1. Lesson One of the Book of Daniel, Introduction to the Book of Daniel

The Book of  Luke, Judas Covenants to Betray Jesus - Lesson 227

 

Luke 21:37Ė22:6,  And in the day time he was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the mount of Olives. 38And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him. 1Now the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. 2And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. 3Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 4And he went his way, (there are two groups of people in the world, those going Godís way and those going their own way) and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. 5And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. 6And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.

In the 53rd chapter of Isaiah it is recorded that the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

By this short statement we see that God is the author of the plan of salvation, for God, in laying our iniquity upon another provides for those who are helpless in alleviating themselves of their sin.

And as is true in any plan, the author of the plan sees to it that it is executed in accordance with His will.

All of the characters in this account, the multitudes, the chief priests, the scribes, Satan and Judas thought that they were operating within their own free will and we can say they were.

For all of us operate within our own free will for God has made us that way.

We have been created to choose! Our days are filled with choices!

However God is sovereign, he is all powerful, and even though all of mankind operates under free will, he will see to it that His will is carried out.

That fact is an astounding fact and speaks of a God who is inscrutable, unfathomable, undiscoverable, a God who is far past our finding out!

Only God can put in place creatures with free will, yet His will will come about anyway.

Judas the betrayer, and the conspirators operated under free will, but Godís will was accomplished even though the free will of Judas, the chief priests and scribes, came from hearts bent toward evil.

We are given to know that while the chief priests and scribes, by their free will, sought to kill Jesus Christ, that Satan who was a co-conspirator, quickly encouraged their plan by entering Judas and enabling him, by his free will to betray the one who had trusted him to be his disciple.

And yet little did they know that within their exercise of free will, that our God was able to bring about the greatest act of love to his creation, the act of the redemption of the souls of men.

And Judas was a main character leading to that act.

Judas was upset at the actions of Jesus Christ at the dinner in Bethany when Mary showed her love and devotion to Him by pouring out a full pound of ointment of spikenard on Him.

Judas, no doubt thought he would show just what he thought of this waste, but little did he know that all of his actions would be used of God to bring about Godís laying on this same Jesus the iniquity of us all.

The lot is cast into the lap but the whole disposing of it is of the Lord.

Judas can do what he did but it is Godís will that will prevail.

You and I have freedom to do what we will but it is Godís will that will prevail.

Judasí actions in Bethany at the supper served by Martha reveal his heart to us.

This event seems to be that central event which put Judas over the edge.

This was the last straw to be put on his back which caused him to utterly fail.

We best read of this account from the Gospel of John.

Note how close in time this event was to his actual betrayal of Jesus Christ to the chief priests and scribes.

John 12:1-8,  Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. 2There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 3Then 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. 4Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simonís son, which should betray him, 5Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6This 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. (WANTED TO HAVE OTHERS THINK HE HAD PURE MOTIVES) 7Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. 8For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

In this same account in the Gospel of Luke, Judas alone protests of the lavish use of the expensive perfume.

But it is clear from the other Gospels that he was not the only one of the disciples who protested its use.

But most likely he was the one who first voiced a protest, and the others followed his lead, because they too were thinking along the same lines.

This kind of thinking is very prevalent when a person totally dedicates his or her life to Christ.

They will usually face a question like this.

Why do you want to waste your life in Christian work, which can be interpreted why do you want to waste your life serving Christ?

Donít pour out your life in some little backwater place!

Take your life and use it in more profitable ways and then give a little back to him.

That is what Judas was saying to Mary.

Donít give all that you have to this man.

This man who had raised this very Lazarus from the dead, no doubt witnessed by Judas.

Now John tells us that Jesus was the honored guest at this supper.

The use of the perfume was an act of worship on the part of Mary for she alone understood its implications for it was an anointing toward the day of Christís burial.

For Judas to view the use of the perfume as a "waste" was to reveal his lack of appreciation for the "worth" of the guest of honor.

He only pretended that Jesus Christ was Lord.

In his mind Jesus was not worthy of a gift worth one yearís wages.

Judas may have been able to judge the worth of the perfume, but he had not rightly esteemed the worth of the Savior.

This is not a unusual conclusion in this world where Jesus Christ is scorned as someone not to waste your time on?

John opens the heart of Judas by telling us his true motive, for Judas was a thief, motivated by his love of money.

Judas was the "keeper of the bag," the treasurer of the group.

He took money from the bag to meet the expenses of the disciples, as well as giving to the poor, however he also considered himself in the group of the poor and made sure that his commission was paid.

It appears that in his mind all transactions should include some money going into the bag so as to attach to his sticky fingers.

