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Contents:


  1. What Happened to Judas? (And Is There a Chance He Ended Up in Heaven?)
  2. Upcoming Events
  3. Editor's Picks
  4. Let's Be Kind to Judas: John 13:21-32

This wretched man—evil as he was, by his own desire—was designed into God's plan. And to show that it was not God's will apart from Judas's will, all the way along and at every opportunity, Jesus gave him warnings and pleas to bring him to repentance and salvation. And at every point he turned it down. We see that clearly in John Judas, through his life of treachery, supplies sinners with a solemn warning. We learn from the example of Judas that a person can be very near to Jesus Christ, and yet be lost and damned forever.

Nobody was ever closer to Christ than the Twelve. Judas was one of them, and he's in hell today, because while he may have given intellectual assent to the truth, he never embraced Christ with heartfelt faith. Judas wasn't deceived; he was a phony. He understood the truth, and he posed as a believer. Furthermore, he was good at it—the cleverest hypocrite we read about in all the Scriptures, for no one ever suspected him.

He had everyone fooled except Jesus, who knew his heart. And mark it, wherever God's work is done, there are impostors like Judas. There will always be hypocrites among the brethren. The favorite trick of Satan and those he employs is to "disguise themselves as servants of righteousness" 2 Corinthians The devil is a master at making his work look good—and he is busily at work among the Lord's people. Prior to this time Jesus had maintained secrecy about Judas's hypocrisy. Now He determined to reveal the truth, knowing that if the other eleven disciples were taken by surprise, their faith might have been undermined.

He wanted them to know that He was not being taken by surprise, that God is never any man's victim. He wanted to ensure that when He was gone, their faith would be strong. In revealing to them the truth about Judas, He also irrefutably affirmed His deity. In verse 19, He says, "I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am. Exodus Jesus is in essence saying, "I want you to know that I am God, and I knew this would happen.

Nothing is hidden from His sight. He knows what goes on in Christians' hearts, but more than that, He knows what goes on in the hearts of unregenerate people as well. In John , Jesus, talking to unbelieving Jews, says, "but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.

He reads it like an open book. In John , after affirming His deity, Jesus, still speaking of His imminent betrayal, says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. But a closer look reveals that it fits beautifully. We don't know what went on in the gap between verses 19 and But you can imagine that when the disciples found out about the betrayal, they might have all assumed that because of the failure of one of them, credibility would be destroyed for the rest.

They might have assumed that a traitor among the disciples would lower the standing of them all. If Jesus went to the cross, they must have thought, the Messianic hope would be gone. Their ministry would be over. They might as well forget about the Kingdom. And, remember, Jesus had just been stressing the importance of humility. Perhaps they were beginning to think that He was telling them to forget about their high calling.

So what Jesus was saying is this: "No matter what happens, it doesn't lower your commission, and it doesn't alter your calling. You are still my representatives. Although there's a traitor among you, that doesn't affect your high calling. The treachery of Judas must never lower your estimate of apostolic responsibility. He's saying, "When you go out there and preach, if they receive you they are receiving Me. And if they receive Me, they're receiving the Father who sent Me. Your commission is that high.


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You represent God in the world. When Christ was crucified, Judas turned out to be a rotten hypocrite, and the whole world seemed to be collapsing, it was easy to hit bottom spiritually and emotionally. So Jesus took the opportunity to elevate them and encourage them to keep their eyes on their calling and on their ministry, where they belonged.

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What Happened to Judas? (And Is There a Chance He Ended Up in Heaven?)

We need to be aware of that truth as well. No matter what Satanic opposition we run into, no matter how frustrating the work becomes, nothing can lower our commission. I recently talked to a discouraged man who is in the Lord's service. He was facing so much opposition that he was beginning to wonder if he was in the right place. Opposition is to be expected, I told him. Anything we do for God is going to meet with opposition. If every missionary looked at a mission field and said, "Oh, they might not believe me over there;" we'd never get anything done. Just because it's going to be difficult, and just because there's going to be opposition doesn't lower your calling.

We are Christ's ambassadors in the world. Those who reject us reject Christ, so regardless of what happens, we stand with Him. That's as high as you can get. When a believer moves out into this world, he represents Jesus Christ. Paul said in 2 Corinthians , "Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

When a man rejects our witness for Christ, he rejects Jesus and he rejects God.

