In this chapter we are going to study a man who pretended to be something that he wasnt. He pretended to be a true disciple but he was not a true disciple. He pretended to love Jesus, but he did not really love Jesus. Even though he was a phony, he fooled many people! His name was Judas Iscariot and we learn about him on the pages of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).
When we think of Jesus disciples we usually think of 12 men. Did you know that at the beginning Jesus had many more than 12 disciples? In Luke 6:12-13 we learn that Jesus prayed all night and then He called together His disciples (more than just 12 men). Out of these many disciples He then chose 12 men to be with Him in a very special way:
The names of these 12 men are given in Luke 6:l4-16. Judas is the last name mentioned (verse 16) and he is also called "THE ________________."
Why was Judas Iscariot chosen to be one of the 12? Why was this TRAITOR chosen? Did the Lord make a mistake? Did He choose the wrong man? Out of all the men that He could have chosen, why was this man chosen?
In John 6:70 Jesus said, "Have not I _____________ you twelve, and ________ of you is a _______________?" Who was Jesus talking about when He spoke these words (John 6:71)? ___________________________ Jesus was saying something like this: "I have chosen 12 disciples and one of them is on the devils side! One of My disciples is a child of the devil. The devil is going to use this disciple to carry out his purpose (John 13:2) and this disciple will commit one of the greatest crimes the world has ever known. He will be the devils man!"
If you wanted to find the devils man today where would you look? Would you look for some murderer? Would you look for some wicked drug pusher? Would you look in some prison where terrible criminals are kept? Where would you look for the devils man? Would you look for this man in a Bible believing church singing from a hymnbook? Would you look for the devils man among Gods people? Remember, Jesus once looked upon those men who claimed to love Him and He said, "ONE OF YOU IS A DEVIL!"
Why did Jesus choose a devil to be one of the twelve? Why did the Lord choose Judas? Did He make a mistake? Did He choose the wrong man?
Look in John 6:64. Jesus said, "But there are some of you that believe _______. For Jesus ___________ from the _________________________ who they were that believed _______, and who should betray Him." This verse makes it clear that Jesus did not make any mistake! He knew exactly what He was doing! Even when the choice was first made the Lord knew all about Judas. From the very beginning He knew that Judas would betray Him.
God had a very important purpose for choosing Judas. The Lord wants us to learn something from this man. The tragic life of Judas ought to teach us something that is very important.
Read John 6:64 again and then think about the students in your Sunday School class, INCLUDING YOURSELF. Does the Lord know which students believe and which students do not believe? Does Jesus know right now which students will go to heaven and which students will not go to heaven? We might think that someone is a true Christian but that person might be fooling us. But this person can never fool the Lord! HE KNOWS! Judas fooled others but he never fooled Jesus!
God choose Judas for a purpose. There are at least three valuable lessons that God wants us to learn from the sad life of Judas:
Seven times in the gospels Judas is described as "one of the twelve" (see John 6:71). If you had been one of the other disciples what would you have thought of Judas? Would you have thought that Judas was very different than the other disciples? Or would Judas have fooled you into thinking that he was no different than the rest of the 12?
Did you know that Judas went out and preached Gods Word? We learn this in Matthew 10:4-7. Jesus commanded the twelve disciples (INCLUDING JUDAS) to go forth and to preach the good news about the kingdom. As far as we know Judas actually did this. He went forth and preached this message: "REPENT! FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!" (see Matthew 10:7).
What is even more amazing is that Judas probably performed miracles! In Matthew 10:1 we learn that Jesus gave His twelve disciples (INCLUDING JUDAS) power against unclean spirits and power to heal all manner of sickness (see also Matthew 10:8). It is very probable that there were people living in the land of Palestine who could say, "I was healed by Judas" or "I had a demon cast out of me by Judas!" When the disciples returned from their mission they did not say, "Lord, in Your Name we were able to heal people and cast out demons. But Lord, something is wrong with Judas. He was not able to heal anyone and the demons would not obey him." No, every indication seems to be that Judas performed miracles just like the other disciples.
Judas preached and performed miracles, and yet in spite of all this Judas was an unsaved man! Consider Matthew 7:22. Perhaps Judas will someday say, "Lord, Lord, Have I not preached in Your Name? and in Your Name have I not cast out demons? and in Your Name have I not healed sick people? and in Your Name have I not done many wonderful works?" What will Jesus answer be to him (Matthew 7:23)? ______________________________________________
The same is true today. People can go through the outward motions and still not be saved. Can a person preach and not be saved? Can a person sing hymns and not be saved? Can a person pray and not be saved? Can a person witness and tell others about Christ and not be saved? Can a person read the Bible and not be saved?
Judas failed to get his heart right with God but he succeeded in fooling the other disciples. There is not a hint in the four gospels that the other eleven disciples ever suspected Judas or realized that he was phoney. In fact, they seemed to trust him all the way to the end. Judas served as the treasurer of the disciples, and on the night Jesus was betrayed Judas still held the money bag (John 13:29). They still trusted him!
In John 12:3-5 Judas pretended to have a real concern for poor people. Was his concern a real concern or was it phony (John 12:6)? _________________________ Did Judas really care about the poor? ____ Who is the only person he really cared about? _____________ Not only was Judas a pretender, he was also a thief! But the other disciples did not think so. When they heard Judas (John 12:4-5), they probably thought, "Judas is so concerned about the poor people. His heart is burdened for those poor starving children and for those poor widows!" Judas could put on a good show! He knew how to fool others!
