Topical - Judas, The Guide
I. The Messiah Betrayed, Arrested, and Deserted.
A. Four Pictures of Commitment (Matthew 26:47-56)
Intro: humanly speaking, this is a tragic scene. Jesus was betrayed, arrested, and deserted within a few minutes. Just imagine facing all three events within so short a time: being betrayed by one of His own disciples; being falsely arrested by a mob determined to kill Him; and being deserted by all His closest friends, the apostles themselves. Jesus stood alone. He did not have to; not a single hand or abusive word or indignity had to be borne. But He chose to stand there. He willingly suffered all the abuse and indignity that He might save the world.
Look what the Lord says in (Matthew 26:45-46), “Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand: Jesus knew Judas and those who would arrest Him were on the way. He could have run, and escaped the agony waiting at the cross. But Jesus rose to meet Judas. Jesus is in complete control of all events.
Listen to what John says, "So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.” Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin." (John 19:1-11, NKJV).
1. His Lordship in the Symbolism of the Surroundings (John 19:1)
a) I believe the Lord deliberately chose Gethsemane, the symbolism is this:
(1) The first Adam began life in a garden. Christ, the second Adam, came at the end of his life to a garden.
(2) In Eden Adam sinned. In Gethsemane the Savior overcame sin.
(3) In Eden Adam fell. In Gethsemane Jesus conquered.
(4) In Eden Adam hid himself. In Gethsemane our Lord boldly presented Himself.
(5) In Eden the sword was drawn. In Gethsemane it was sheathed.
(6) Jesus was in complete control. Can you imagine what was in Judas’ mind as he struggled back to his feet?
Jesus said that “I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” (John 10:17-18)
Much can be learned from what happens in this event. There are four separate events or pictures seen.
1. Judas betrayed Jesus (v.46-47).
2. Picture 1: a deceptive commitment—Judas’ betrayal (v.48-50).
3. Picture 2: a carnal commitment—Peter’s carnal militancy (v.51-52).
4. Picture 3: a purposeful commitment—Jesus’ willingness to die for man (v.53-54).
5. Picture 4: two tragic commitments (v.55-56).
a. A commitment to oppose Jesus: the world’s treatment.
b. A commitment that forsakes Jesus: the disciples’ fleeing.
6. The Hour and Power of Darkness (Luke 22:53)
2. Judas Betrayed Jesus (Matt.26:47).
a) Judas was one of the twelve apostles, a disciple, a professing follower of the Lord.
(1) Just a few hours before, that evening, he had been sitting at the table of the Lord eating bread with Him. Now he had turned away and had actually taken the lead in betraying the Lord:
b) Judas Was a Guide For The multitude to arrest Jesus (Matt.26:47).
(1) Luke’s gospel says that Judas “went before them”. Judas actually led people to Jesus in order to arrest and kill Him.
Peter said in the book of Acts: “Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus" (Acts 1:16, NKJV)
(2) We read about Andrew in the gospels that he was always bringing people to Jesus. But here, we read of Judas bringing people to Jesus, not for the purpose of knowing Him, but to arrest Him.
c) What Kind Of Guide Are You To Others? How Are You Leading People To Jesus?
To Guide Means: To so influence others as to cause them to follow a recommended course of action—‘to guide, to direct, to lead. To guide straight towards or upon something, or to guide & direct one’s way or journey to a place (1 Thess. 3:11).
(1) Are You A Blind Guide (Matthew 15:10-14)?
(a) Hypocrites always lead others to disaster. It’s bad enough that they themselves cannot and will not see the truth; it’s even worse that they recruit others to their ungodliness. They are not only blind but blind guides of the blind. And if a blind man guides a blind man, both will fall into a pit.
(b) The pit physically referred to holes that were dug in a field or pasture and filled with water for use as drinking troughs for animals. A blind man walking through a field would eventually fall into a pit.
(c) But the spiritual meaning of pit is hell. The blind guides are the Pharisees themselves, and the other blind are their converts, who become twice the sons of hell as their teachers (Matt.23:15).