Primordial - The Mouth of Judas

That's how strategically important believers are. And that is Jesus' point in John Notice that He uses the word "whomever. Have you ever heard someone use hypocrites as an excuse for not following Christ? People often say, "There are too many hypocrites in the church for me. Haven't been back in forty-two years! But it is true that there are too many hypocrites in the church. They're everywhere. And one hypocrite is one too many. But the fact that some are hypocrites does not diminish the glory of God or lower the high calling of every true child of God.

One betrayer among the apostles did not tarnish the commission of the rest. The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, "Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares? And he said to them, "An enemy has done this!

Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, 'First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn. In other words, it was hard to tell the difference between wheat and tares before they were ready for harvest. And while there may be some telltale signs, we can't always tell the difference between the true people of God and the hypocrites. If we knew which was which, we could go to every hypocrite individually and warn him of the danger of his hypocrisy.

But we can't read people's hearts. But someday Jesus is going to reveal who is true and who is false, and He will divide accordingly. Unmasking Judas betrayal must have caused deep anguish within the heart of Jesus. What troubled Him? Possibly a number of things: He was troubled because of the unrequited love of Judas; He was troubled because of the ingratitude in Judas's heart; He was troubled because He had a deep hatred of sin, and sitting at the same table with Him was sin incarnate; He was troubled because of the hypocrisy of the one about to betray Him; He was troubled because He knew Judas faced an eternal destiny in hell; He was troubled because He could see with His omnipotent eye Satan moving around Judas; He was troubled because He sensed all that sin and death meant.

But perhaps most of all He was troubled because He had an awareness that Judas was a classic illustration of the wretchedness of sin, which He would have to bear in His own body on the next day. In His anguish, He says, "One of you will betray Me. Their hearts must have raced. One of those at the table; one whose feet Jesus had just washed; one of their own, close group was about to betray the Master.

One of them was plotting to use his intimacy with Christ to guide the enemy to Him so that they might kill Him. It must have been difficult for them to fathom that one of their own group could have such hardened treachery in his heart. In fact, the disciples couldn't imagine whom He could be talking about. John says they "began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking" v.

Matthew says they all said, "Is it I? Is it I? It is noteworthy that the disciples were so perplexed. It shows that Jesus had shown love to Judas for three years, even though He knew Judas would betray Him in the end. If Jesus had ever treated Judas any differently from the way He treated the other disciples—if He had been more distant, or shown resentment—they would have known immediately that Judas was the betrayer. If Jesus had harbored any bitterness for what He knew Judas would ultimately do, it would have come out in the way He talked to him.

But, evidently, for three years He had been gentle, loving, and kind to Judas, treating Him in exactly the same manner He treated the other eleven. They thought of him as one of the group, and no one suspected him. In fact, they must have had a great deal of trust in him. Judas was treasurer of the group. And hard-hearted Judas had just played his game, all the way along. He had the behavior of a saint but the heart of a sinner.

He must have come to hate Christ deeply. The hatred of Judas and the love of John make an interesting contrast.


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  5. Try to picture the scene around the table. The table itself would have been U-shaped. In accordance with the customs of that time, the disciples were not seated on chairs, but rather reclining on couches. The table would have been a low, solid block with the couches around it, and the host would sit at the center. On each side of him would be guests of honor, and others would be positioned all around the table. They would lie on their left sides, resting on their left elbows, using their right hands to eat. Thus the one who was on the right of Jesus would have his head very close to the heart of Christ.

    From a distance, it would appear that he was reclining on the breast of Christ. John, who wrote this account, often referred to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved" ; cf. It was not that Jesus loved him more than He loved the others, but rather that John was completely overwhelmed with the concept that Jesus loved him at all. Also, John was consumed with love for the Lord. He loved Jesus as much as Judas hated Him.

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    John was reclining next to Jesus: "There was reclining on Jesus' breast one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. So again in St. John's Gospel the name first occurs in connection with the foretelling of the betrayal: " Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve; and one of you is a devil? Now he meant Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for this same was about to betray him whereas he was one of the twelve" John In this passage St.

