He spake of Judas Iscariot [the son] of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.John 6:71
Judas Iscariot is perhaps one of the darkest characters we find in all of the Bible. It gives great pause to understand that nothing surprised our Redeemer while He was here on earth. Judas’ horrible actions and betrayal were foretold in the Old Testament and Jesus knew what He would do. He is even introduced in the gospels as “the one who betrayed” Jesus.
We do not have many scriptures that point directly at the actions of Judas Iscariot but we can safely guess about a few.
We know that Judas was put in charge (or took charge) of the finances of the group.
For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.John 13:29
Knowing this, let’s examine an event that happened toward the end of Jesus’ ministry.
Read John 12:1-7
In Matthew and Mark’s accounts we find that he even had indignation against this woman and her actions. These actions of Judas remind me of how John describes Cain in his 1st Epistle.
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous.1st John 3:12
Cain killed Abel because Abel had done a righteous thing. Judas hated this woman because she had done a righteous thing. It is with this same motivation against righteousness that Judas eventually betrays the Christ. Within twenty-four hours, Judas would betray Jesus with a kiss (Luke 22) and He would be tried, crucified, and slain.
There is much debate over the standing of Judas before God. Is he wicked or just a disobedient child of God? I know that my conclusion may differ from some very learned men of the past but the evidence that I have already shown you and the following evidence convince me that Judas Iscariot was a wicked man.
Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.John 6:70-71
Judas was an unbeliever and Jesus calls him a devil! Moreover,
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.John 17:12
The word perdition means “damnation.” You have to really twist the words around for that to mean anything else! As far as Judas being lost, let us consider the fact that none who were given to Jesus Christ in the covenant of election will be lost (John 6:37; John 10:27-30; Romans 8:28-30). None of those can ever be lost, but Judas was lost in a sense. Therefore, he was never among the elect.
Some would object and say that he repented in Matthew 27. Yet, not with a godly repentance. It says he repented himself. It is a different Greek word than godly repentance which is a change of mind and understanding. The phrase in Matthew 27 simply means he regretted what he had done because now he was facing eternal punishment and knew it. Sorrow for punishment is not the same as sorrow for sin.
Having said all of that, we now come to the main point we should learn from Judas (or actually from Jesus). In John 13, Jesus, the King of Glory, kneels before each of the twelve apostles and washes their feet. This includes Judas Iscariot. Jesus washed the feet of a man that would betray Him that very night. Jesus washed the feet of a man that hated Him. Jesus washed the feet of a man for whom He did not die! With this in mind, we can certainly overcome differences with our brothers and sisters in Christ! We can act in a similar manner and humble ourselves for the benefit of a fellow heir of grace. We can not only literally wash their feet, we can apply the lesson and serve them with love despite our differences.