We are now ready to study the last of the twelve disciples. Whose name is placed last on every list (see Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:16-19 and Luke 6:14-16)? _____________________ The Bible tells us a great deal about this man. We know more about this man than we do about the other disciples except for Peter and John. This man was guilty of a terrible and malicious act which has been associated with his name throughout history. What was this act for which he is always remembered (Matthew 10:4)?  ______________________________________________________

1. Judas Iscariot

Do you know anyone with the name "PETER"? ______ Do you know anyone with the name "JOHN"? _______ Do you know anyone with the name "MATTHEW"? ______  Do you know anyone with the name "JAMES"? _____ Do you know anyone with the name "THOMAS"?___

Do you know anyone with the name "JUDAS"? _______  Not too many people choose this name for their little baby boy. The name Judas reminds people of Judas Iscariot and the wicked thing which he did, and they usually do not want their son to bear his name. Actually the name "JUDAS" is a very good name. The parents of Judas gave their baby boy a very fine name. The name "JUDAS" is a Greek name which means "JUDAH," the name of one of the twelve sons of Jacob (see Genesis 29:35).  In fact, the Messiah would come through the line of Judah. The name "Judah" means "may He [God] be praised" (see also Genesis 29:35). It was a very good name, but how sad that a man who was given this name became such a wicked man who betrayed his Lord. As we study the life of Judas we learn that his life did not match his name:

What about you? Does your life match your name? Are you called by the name “Christian”?  Does your life match the name "Christian"? If someone did not know you were a Christian and they watched the way you live and act and talk, would they call you a Christian?

Do you call yourself a believer?  Do others think of you as a believer in Christ? Does your life match this name? Do you live and act as a believer?

The name of Judas gave praise to God, but this wonderful name was polluted by a life that was ugly and sinful and which did not glorify and did not praise God at all.

The word “Iscariot” tells where Judas was from. It identifies Judas as a “man of Kerioth,” a small town located in Judea (see Joshua 15:25). Judas was probably the only one of the twelve disciples who was from Judea. The others were probably from Galilee. See Mark 14:70 where the disciples are identified as Galileans by their speech and see a Bible map of New Testament Palestine.

2. The Traitor

Judas was called “the_____________________” (Luke 6:16). A traitor is a person who betrays his country or his ruler or his friend or his master. A famous example of a traitor in American history is Benedict Arnold. During the Revolutionary War he was an honored American general until he betrayed his country and sided with the British.  In the case of Judas, he joined  Jesus' band of disciples as a friend and appeared to be  a follower of Christ, but he turned out to be an enemy! Instead of working for God and for God’s cause, Judas ended up working for whom (John 13:2,27)? _____________________ Read John 13:18, a verse that describes Judas. Judas ate with Christ as a friend, but was he really a friend? _______ Was he for Christ or against Christ (John 13:18)? _________________________

It is one thing if an enemy soldier is with his fellow enemy soldiers on the battlefield and wears an enemy uniform. It is quite another thing if an enemy soldier dresses like his foes, sits among a company of his enemy's loyal soldiers, and pretends to be a friend.  Such a man is a dangerous traitor! Jesus had eleven loyal disciples; we have studied all eleven of these men.  They sometimes failed the Lord, as did Peter and Thomas, but they never betrayed the Lord. At times they were very poor soldiers, but they never took sides with the enemy. Judas did.

Every person must decide whose side he is on! Jesus once said, “He that is not _____________ me is ____________________ me” (Matthew 12:30). A person is either with Christ or against Christ. Are you for Him or against Him? You cannot be neutral. You cannot sit on the fence. You cannot be half for the devil and half for the Lord.

3. The Betrayer

The word “betray” means “to hand over, to deliver over, to give over.” Judas was the traitor who handed over the Lord Jesus to the large group of men who had come to arrest Him (Matthew 26:47-56).

How did Judas betray the Lord (Matthew 26:48,49)?

  1. He slapped the Lord in the face.
  2. He spit in the Lord’s face.
  3. He pointed right at the Lord with his finger.
  4. He kissed him.

Judas came up to Jesus “like a poisonous viper [snake] hissing forth from a rose-bush to pollute the Son of man with his treacherous kiss” (F.W.Krummacher). It was a kiss of love from a heart of hate. If we had been present to view this scene of betrayal and had not known what was really taking place, we probably would have thought that Judas was a real friend of Jesus. His outward actions certainly appeared to be that of a friend. People do not usually kiss their enemies!

