Sermons

Is There A "Judas" Among Us?

by Harold Hancock

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Scripture: Mk 3:14-19 Dec 17, 2023

Judas Iscariot was one of Jesus' chosen twelve apostles, yet he betrayed Jesus for money, highlighting that one can seem faithful yet harbor sin and fall away. Though Judas felt regret when Jesus was condemned, his sorrow was worldly rather than godly repentance leading to salvation, showing remorse alone cannot save. We must fully repent out of sorrow over offending God rather than merely being caught, purging all sin from our hearts to truly follow Christ.

Transcript

Thanks for being here. We have visitors with us. We're grateful for you, your presence. We have a number of people, of course, that are absent, some because of sickness and some because of travel, but we're grateful for the presence of each of you and pray that the time will be well spent this evening.

Thank Eric for leading those songs. He's just about preached the sermon without even knowing it because we'll be talking a lot about. Making sure our life is pure and making sure our hearts are pure.

Not too long ago, in class, we talked about Judas Iscariot for just a little bit. And as we talked, I, I thought, I think about the next time I preach, I'm going to preach on Judas. Judas is carried. And this is the next time I preached. And the thought I had is, I wonder if there's any Judas among us. I'll tell you more about what I mean by that in a minute, but I want us to begin just by reminding you of some of the things that probably all of us know about Judas.

And let me tell you, this is Not necessarily a picture of Judas. I say that because I can remember when I was starting out preaching in Yeovil, Arkansas, and we were using the Jewel Miller film strips and teaching personal class, and I was teaching the lady, and she was just enamored about how Abraham looked.

And I kept saying, that's not him, really. That's just an artist's conception. And she kept saying, I just like the way he looks. And so this is just somebody's picture about Judas that we borrowed. But we do know that Judas was an apostle of Jesus Christ. There are about four times, I think, if I'm correct, in that the apostles were actually mentioned by name in the scriptures.

Three of them in the gospel. And then one of them in Acts after Judas was no longer numbered with them at that time because of his death. But in all three occasions in the Gospels, when the apostles are given, Judas name is there. I'm turning to the book of Mark in the third chapter, and we'll not read all of them, but I wanted to draw a couple of things to your attention here.

In Mark, the third chapter, in verse 14, it says,

I think in one of the versions and, and maybe it's Matthew 10, it says he called his disciples together and then he chose 10 or 12, excuse me, out of that. We are disciples if we're followers of Christ and all the apostles were followers of Christ and hence disciples, but some of them were called to be apostles and these were people that.

We're going to be closer to Jesus and whom he would use to be witnesses of his resurrection and to give the people the word of the Lord. And so he's going to choose them and he says in verse 15, and to have power to heal the sickness and to cast out demons, Simon, to whom he gave the name Peter, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, the brother of James, to whom he gave the name Boanerges, uh, that is, son of thunder, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, the son of Alphaeus, Thaddeus, Simon of Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Every time we read about Judas, or just about every time, even early on, before he actually did betray Jesus, of course all the Gospels were being written afterwards, it tells us that this is the man that betrayed Jesus, and we'll talk more about that. But just know he is an apostle. He was one that was chosen by Jesus, called by Jesus, if you would, to be a special ambassador of, of him to the people.

We know also that he was the son, son of Simon, whoever Simon was, but there's a couple of times that. This is reference to this. Look, if you would, to the book of John and the 6th chapter and verse 71. And it just makes mention that he spoke of Judas Caret, the son of Simon. Or it was he who would betray him being one of the 12.

So again, we're reminded that he's one of the apostles and that Jesus chose him. And he says he was the son of Simon. And then if you look over to chapter 13 he would again remind us of who his father was. John 13 in verse 2, he says and supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him.

And then again in verse 26, he again tells us. And Jesus answered, It is he whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped. And having dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now we don't know who Simon was, other than he's the father of, of Judas. And we are defining Judas by saying he's the son of Simon.