There was one Person that Judas did not fool. In John 13:10-11 Jesus said that all of the disciples were CLEAN except for one. Who was the one UNCLEAN disciple (John 13:11, 26-27)? ___________ Jesus knew that Judas was unsaved and unclean. He knew that Judas was still filthy in his sins which had never been forgiven. Judas had never been born again.
Suppose the Lord Himself were to appear before your Sunday School class. What would He say to all of you? Would He say, "YOU ARE ALL CLEAN!" or would He say, "YOU ARE NOT ALL CLEAN!" What about you? Are you clean or unclean? Are you forgiven or are you still in your sins? Are you sure that your sins are forgiven?
Even at the very end the other disciples did not suspect that Judas was the Traitor. In Matthew 26:21 Jesus said to His disciples, "Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me." What did the disciples think when He said this? Did they all say, "Lord, it must be that no good scoundrel Judas! We always knew that something was wrong with him!" No, this is not what they said. They said, "Lord, is it ____?" (Matthew 26:22). Judas fooled every one of them! He fooled everyone but the Lord and himself (deep down inside Judas knew that things were not right between himself and the Lord)!
In Luke 22:47-48 we learn that Judas betrayed Jesus with a __________ This word KISS comes from a verb which means "to love, to show affection towards a friend or a loved one." Judas performed this horrible deed of betraying the Lord under the guise of friendship and loving affection. It would have been far more appropriate and honest for Judas to come up to the Lord and spit in His face or slap Him with his hand. WHY DID JUDAS PRETEND TO LOVE HIM WHEN HE REALLY HATED HIM? WHY DID JUDAS PRETEND HE WAS HIS FRIEND WHEN HE WAS REALLY HIS ENEMY?
Before we get too angry with Judas, let us search our own hearts. Do I really love the Lord Jesus or am I just a pretender? Is my love and affection for Christ sincere or is it phony? Do I kiss the Lord on Sunday while in church and then betray Him the rest of the week by the way I live and the things I do?
When the enemies of Jesus came to arrest Him, who was standing right there with them (John 18:3,5)? _______________ Judas was with the Lords enemies. Judas did not fool anyone now. It was clear to everyone what camp Judas was in and what side he was on. Judas even fell down with the enemy crowd (verse 6)! The true disciples of the Lord were all standing on their feet with Jesus and the false disciple of Jesus (Judas) was on the ground with the Lords enemies (John 18:5-6)!
Think about the ones in your Sunday School class and especially about YOURSELF. Where will you be 5 or 10 years from now? Will you still be with Gods people or will you be with the Lords enemies? Will you still be attending a Bible believing church with Gods people? Some young people attend church because their parents bring them. What will you do in future years when the choice of going to church is yours to make? Will you still go? Will you still be found among Gods people? Time will usually tell what side a person is on--Gods side or Satans side.
Very few people have ever been as close to the Lord as Judas was. Very few people have ever spent so much time with Christ as Judas did. He had every opportunity and privilege that a person could have. He sat under the best Bible Teacher the world has ever known and he heard the best Preacher! He heard the message of salvation from the lips of the Saviour Himself, and he heard this message again and again. He saw with his own eyes the many miracles which Christ performed, proving that Christ was everything He claimed to be. He lived and ate and traveled and slept in the very presence of the Son of God. What more could a man ask for? What more could a man be given? And yet, here is what Jesus said about this man:
"THE SON OF MAN GOETH AS IT IS WRITTEN OF HIM: BUT ________ UNTO THAT MAN BY WHOM THE SON OF MAN IS BETRAYED! IT HAD BEEN GOOD FOR THAT MAN IF HE HAD NOT BEEN ____________" (Matthew 26:24)
Also in John 17:12 Jesus called Judas "the ________ of P____________________" (the man who will PERISH and who will be damned and lost and ruined forever in hell). There is only one other man who is called THE SON OF PERDITION in the Bible, and that is the MAN OF SIN (the Antichrist). See 2 Thessalonians 2:3.
The life of Judas ended in sad tragedy. Judas knew his great sin (Matthew 27:)4) but he never turned to the great Saviour. Instead he tried to put an end to his life: "and (Judas) departed and went and _________________ himself" (Matthew 27:5). Judas committed suicide, but God would not let Judas get away with a simple hanging. Something happened (we are not told what) to turn this hanging into more than just a hanging. We learn in Acts 1:18 that Judas FELL headlong and he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. Perhaps the noose around his neck broke and Judas fell down onto some sharp, jagged stone which tore the middle of his body open. We are not told exactly what happened. But this terrible death was nothing compared to the terrible eternity in hell that Judas must face.
Was Judas like you? Are you genuine or fake? Do you go through the outward motions (going to church, praying, talking about the Bible, etc.) without your heart being moved within? Are you fooling others who may think that you are really saved when you know in your own heart that you are probably not? What privileges has God given you? What light has God given to you? What are you doing with it? Have you heard the way of salvation again and again? Has God given you a Bible? a good church? Christian parents? a godly pastor? dedicated teachers? WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THESE THINGS?
Dont be a PRETEND Christian, be a REAL Christian! Show the world what a REAL believer is! Dont be a disciple like Judas, but be a DISCIPLE I_______________ (John 8:31)! Be a TRUE, GENUINE, REAL DISCIPLE!