Judas was a good actor. He wore a good mask. He was a good pretender. He was able to hide what was really in his heart.  He tried to keep the “real Judas” from being seen. Who was able to see the "real Judas" and who was able to see under the mask? _______________

Earlier that same evening when the twelve disciples were with Jesus at the table, Jesus said, “Verily I say unto you, that _______ of you shall ____________________ me” (Matthew 26:21). Did the other 11 disciples think that Jesus was talking about Judas? Did they exclaim, “It must be that rascal Judas!” (See Matthew 26:22) _____ Were they fooled by Judas? _____ Could they see the “real Judas”? _____ Could they see through the mask? _____

Jesus had a reason for saying what He did in Matthew 26:21. He was giving Judas an opportunity to remove his mask. “One of you is going to betray Me, and the man who is going to do this knows who I’m talking about. Reveal yourself Judas!” What do you think Judas should have done? What do you think Judas should have said? Judas should have immediately risen to his feet and said something like this:


Is this what Judas did and said (Matthew 26:25)? _______ He refused to rip off his mask. He refused to let the “true Judas” be seen. In Matthew 26:25 Judas said, “Master, is it I?" which can be interpreted, "Certainly it is not me, is it Master?”  as if Judas expected Him to answer, "Of course not, Judas; it is not you!" These words spoken by Judas were just part of his mask. Did Judas really know that he was the one (see Matthew 26:14-16)? _____

We need to remember that while we may fool others, we will never fool God. God’s eyes look right through the mask right into the heart. Don’t be a pretender!

4. The One Who Was Chosen

How many disciples did Jesus choose (Luke 6:13)? _____ What did Jesus do the night before He made this selection (Luke 6:12)? ______________________________ Was Judas among those who were chosen (Luke 6:16)? ______  Why was Judas Iscariot chosen to be one of the twelve disciples? Did the Lord make a mistake? Did He choose the wrong man? Was Jesus aware of what this man was really like?  Was Jesus aware of what this man would do someday?

Did Jesus know all about Judas even from the beginning (John 6:64)? _____ Did Jesus choose Judas even though He knew what Judas was really like (John 6:70)? _____ The Lord knew exactly what He was doing. He made no mistake. God wants us to learn something from this man Judas. The tragic life of Judas has some very important lessons for each of us.

Does God know all about YOU even from the beginning (John 6:64)?________ Does God know what you will be like 10 years from now? 50 years from now? God knows everything that there is to know about you!

5. The “Not Clean” Disciple

Jesus once said to His 12 disciples, “Ye are CLEAN, but not all [of you]” (John 13:10). Who was the one disciple who was not clean (John 13:11)? _________________________

Does Jesus' statement mean that Judas never washed himself and never took a bath? No, as far as we know Judas had no problem with outward cleanliness. Jesus was not talking about clean skin; He was talking about a clean heart (see John 15:3). He was talking about a heart which was cleansed and forgiven.

If you had been able to observe the life of Judas outwardly, you may have judged him to be quite clean. He lived, traveled, ate, and associated with good men. He read the Scriptures. He probably prayed before his meals. He did many things which outwardly seemed very good and clean, but his heart was filthy! Judas was an unsaved man.

When Jesus said, “NOT ALL OF YOU ARE CLEAN” (compare John 13:10), Judas should have ripped off his mask and said something like this:


Judas refused to take off his mask!

6. “One of the Twelve”

There are seven times in the gospels that Judas is described as “ONE OF THE ______________ " (see Matthew 26:14,47; Mark 14:10,20,43; Luke 22:47; John 6:71). These verses show the wonderful privileges that Judas had. He was a part of that special band of men who were with Jesus in a special way. No one was closer to Jesus than Judas and the other disciples. He traveled with the Lord, ate with Him, talked with Him, listened to Him preach, and even heard the way of salvation from the Saviour’s lips again and again. He had every advantage and every opportunity. He saw all of the miracles of Christ, and he may have even performed some miracles himself (see Matthew 10:1, 4, 5-8).   What blessings this man had!  Like Esau, Judas was offered rich spiritual blessings that he disregarded for the sake of earthly goods that were of very little value.  Jesus said,"________  unto that man” (Matthew 26:24). Judas was not blessed, he was cursed!

It is a wonderful thing to have opportunities and privileges, but it is a terrible thing when we do not take advantage of these things. What about you? Do you have parents that teach you the truth as it is found in the Bible? Do you have a Bible? Do you have a good, Bible-teaching church to attend? Do you have a Sunday school teacher and a pastor who teach you the way of salvation? WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH ALL OF THESE THINGS? Are you making the most of them? Or, are you casting them all aside as if they were not really very important? WOE UNTO YOU if you reject all that God is doing for you and around you.

7. A Devil

In John 6:70 the Lord Jesus used very strong words to describe Judas. He said, “Have not I chosen you _______________, and _______ of you is a ________________." One of His twelve disciples was on the side of the devil! One of them was the devil’s man. There was coming a day when the devil would actually enter this disciple and work through him to commit the terrible crime of betraying his own Master, his own Creator (John 13:2, 27).

A person cannot be neutral. If a person is not on God’s side, then he is on Satan’s side. Although Judas pretended to be a servant of Christ, he was really a servant of Satan.