So, that doesn't really help us that much, other than we, we gain a little bit of information about him. And then we know also that he was from Curia, and that's the little city in the south, or south part of Judea, maybe a little southern, further south than Hebron, some say. And when you see the name Judas Iscariot, maybe you think Judas and his last name is Iscariot, but that's not the case.

Iscariot seemingly puts him in, and tells us that this is the place that he was from. But without a doubt, what Judas is perhaps best known for is that he betrayed our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Look over, if you would, for a moment, to the book of Matthew and the 26th chapter and read a couple of verses that tell us this in Matthew, the 26th chapter, and we'll start in verse 14 says, then one of the 12 called Judas care, went to the chief priest and said, what are you willing to give me if I deliver him to you?

And they counted out 30, or counted out to him 30 pieces of silver. So from that time, he, that's talking about Judas Iscariot, sought opportunity to betray him, talking about Jesus. And so he has now made the deal where he was trying to, to betray Jesus. And then if you look over a little further in Matthew, the 26th chapter, and you remember there's the supper, and then they go out to the garden and so forth.

And Matthew 26 and 47 says, And while he was still speaking, that is, Jesus was speaking to his disciples, his other apostles, Behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude, came with a great multitude came from the chief priests, and the elders, and the people. Now he, his betrayer, had given them a sign, saying, Whomever I kiss, he is the one sees him.

And immediately, he went up to Jesus and said, Greetings, Rabbi, and kissed him. And so, here's Judas making the deal that he would betray. falling through on that deal and even betraying him with a sign that you would think would be one of respect and honor and showing friendship. But he's using that as a time or a way of showing them who Jesus was and so they could capture him.

And so he is actually at this time betraying Jesus on this occasion. His name has become synonymous with a traitor or a betrayer and You don't have many fathers and mothers naming their children Judas these days because that event stands out in people's minds and, and they know that he betrayed Jesus.

And so, they don't want to name their child after that all either. And then I would suggest to you further that he was remorseful and he hung himself. Look if you would to the book of Matthew in the 27th chapter. And look, if you would, beginning in verse 1. When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put him to death.

And when they had bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor, Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that he had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back 30 pieces of silver to the chief priest and elders, saying, I have sinned by betraying innocent blood. And they said, what is that to us?

You see to it. Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed and went out and hanged himself. And so he has some remorse. He realizes that he's done wrong. But, it doesn't sound like that the end was going to be very good to Judas. Look if you would to the book of, of Matthew in the 26th chapter again.

And look, if you would, to verse 23. It says, He answered and said, He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. This is Jesus at the supper, or after the supper, and telling them, and giving them a sign as to who it was that's going to betray them, or betray Him. And He says, Whoever it is that dips with Me, that's the one that's going to betray Me.

Then He said, The Son of Man indeed goes, just as it is written of Him, But woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would have been good for that man if he had not been born. And so it doesn't sound like that the end of Judas is going to be really that good. And then look over again, if you would, this time to the book of John and the 17th chapter and drop down to verse 12 and tells us While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name.

Those whom you gave me, I have kept. And none of them is lost except the son of perdition that the scriptures might be fulfilled. Now I come to you and, and these things I speak in the world that they may have my joy fulfilled. And so he, again speaks of this son of perdition, son of destruction, and he's talking about Judas Iscariot in that occasion.

I think if you just want to kind of sum up Judas life, he was one who feigned discipleship, maybe sometime was sincere to begin with, but toward the end, he was feigning discipleship, and his heart was impure, uh, he was, you know. Covetous. There are some passages that tell us that he was a thief. We'll look at some of those in a minute, but they tell us he was a thief.

And he was covetous. You know, he, he didn't just betray Jesus for nothing. He got 30 pieces of silver, and that was his motive for betraying him. He was bargaining with him. What will you give me if I, if I turn him over to you was the idea. And so all of us probably know these things about Judas but I want us now to, to look a little different.

