By Shelby G. Floyd
When one surveys history some notorious traitors come to mind, such as Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. But the name that most Christians remember is Judas Iscariot, who betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ:
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”
Normally, a kiss is a sign of love, loyalty and friendship. But in the case of Judas it has become a symbol of sin, shame and betrayal.
Judas, like most traitors shared in all of the privileges vouchsafed to the other apostles. According to Mark’s account of the life of Christ, Judas was appointed to the apostleship, and sent out with miraculous power to the various missions Christ gave all the apostles (Mark 3:14-15).
Judas was a weak man because he was weak in character. What you really are is your character. Judas had a devil down in his heart:
Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
Because of the love of money, the root of all evil (1 Timothy 6:10), Judas became a thief. He pretended to care for the poor, but really only cared about him (John 12:6).
Jesus styled Judas as “the son of perdition” (John 17:12). Jesus did everything he could while he was with the disciples to help them to grow spiritually and become strong. There are strong people and there are weak people who will reject every means of being everything they can be. The prophecies foretold that someone would betray Jesus. Judas chose to be that person—the traitor of all time (See Psalms 41:9; 69:25; 109:8)!
Satan knew the weakness of Judas and he worked on his heart to entice him to make some easy and wicked money. The prophet Zechariah prophesied that someone like Judas would betray his best friend for a few pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13).The record declares that Judas fulfilled the plan:
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 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 and hanged himself. But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.” And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in (Matthew 27:3-7).
Let each one who wears the name of Christ be on our guard lest we betray Christ and his spiritual body—the church. The devil will encourage us to neglect our duty and become involved with wicked companions and sell the Lord out for less than did Judas. Instead, let each one renew our love and devotion to the Lord, always repenting of any desire to betray the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
Shelby G. Floyd Heartland Church of Christ 1693 West Main Street Greenwood, Indiana 46142 email@example.com