactly what Judas was going to do. He knew exactly what he was saying when he said, what you do, do quickly. And as we read this, we might wonder, Was Jesus talking to Judas? Or was he talking to Satan? Was he talking to both?
Judas was so corrupt at this point, so full of hate, so full greed, that the line between man and devil starts to blur. Judas was so bent on destroying, he was not going to turn back. And Jesus realizes this as he looks at him.
As he has this conversation with Judas, he sees him for what he is. Judas is a lost, broken, corrupt man, who is rejecting his only hope of escape.
27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.
29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.
30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.
It was night. That gives a dramatic effect. Night had fallen. Darkness has cast its shadow over the land. And that parallels what is happening spiritually. Jesus, the light of the world, was about to be taken out of the world. The darkness of evil was about to have its momentary triumph. The last stage of Judas’s betrayal has been set into motion.
Judas is on his way to the priests and the leaders of Israel. And when he comes back, it will be with a small army to capture and destroy an innocent man. And not just any innocent man, But the Lord of glory.
And while Judas is on his evil mission, Jesus walks with his disciples to garden of Gethsemane where he prays. And Lord willing I will look at that next time. But after his prayer is finished, then comes Judas, his betrayal completed.
Lets read it, Back to Matthew 26, starting at verse 42
42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
47 And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people.
48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.
49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.
Irony of Judas
Something was going on while Jesus was in the garden praying. There was a reason he was praying so hard. The plot to destroy him was coming to fruition, with Judas at the heart of it.
And as Jesus finished praying, here comes Judas. And more than Judas, because the scripture tells us over and over that Satan was in Judas. Satan himself, in Judas, was at the head of this small army come to arrest Jesus.
I have heard another preacher once point out the irony in theses verses. The irony of Judas. Judas has come with weapons to take violently the prince of peace. And to the very end, he was pretending to love the Lord. To the very end he kept up a façade of false love. He betrayed the Lord with a kiss.
At the same time he was sending the Lord to an agonizing death, He was keeping up the pretense of loving him. It was a contradiction of utter hypocrisy.
And like so many wicked men in the bible, Judas wanted to be with a crowd when he did his wicked work. They need a crowd to feel secure, to feel reinforced, to back each other up. Its what the wicked do. They will politic, they will try to get people on their side, they will try to pick up numbers. And then they will think because they have fooled the crowd, they are vindicated and validated.
God cares for none of that. You can get up the biggest lynch mob there ever was, and they are still just murderers. Numbers can’t be used to justify evil. Power cannot be used to justify evil. Abraham Lincoln said, Might does not make right. Neither does having large numbers agree with you.
Hilter won election with 80% of the vote I believe. It matters in this world. But it won’t matter a hill of beans on judgement day. In fact, that 80% will end up having to give an account of themselves for supporting such an evil man. While many of those poor and innocent Jews and Christians he killed, they will be in glory.
Let us always seek to be on the right side. Let us always seek the things of God. If the love of God had guided Judas’s heart, he would not have been rebuking Mary.
He would not have been betraying Jesus.
There will be a day of judgement. There will be a day with the wicked will get their reward. But until then, look at the wonderful example Jesus gave us. Let me read verse 50 again.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come?
Friend. Judas, my friend. There is the Love of God Judas was so badly lacking. Even as he brings the soldiers to arrest and kill Jesus, Jesus loves him. He calls him friend. It’s a sad thing to be betrayed by friends. People you love. But Jesus showed us just how to handle such a situation.
50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus and took him.