I want us to think about his life and try and figure out, could it be that we're, we're walking the same path sometimes that Judas did? I will suggest to you that none of us can even possibly do what Judas did of actually betray. Jesus, because he's not here, and so we can't go out and make a deal to actually turn him over so he can be killed for 30 pieces of silver.

I would remind you though that in the book of Hebrews, the sixth chapter, he's writing to disciples and he tells us that it's possible for us to crucify Christ again. So though we can't betray him and turn him over to those people. There is a sense in which people can crucify Jesus again, but I'll tell you, I don't think those people are sitting in this audience this evening.

That seems to be somebody who had become a Christian, who had tasted all of the good gifts that God gives to Christians. And then chooses to leave Christ, and he doesn't even apparently stay around and, and pretend to be a disciple. He is, he's through with Christ. And so, no one that fits what we're talking about really is in the audience tonight that has crucified Christ, again.

And then I would suggest to you there are some people that can be counted among the number of disciples, or count themselves among the members of the disciples sometimes. And they're not really a disciple. We've been studying Sunday mornings and our memory verses Matthew 28 and 18 and it talks about Jesus saying all authority has been given to me in heaven and earth.

And then tells his disciples, you go out and preach the word to the people making disciples of them. And so a disciple then says, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. And so a disciple is a person that has heard and believed in Jesus Christ in And then been baptized into Jesus Christ.

And there are some people that count themselves as disciples. And there are sometimes people that come in among us and, and they sit among us and, and go to places with us and all. And they perceive themselves to be a disciple. Well, they're really not a disciple, but I want to suggest to you that Jesus was one that can be that was numbered among the disciples but he was still lost.

And that if we're not careful, we too can be numbered among Jesus disciple. Look, if you would, to the book of Acts and the first chapter for a moment. Now this is after the gospel, so Judas is already dead. Christ has been crucified and has now been raised from the dead. And now they realize they need to choose someone else to be an apostle with them in Judas place.

But listen to the way that it's described in verse 17. For he was numbered with us. He's talking about Judas. He was numbered with us and attained a part in this ministry. And so Judas was counted among the apostles. He was counted among the disciples. And yet, he ends up being called the son of perdition.

And indicating it would have been better if he had never been born than to face what he was going to face.

I want to, for a moment, to try and impress upon your mind just how much he was a part of them. You know, we don't really know when he became a disciple and we don't know about Judas when he was actually made an apostle. You can read John 1 and you see Jesus coming and John pointing out Jesus to him and some of the disciples went after him.

And that was seemingly John and Andrew, no Andrew because He went and told his brother Peter. Peter and Andrew were brothers, so we know how they learned about Jesus. We know something about James and John. We know something about Matthew, how that Jesus was there, and, and Matthew was there, and, and Jesus talked to him, called him, and he became an apostle.

But others, we don't know anything about how they became disciples, and how they became an apostle, but It is clear that Jesus called them. He's the one that out of his disciples chose these people. And so, Judas was named among the apostles and counted among them. He was an actual apostle. He wasn't just one that joined himself.

He was called. And what that would mean would be he spent three years with Jesus promptly. Three years. Rubbing shoulders with the Christ. He heard the Christ preach. He heard him, perhaps, when he was on the Sermon on the Mountain in chapter 5 in verse 8, talked about how important it is that we be pure of heart.

He, no doubt, heard him when he talked about how that we needed to, to no man can serve two masters in Matthew the 6th chapter. He'll either love the one and hate the other, or or he'll

just can't serve two, he says. And he even goes on to say, you can't serve mammon, or money, and Christ, you got to make a choice. He heard that. He would have been with him when in Luke chapter 12 and verse 15, that the guy came to Jesus saying, tell my brother to give me my inheritance. And Jesus said, who made me the judge?

And then he would say, beware of covetousness. John heard that. Or, I mean, Judas heard that. He heard all these warnings. He would have been one of the apostles. When it says that Jesus sent them out two by two, he was with one of somebody else and they were going out. And when he was there, he was working miracles and teaching them that Jesus was the Christ.

