Saturday, November 20, 2010

Judas Iscariot: Question and Answer Format

Q: Did Judas betray Jesus? If so, how did he betray him?
A: Judas betrayed Jesus when he offered to hand him over to the chief priests (Matthew 26:15a), when he covenanted to hand him over (Matthew 26:15b), and subsequently, when he sought opportunity to hand him over (Matthew 26:16). He did not betray Jesus when he handed him over (Matthew 26:47-50). Again, Judas betrayed Jesus, but handing him over to the chief priests was not the betrayal -  it was not the offense of which Jesus spoke, "He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me" (John 13:18 from Psalms 41:9).
 
Q: "How can an offer to hand him over be a betrayal when handing him over isn't?"
A: Motivation. The devil put into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus (John 13:2). His intent was malicious. His acts of betrayal were performed with this spirit of ill will.
 
Q: "Didn't he hand him over with the same evil spirit?"
A: No. Jesus allowed the betrayal to progress far enough that the scriptures would be fulfilled (John 13:18), then he intervened. The notion of an heel of offense (Psalms 41:9) suggested his approach: the footwashing (John 13). The footwashing allowed Jesus to tell Judas his fault (John 13:10,11) and to convey a message of forgiveness . Jesus intervened to gain his brother (Matthew 18:15). The intervention was as successful as Jesus could be (Compare John 17:12 with Matthew 18:11; consider Matthew 18:12,13).
 
Q: "So why did he hand him over?"
A: Jesus identified him as the one who should hand him over (Matthew 26:25;). Judas accepted the assignment as a servant of Jesus (John 13:30,31).
 
Q: "Why would Jesus want to be handed over to the chief priests?"
A: To be lifted up for all men to see, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (John 3:14). Jesus believed that his Father wanted him to lay down his life in this manner that he might take it again (John 10:17). The work that he did was toward this end.He believed that this was the cup that his Father desired him to drink (Matthew 26:39). He believed it would break the hold that Satan has on mankind.
 
Q: "But didn't Satan enter Judas just before he departed to hand Jesus over?"
A: Yes. But Satan opposed handing Jesus over (Matthew 16:21-23). Judas overcame Satan this time because he had just accepted Jesus as his Lord. In receiving Jesus, he received God, who worked within him to overcome Satan.
 
Q: "But why did the devil put into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus if Satan opposed his being handed over?"
A: The kingdom of Satan was divided against itself. It is the condition that Jesus said presaged its fall (Mark 3:24).
 
Q: "But why did Judas hang himself if he was saved?" (Matthew 27:5)
A: The saying that Judas hanged himself is a figurative expression. It follows from the saying of Jesus, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me (Matthew 16:24). The objective for one to take up his cross is to hang himself, to lay down his life (lose his life for Jesus' sake) in order to find his life (Matthew 16:25). The phrase "went and hanged himself" means that he lay down his life of sin and followed Jesus.

I offer these words only in my own name.

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