Where can we find the devil’s man today? Is it possible to go to church and still be on the devil’s side? Is it possible to read the Bible and sing hymns and say prayers and still be on the devil’s side? Is it possible to tell someone about the Saviour and about how He can save sinners and still be on the devil’s side (remember, even Judas was a preacher--see Matthew 10:5-7)? Is it possible to be very close to the things of the Lord (such as the Bible, the church, Christian parents, etc.) and still end up lost forever? Let’s learn a lesson from Judas. Let’s not have a fake Christianity.  Instead of having a make-believe Christianity, let's choose to have a real Christianity (a right and honest relationship with Jesus Christ).

8. The Thief

Mary once took some very costly perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus (John 12:1-3). Was Judas pleased that Mary had shown her love to Jesus in this way (John 12:4-5)? ________ What was the good looking and attractive mask that Judas wore (John 12:4-5)? _______________________________________________________ What was the filth and ugliness that was under his mask (John 12:6)? _______________________________________________________________  Since Judas was the “treasurer” of the disciples, the other disciples must have trusted him. Not only was Judas a TRAITOR; he was also a ______________ (John 12:6)!

Did the other disciples know that Judas was a thief and that he did not really care about the poor? _____  Did Jesus know this? ____  Are you honest when it comes to money matters? Have you ever taken pennies or nickels or dimes or even dollars that did not really belong to you? You may not have been caught and no one may ever find out what you did. You may have fooled everyone in the world, but remember that there is a God in heaven who sees all and knows all. He knows whether you are a thief hiding under a mask or not!

9. “Friend”

When Judas came up to Jesus and betrayed the Master, what was the first word that Jesus said to him (Matthew 26:50)? ________________ If we had been the Lord, we probably would have said something like this: “YOU WICKED ENEMY! YOU ARE NOTHING BUT A NO GOOD, ROTTEN TRAITOR. YOU ARE GOING TO SPEND ETERNITY IN HELL!”

Jesus did not say anything like that. He allowed Judas to kiss Him, and then he called him “FRIEND.” Judas had no heart for God, but God had a heart for him. The Lord loved His enemies, even Judas. He returned good for evil (see Romans 12:19-21). Probably nothing ever hurt Judas so much as that little word “Friend.”

If you are not saved, why are you not saved? It is not that God does not want you; it must be that you do not want God (see John 5:40). Judas will never be able to say, “Jesus never loved me; He never wanted to save me, and I never had any opportunity to be saved and have my sins forgiven.” Judas had as many opportunities as any man who has ever lived, but he took each opportunity and threw it away and lost everything. After the “kiss,” Judas and Jesus were separated forever. What are you doing with the opportunities God has given you?

Read John 18:3-6. When all these men fell down, who fell down with them (see verse 5)? _________________ Judas was standing right with the Lord’s enemies. Everyone could now see the traitor was Judas. His mask was now off, and the “REAL JUDAS” could be clearly seen.

Where are you going to be ten years from now? What crowd are you going to be with? What kind of people are you going to enjoy standing with? Will you be with God’s people, or will you be with Satan’s crowd? Will you be with those who love the Lord and believe His Word, or will you be with the enemies of Christ? What kind of companions does God want us to have (Psalm 119:63)? _____________________________________________________________________________

10. “Son of Perdition”

Judas was of all men most miserable! Jesus said, “WOE unto that man….it had been good for that man if he had not been ___________" (Matthew 26:24). In John 17:12 Judas is called “the S_______ of____________________________.” There is only one other person who is ever called by this title. Do you know who this is (see 2 Thess. 2:3-4)? __________________________________________ When you think of the word “PERDITION,” you should think of the word "PERISH" (see John 3:16 and 1 Cor. 1:18).  Judas, the son of perdition, will perish forever. He is a man who is utterly and eternally lost. If we had to pick one word to describe Judas, it would be the little word “LOST.”

If you have come to Jesus Christ in simple faith and if you believe in Him, do you need to fear being LOST or PERISHING (John 6:39; 10:28; 17:12)? ______ God is able to keep those who come to Him. Judas came to Jesus outwardly, but not inwardly. Judas did not LOSE his salvation; Judas never had salvation.   A PERSON CANNOT LOSE WHAT HE DOES NOT HAVE!

The life of Judas came to a tragic end (see Matthew 27:3-5 and Acts 1:18). As Judas left his earthly existence, he began an eternal existence separated from God and lost forever. May the life of Judas be a powerful warning to each one of us. A GOOD MASK will never get a person to heaven. Only a CLEAN HEART will get a person to heaven, and only Jesus Christ can clean the heart! See Isaiah 1:18. Does your heart need to be cleansed and forgiven?

For further study on the life of Judas, see chapter 12 in our course entitled, 13 Bible Characters.