(d) Jesus’ calling the Pharisees blind guides was a play on their own description of themselves as “leaders of the blind.” Jesus was saying, “Yes, you are leaders of the blind; but you are in the same condition as those you lead. You yourselves are blind.”
(2) Are You Confident That You Are A Guide To The Blind (Romans 2:17-24)
(a) The context is figurative in the sense that ‘the blind’ are those who are spiritually blind, and the guidance that they require is a proper understanding of the truth in terms of how they should behave.
(3) Be A Guide To Those Who Don’t Know God’s Word (Acts 8:26-31).
The writer of Proverbs says that "The righteous is a guide to his neighbor, But the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26, NASB95)
(4) You Have A Supernatural Guide (John 16:13-14)
Jesus Himself said that "When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16:13-14, NKJV)
d) With a “great multitude” (Matt.26:47).
(1) The Multitude Included:
(a) Officers of the Temple (Luke 22:52) & cohort of Roman soldiers (John 18:3), which, at full strength, comprised 600 men.
(b) Temple police (John 7:32, 44–46), Pharisees (John 18:3), Sadducees and the entire Sanhedrin (Mark 15:1; Acts 23:6) and the chief priests and elders themselves (Luke 22:52).
(c) When all four gospel accounts are compared, it becomes evident that the total number of men who came with Judas to the garden may have been as high as 1,000.
(2) Judas Made Sure They Were Armed. Judas had witnessed Jesus’ power and His escaping from crowds before (Luke 4:30; John 8:59).
(3) Judas was officially sent by the religionists: the chief priests and leaders (Matthew 26:3-5, 14-16). The very people who should have received Him rejected Him. His severest enemies were those who professed to believe in God and who gave religious leadership to the people.
3. The First Picture Of Commitment Is A Deceptive Commitment (Matt.26:48-50)
a) The Kiss of Betrayal (v.48).
(1) The Word for “kissed Him” (Katephilesen) Is Strong.
Kissed translates an intensified form of the verb used in verse 48 and carries the idea of fervent, continuous expression of affection. A kiss is still displayed today in many Arab cultures and even among some Europeans.
(a) A slave would kiss the feet of his master or other notable person, as would an enemy seeking mercy from a monarch. Ordinary servants would perhaps kiss the back of the hand of the one they greeted, and those above the level of servant would sometimes kiss the palm of the hand. To kiss the hem of a persons garment was a sign of reverence and devotion.
(b) But an embrace and a kiss on the cheek was the sign of close affection and love, reserved only for those with whom one had a close, intimate relationship. A kiss and embrace were an accepted mark of affection of a pupil for his teacher, for example, but only if the teacher offered them first.
(2) In The Ancient Near East Such A Kiss Was A Sign Of Homage.
Psalm 2 says "Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!" (Psalm 2:12)
(a) It was the word used by Luke of the woman who came into the Pharisee’s house and kissed Jesus’ feet, wiping them with her hair and anointing them with perfume (Luke 7:38, 45).
(b) It was also used by Luke to describe the father’s reception of the repentant son in the parable of the prodigal (15:20) and of the grieving Ephesian elders on the beach near Miletus as they said farewell to their beloved Paul (Acts 20:37). It was this type of intense affection that Judas showed, hypocritically, for Christ.
(c) Therefore, of all the signs Judas could have selected, he chose the one that would turn out to be the most despicable, not because of the act itself but because he perverted it so hypocritically and treacherously.
(d) Judas was so caught up in his deceitful display that even Jesus’ sobering words, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48) did not deter him.
The writer of Proverbs says "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy." (Proverbs 27:6)
The Psalmist says "Do not drag me away with the wicked And with those who work iniquity, Who speak peace with their neighbors, While evil is in their hearts." (Psalm 28:3, NASB95)
Speaking about his enemy, David says that "His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords." (Psalm 55:20-21, NASB95)
b) Friend, why have you come (Matt.26:50)?
(1) Jesus’ Response To Judas Indicated That He Still Loved Him.
Jesus addressed him as Friend (“companion” or “associate,” used only three times in the NT, each time (Matt. 20:13; 22:12; 26:50). He asked Judas a question, a question that forced Judas to search his deceptive heart. Christ still wanted to reach Judas, if possible.
