Featured in the March, 2014 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News
In the history of the world there have been more than enough bad people, but Judas probably heads the list. The name “Judas” has passed into our language as a label for a degenerate and despicable person. Who names his son “Judas”?
Can a case be made for Judas? Let me try.
Judas had a good name. It meant “praise”, that is, “praise to God”. There was an ancestor of Christ who had this same name (Luke 3:30), and also, it was Judas Maccabeus who led the Jews to victory in time of oppression. Judas was another one of the apostles (John 14:22) and this is the name also of one of the writers of a New Testament book.
Judas undoubtedly had good parents. Why else, would they pick such an honored name for him. Were they not a good and godly influence on him?
Judas had a good calling; namely, to be an apostle of Christ (Luke 6:13, 16). What better opportunity could anyone have?
Not only was he an apostle, but he had a good position in the apostolate, being the trusted treasurer of the group (John 13:29). So you see, he had a lot going for him.
So, he had a bit of a problem with money. He pilfered (John 12:6), but no doubt intended to replace the funds, and by the way, have you never stole anything?
And you have no problem with money? Have you never spent foolishly (Isaiah 55:2)? Do you have a balance on your credit card, which means, you are spending more than you have? Have you worked on the Lord’s Day because the money looked good?
But you say, Judas betrayed Christ (Matthew 26:14-16), however, certainly Judas was sharp enough to know that Christ could somehow get out of this predicament. Judas knew that Peter had a sword (John 18:10) that could take care of those who came to seize Jesus. And, if Peter’s sword would not do the job there were 72,000 angels that could come at Christ’s call (Matthew 26:53). They surely would deliver the Lord. So, Jesus would escape and Judas would have the money; it would be a win for Jesus and a win for Judas. So, what’s the problem?
But, you also can worm your way out of your money situation. If you don’t tithe or if you misuse your money, will not God somehow take care of His church and the missionaries? So if you are hungry for money, don’t you also betray your Master?
It looked like the “Jesus movement” was about to collapse, and here is Judas without an employment check and no pension! Could you blame him for trying to scrounge a few shekels?
Is it true that Judas may not be as bad as you thought him to be; and, you are not as good as you imagined yourself to be?