Matthew 26:14 - 16
NKJV - 14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 And said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver.
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I would say that Judas' actions stemmed from three factors: 1) his fundamental dishonesty and lust for money, leading to his thievery (in his capacity as the one who "kept the purse" for the apostles (as noted in John 12:1-8)), as well as his susceptibility to the possibility of receiving money for the betrayal of Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16; Luke 22:1-6) 2) the fact that he was the only one of the twelve apostles who was not from Galilee (his name Judas Iscariot is actually a corruption of "Judas ish Kerioth", meaning that he was from the city of Kerioth in southern Judea), causing him perhaps to continually feel like an outsider who did not "belong"; and 3) although it is not explicity stated in Scripture with respect to Judas, perhaps also his expectation (along with many other Israelites) of the Messiah to be either a military deliverer or a provider of tangible material items such as food or money, leading to Judas' profound disillusionment (along with many of Jesus' other followers, as described in John 6) when Jesus spoke only of His forthcoming death as the purpose of His incarnation, and also of the suffering that His followers would be subjected to, as in Luke 21:16-17. (Perhaps Judas even felt in a perverse way that he was doing God's will, since he would be helping to bring about the death that Jesus had often already said that He would undergo.) We can avoid these factors by putting earthly resources in their proper perspective as blessings from God to be used for His purposes; having an understanding of what being a follower of Jesus entails from both a temporal and eternal standpoint; interpreting the words of Scripture correctly with the help of the Holy Spirit; and realizing that nothing that we experience in this life (from either a positive or negative standpoint) can even compare to the rewards that await us.
Before we seek to learn something from Judas' life, we must remember this important truth - Judas was destined to betray Jesus because it was the sovereign ordained will of God. Acts 1:16-18 and [Peter] said, “Brothers and sisters, the Scripture had to be fulfilled in which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” (With the payment he received for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out). Jesus loved Judas even though he knew Judas would betray him. Jesus would have forgiven Judas if he had repented of his betrayal instead of killing himself. In my view, the model that Judas portrays and the warning we want to avoid is this: Judas made Jesus the Messiah into his own image, what he wanted Jesus to be, to fulfil his own sinful desires for power, authority and control over other people. He coveted money because he knew how much power and control that could give anyone in authority. We too, are guilty of making Jesus (and God the Father) into the image we want them to be. We want a God who will do our bidding, like a genie in the bottle. We put God in a box so we can stay in control of our lives. Our worship of false gods is the way we build or create our distorted image of the true God. When we read and study the bible God reveals his true image to us, his nature and character. When we read and study the bible we discover God's plan and purpose for our lives, we understand who needs to be in control - God not us. When we spend time in the presence of God, like the disciples did with Jesus, we discover the purpose of life - not that we create a God in our own image, but that God recreates us in his own image. Judas would not let go of the image he had created of Jesus the Messiah and he missed seeing the real mission of Jesus. Judas could not see from the Scriptures the clear fulfilment of the Suffering Servant prophesies of the Messiah. Finally, God removed the hedge of protection from Judas and Satan entered him, to complete the mission to sacrifice [kill] the Son of God.
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