He had all of this knowledge and had seen all of these things. And yet he would still end up betraying Christ and he would still be covetous. And all of these things come into pass.

Let me remind you, it doesn't have to be covetousness with us. It could be. And we live in a world in which money is a big thing, and people try and get us to always be attracted to money, and so forth, and we have to be careful. Or we could be very much like Judas, where, where we are covetous, and that covetousness can lead us to other things.

But it doesn't have to be covetous. It could be some other sin that, that we're walking among the disciples, and, and considered to be a part of Christ, and still, Sin in our life. It could be hatred. It could be unforgiveness. It could be pride. So many things that, that could be a part of our life. And all the time that we're calling ourselves disciples, we have the sin in our life that can do much harm and much damage.

Another thing I see about Judas, he reminds us that sin can carry us further than we probably intended to go. I want you, if you would, to turn back to Matthew 27 for a moment, and this is a thought that I've had lots of time, and I think it was brought up in the class that morning also. But it says, When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put him to death.

And when they had bound him and led him away and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor, then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that he had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned by betraying innocent blood, and said, what is that to us?

Or they said, what is that to us? You see to it. And he threw the money down and, and of course went out and hanged himself. I don't know that I could prove this, but it's my thoughts from reading this account particularly. I don't think Judas thought that Jesus was going to die. If you read your Gospels in other places, you'll remember there were crowds sometimes and that said that they were going to kill him and Jesus slipped away.

Or he got out of it some way. And I wondered if perhaps Judas thought, you know, here's a chance for me to get 30 pieces of silver and Jesus to get out of it. It won't, it won't hurt. And one of the things about sin is that it gets us to go further than what we intended to go sometime. And the consequences of what we perceive to be in our mind, a small thing.

It can be devastating. It is marked down, and I've said it before, but you're probably not as strong as you think you are when it comes to resisting the devil. And temptations are oftentimes more stronger than we think they will be against us. And so we don't need to just put ourselves out there and say, Hey, here I am.

Come test me, Satan. You need to be guarded, and temptations will come, like the book of James talks about, and we can be joyful, and we can learn from them. We can learn, if we overcome them, that's good. If we succumb to them, we can repent of them and say, Hey, I see where I made my mistake last time, or whatever it is.

But just know that temptations are stronger than we think sometimes, and carry us further than we ever intended to go. And the damage is far greater than what we think sometimes. I can give you names of people that just started out flirting and ended up with a, a serious situation with marriage or a broken marriage.

I can probably name you people that, that started out just a little covetous that then turned to be a thief. All of these kind of things. And we just need to understand that sin is serious all the time. And that we shouldn't ever harbor sin in our hearts. That it's going to bring real pain and sorrow if we let it stay there without attending to it.

The third thing I want you to think about is that one can have remorse and still not be saved. Again, if you look at the book of Matthew in the 27th chapter in verse 3 again, it says, Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that he had been condemned, was remorseful. I'm reading the New King James, it says remorseful.

If you're reading the King James, it says he repented. There was another one that says he repents, I think maybe the American Standard. I'm sure, I think, sure, I think the English Standard says he repented. And it is, in the Greek, a word that is translated, repent. But it's not the same Greek word that you see in the book of Acts in the second chapter when he says, repent, be baptized.

Or a number of other places. This word is used very few times, really, in the Scriptures. And it carries with it the idea of remorse, but it's not the same thing as the repentance that is recovered or required elsewhere. when we become Christians. In fact, look if you would to the book of 2 Corinthians in the 7th chapter for a moment, and look if you would down to about verse 7 and 8, or 8 I think will do.

Paul writes and says, For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret, for I perceived that the same epistle made you sorry. Though you were, though only for a while.

Verse 9, he says, Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you should suffer loss, or that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation. Not to be regretted, but sorrow of the world produces death.