    John adds a further particular in mentioning the name of the traitor Apostle's father, which is not recorded by the other Evangelists. And it is he again who tells us that Judas carried the purse. For, after describing the anointing of Christ's feet by Mary at the feast in Bethania, the Evangelist continues: Then one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, he that was about to betray him, said: 'Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

    This fact that Judas carried the purse is again referred to by the same Evangelist in his account of the Last Supper The Synoptic Gospels do not notice this office of Judas, nor do they say that it was he who protested at the alleged waste of the ointment. But it is significant that both in Matthew and Mark the account of the anointing is closely followed by the story of the betrayal: Then went one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, to the chief priests , and said to them: What will you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests , to betray him to them.

    Who hearing it were glad; and they promised him they would give him money.

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    Mark In both these accounts it will be noticed that Judas takes the initiative: he is not tempted and seduced by the priests , but approaches them on his own accord. Luke tells the same tale, but adds another touch by ascribing the deed to the instigation of Satan: And Satan entered into Judas, who was surnamed Iscariot, one of the twelve. And he went, and discoursed with the chief priests and the magistrates, how he might betray him to them.

    And they were glad, and convenanted to give him money. And he promised. And he sought opportunity to betray him in the absence of the multitude. Luke John likewise lays stress on the instigation of the evil spirit : "the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him" The same Evangelist , as we have seen, tells of an earlier intimation of Christ's foreknowledge of the betrayal John , and in the same chapter says expressly: "For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him" But he agrees with the Synoptics in recording a more explicit prediction of the treachery at the Last Supper : "When Jesus had said these things, he was troubled in spirit ; and he testified, and said: Amen , amen I say to you, one of you shall betray me" John And when St.

    John himself, at Peter's request, asked who this was, " Jesus answered: He it is to whom I shall reach bread dipped. And when he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him: That which thou dost, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew to what purpose he said this unto him. For some thought, because Judas had the purse, that Jesus said to him: Buy those things which we have need of for the festival day: or that he should give something to the poor" These last details about the words of Jesus , and the natural surmise of the disciples, are given only by St.

    But the prediction and the questioning of the disciples are recorded by all the Synoptics Matthew 26 ; Mark 14 ; Luke Matthew adds that Judas himself asked, "Is it I, Rabbi? All four Evangelists agree in regard to the main facts of the actual betrayal which followed so closely on this prediction, and tell how the traitor came with a multitude or a band of soldiers from the chief priests , and brought them to the place where, as he knew , Jesus would be found with His faithful disciples Matthew ; Mark ; Luke ; John But some have details not found in the other narratives.

    That the traitor gave a kiss as a sign is mentioned by all the Synoptics , but not by St. John, who in his turn is alone in telling us that those who came to take Jesus fell backward to the ground as He answered "I am he. Mark tells that Judas said "Hail, Rabbi" before kissing his Master , but does not give any reply. Matthew, after recording these words and the traitor's kiss , adds: "And Jesus said to him: Friend, whereto art thou come:" Luke gives the words: "Judas, dost thou betray the Son of man with a kiss? Matthew is the only Evangelist to mention the sum paid by the chief priests as the price of the betrayal, and in accordance with his custom he notices that an Old Testament prophecy has been fulfilled therein Matthew ; In this last passage he tells of the repentance and suicide of the traitor, on which the other Gospels are silent, though we have another account of these events in the speech of St.

    Peter : Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus : who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem : so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama , that it to say, the field of blood.

    Angels and demons and four-headed Beasts and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Flawed, broken men, pressing on through the storm I wanted to put Judas, the most unlikely Bible character possible, into that role. I wanted to see if there was a way to become a Saint even in the midst of Hell. When we meet him, Judas is full of guilt and rage, and he will continue that way for a while. But his journey through Hell will bring him face to face with the dilemma of the Christian faith.

    Loveness : From the get-go, Jakub and I wanted to lose the stereotypical images of Hell - fire, brimstone, lots of red - and go with a colder, lonelier approach. To be in Hell is to truly be alone. You are at the end of hope.

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    The end of potential. There is nowhere to go. You cannot die. Only hurt and yearn. I sent over some Hieronymus Bosch paintings and William Blake stuff for fun inspiration, but Jakub has made such a chilling, terrifying original place.

    Let's Be Kind to Judas: John 13:21-32

    Nrama : You grew up in a religious family - how religious would you say you are now, spiritually-speaking? Loveness : I was Protestant. No dancing or alcohol either. I would not call myself a Christian now, but I still deeply love the imagery and narrative of the Bible. It is achingly beautiful.