Perhaps he viewed that which would be left over from the sale of the perfume as his "commission," his percentage, his fee.

But he loved money more than his Master for he ended up giving him up for money.

He seems to have justified in his mind his selling of the Savior as getting what was rightfully his.

How deceitful and twisted the human mind can become, especially with the deception and temptation of Satan as a catalyst.

It was, then, at this supper that Judas made the most disastrous decision of his life, the decision to betray the Master for money.

Everything would snowball from here on, but the decision was made, the payment was accepted.

All that was needed now was for the opportunity to arise and for the act to be carried out.

The decision of Judas to betray his Master, and his proposition to the Jewish leaders, caused them to change their plans and to cancel a decision which they had previously reached ó the decision not to attempt the arrest and assassination of Jesus during the feast:

We read of their intentions in Mark 14:1-2,  After two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. 2But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people.

They reasoned that arresting Jesus during the feast was much too risky because of his popularity among the people.

So they determined not to make their move until the feast was over but they did not take into account the plan of God which was that Jesus must be sacrificed as the Passover Lamb, at the appointed time, namely the Passover.

It was the unexpected offer of Judas which caused the leaders to set aside their decision to delay until after the feast.

For them this was too good a deal to pass up.

They could realize their goals without involving the multitudes and causing an uproar.

In this way, the sinful betrayal by Judas was used by God to achieve His divinely determined purposes, therefore fulfilling prophecy.

The verse John 3:16 does not describe some event which just happened to come about.

16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:16 came about by a direct love act of God in giving his only begotten Son to mankind and we see that Judas was an important part in that transaction.

His greed was the avenue by which Satan entered into Judas.

And because he chose not to resist the devil, he became his tool.

Did you know that your free will is powerful enough to keep Satan away.

God honors your free will and God has restricted Satan to do the same.

Resist the devil and he will flee from you!

But Judas did not and he became the willing tool by which Satan could put an end to this Son of God once and for all.

One of the important lessons from the Bibleís accounts concerning Judas concerns the fact he was an especially privileged person.

He is pointed out in scripture on many occasions as one of the twelve, a privileged person.

He was a man who seemed, for a good period of time, to be a genuine follower of Jesus Christ.

His call by the Master had been irresistible and he followed that call.

He saw all kinds of possibilities for advancement and the accumulation of riches in the kingdom that Jesus promised.

Judas was a man who had experienced and had been a channel for Godís power.

There is reason to believe that he worked as hard as anyone else during the ministry of Christ.

But we are told that he went his own way.

As long as it seemed that Christ was also going the same way things were fine, but when Judas sensed a failure on Christís part in fulfilling Judasís goal, betrayal set in.

Judas was very much like the other disciples, who did not stand out from them, nor was he ever suspected by them as a traitor.

Judas seems even to have been somewhat of a leader among the disciples.

Judas was a man who seems to have loved money too much and Jesus too little.

Judas was a man who heard the teaching of Christ, but failed to obey it.

His failure was progressive, taking place over a period of time, and by means of a sequence of decisions.

He was not forced to sin by Satan for he had free will, but was surely tempted and assisted in his fall.

Judas made himself vulnerable to Satanís involvement by his sin of greed.

Satan was able to get a "death grip" on Judas by means of his fleshly desires and their control in his life.

Judas did not choose to follow Satan, but to follow his own lusts which led to yielding to Satanís control.

There is a process toward Satan, is there not?

The scriptures are clear that Judas became possessed by Satan, but we do not know that Judas was ever consciously aware of this.

To put it differently, Judas made choices which resulted in his possession by Satan, but we are never told that he actively sought to be possessed.

So sin is what opens the door to Satan.

From Judasí twisted point of view his sin was not all that bad, he merely pointed out Jesus in the crowd, and in his mind it was justifiable.

Judas was a man who was not born a traitor, but became one, by a progressive sequence of wrong choices.

The lesson for us is that there are Judasís being made every day in the church of Jesus Christ.

He was as close physically to Jesus as one could get but he never believed.

How often that takes place in our churches, in our Christian Schools, where people spend years sitting under the teachings of Christ but yet go from those teachings never having received the Christ of those teachings.

They will never betray Christ in the same way that Judas did, but the way that they turn their back on the truth is no different than that which Judas did.

Jesus in Mark 14:21 said, ÖÖ.. woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.

Anyone who spends their life in the church or is trained up in a Christian home or Christian School and does not receive Christ as their Savior, in a way betrays Christ and I think that this same admonition would apply to them.

good were it for that man if he had never been born.

What a sad thing to ponder is it not?