He talks about two things that motivates us to repentance, and this, this word is different in the latter part here. I think maybe in 2 Corinthians 8, when Paul's talking about regret, that may have been the same. Word that's back over in Matthew 27, but when Paul says this about repentance and calls them to repentance and saying, out of godly sorrow, or godly sorrow produces repentance.

This is a different word. And this means a change of heart and a change of mind. And it's brought about, notice, because of godly sorrow. And that's the kind of repentance we need all the time. We need that that is brought about by godly sorrow.

What was Judas sorry for? Well, he was sorry that Jesus was killed. We're sorry about that.

But, nothing said about the covetousness. Nothing said about some of the other things, the thievery that he did. Was it just, I'm sorry that I've got the blood of an innocent man on there? Or, not just, I have just killed the Savior? I did something that my God doesn't want me to do? And the point I want us to make is that we can be sorry sometimes, for something, but it's sorry we got caught, or sorry, I didn't get away with it or whatever, and that's not going to save us with God.

The God that we serve wants us to be regretful of sin that we commit, but He wants it to come out of a godly sorrow. You remember Romans, uh, six, and he talks about that sin brings death, but Repentance, that sorrow for sin, has to be, I'm sorry that I've sinned against God. I think the passage I was thinking about was when he talks about we, we sin and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3.

That's what ought to bother us. Not so much, I got caught, or it's going to cost me even if we got caught and put in prison, a few years in prison. Not even if it, I got caught and it's going to cost me my life. That's not what God's wanting. He's wanting us to realize, Hey, I sinned against God Almighty.

And the only way I can get out of that is through Christ Jesus and the blood of Jesus. And God had to sin his son to get me free from that. And so what we want is godly sorrow. And so it's possible for somebody to do something wrong and And then have sorrow for it, but it's still not erased their sorrow or their sin because it's not really a biblical repentance or the kind that God wants, where it's coming out of, I'm sorry I did this and offended you, oh God.

We cannot, this is the main point that I want you to realize, we cannot harbor sin in our life. Know it's there and let it stay there and end up all right. We can't be among the disciples and have sin in our heart or in our life and just Let it stay there. Think, well, everything's okay. It's not. We can't just be sorry just because we got called or something or that.

It's got to be godly sorrow. And that's what God wants. I wrestled a little bit over the title of this. I, I ended up with, Is There Any Judas Among Us? I, I really wanted it to be let there not be any Judas's among us. I wanted to end on positive, but I couldn't figure out just how to introduce it.

But my hope is that there's no Judas among us. That we're all what we profess to be, disciples of Christ. That we all are, are really disciples, not just somebody that's play acting among it, fooling the rest of the group. That we all realize that there's consequences to sin, and that if we just let sin stay in our life, It's going to bite us somehow.

You know, I, I saw, I used to keep it somewhere close by, it was a little newspaper clipping about a man out in the garden one time, and he was clearing his garden, and he found a little bitty snake, and it was about frozen. So he picked it up and put it in his pocket so it would warm up, and it bit him. And he pulled the snake out and he said, What did you bite me for?

He said, You knew I was a snake all the time. And that's the way sin is. We need to understand sin is sin. And sin is against God's will. And sin is what costs Jesus his life. And we don't want any part of it. And we can't just keep a little bit in our life and still please God. Purge out all the sin and repent out of a godly sorrow anytime.

That's the message. And that's what I want to use, Judas, to teach us this evening. That we can. Be named and numbered among the disciples and still be lost if we're not careful. And know that sin will carry us places that we don't really want to go and do consequences that we don't want to have to bear.

And know also that we can be sorry and that's still not enough. We've got to truly repent in order to attain forgiveness. If you're here this evening and subject to the gospel invitation, if you've never become a Christian, then be a Christian. Render obedience and be added to the flock that Jesus has, the church, and live a righteous life.

And if you are a part of the church and you've not lived right, there's sin in your life, then repent of it. Good godly sorrow and repentance and prayer. And go home clear conscience and truly a child of God and good standing with God. If you're a subject in any way, we invite you to come and together we stand the same.

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