(a) Being deceived, not speaking the truth, will teach your tongue to speak lies.
Jeremiah says "Everyone deceives his neighbor And does not speak the truth, They have taught their tongue to speak lies; They weary themselves committing iniquity.” (Jeremiah 9:5, NASB95)
Writing to Timothy, Paul says that "evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Timothy 3:13, NASB95)
(b) Understand that your own heart is deceitful and wicked.
Again, Jeremiah speaking says that “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9, NASB95)
The writer of Hebrews says that we are to "Take care… that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God." (Hebrews 3:12, NASB95)
(2) Christ asks every one of us: “Friend, why have you come? Why have you come to me? Why have you come to church?”
(a) Because you are really committed and loyal?
(b) Because you want to satisfy conscience: to have just enough religion to keep you from feeling guilty?
(c) Because you want to please family or friends?
(d) Because all your friends come?
(e) The question of Christ should pierce every one of our hearts and arouse a searching conviction.
(3) For Judas those were the last words of Christ, and you could only imagine that the words will ring as a torment in his ears throughout all eternity in hell. Judas exposed himself outwardly as the enemy of Christ he had always been inwardly, and until the end of history his name will be synonymous with treachery.
4. The Second Picture of Commitment Is a Carnal Commitment (Matt.26:51-52).
a) Peter misunderstood Jesus’ kingdom and he “battled in the flesh.”
(1) Matthew does not tell us but we know from (John 18:10) the unnamed swordsman is Peter and the servant whose ear was cut off was Malchus (John 18:10). Jesus restored the ear; He miraculously healed it (Luke 22:51).
(2) Peter thought the Messiah’s hour had come. Christ was now ready to free Israel and establish the throne of David as the dominant nation in the world. Peter drew his sword (note that he had one) and struck, slashing off the ear of Malchus.
(3) Christ rebuked Peter and his carnal commitment, his warring in the flesh.
(a) He told Peter to put his sword back into its sheath where it belonged.
(b) He healed Malchus’ ear (Luke 22:51).
(c) He told Peter that “they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
(4) The picture painted by Peter’s behavior is a carnal commitment, acting and struggling in the flesh. Peter took his stand for Christ in the flesh; therefore, he failed. Eventually he deserted Christ. Acting in the flesh will always result in failing and deserting Christ.
(5) Peter’s carnal commitment is seen in four mistakes. Each mistake is too often seen in the lives of believers.
b) 1st Mistake: Peter misunderstood the Lord’s Word.
(1) First, Peter thought Christ was to establish an earthly kingdom. He thought in terms of the earthly, the physical, the material. Therefore, he failed to grasp the spiritual and eternal kingdom proclaimed by Christ.
(2) Second, Peter never accepted the Lord’s word. Christ had predicted His death and forewarned the apostles, giving them extensive training for months ( Matthew 16:13-20; Matthew 16:21-28; Matthew 17:1-13; Matthew 17:22; Matthew 17:24-27). Yet Peter refused to give up his pre-conceived ideas and accept what Christ was saying. Therefore, he did not see the spiritual instead of the material.
c) 2nd Mistake: Peter did not wait for instructions from Christ (Matt.26:51).
(1) He acted on his own out of impulse; he took matters into his own hands.
The disciples had asked in (Luke 22:49), “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”
(2) But Jesus had not yet answered. However, this did not stop Peter. He acted on his own. How like so many of us! Too often, we act without waiting on the Lord.
d) 3rd Mistake: Peter did not ask Christ what to do.
Jesus said to “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41, NASB95)
He also said in Luke’s gospel “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36, NASB95)
That is why we need to "Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:11, NASB95)
e) 4th Mistake: Peter did not think clearly nor use discretion nor act wisely (Matt.26:52).
His action could have led to the failure of God’s will. It could have led to the death of many. That is what Christ said: “Violence leads to violence. If you draw the sword, the soldiers will cut you down.”
(1) Among God’s people, the place of the sword is in the sheath, not drawn and slashing at people. God’s people are to proclaim love and peace, not war and violence, not carnal and fleshly behavior.
It’s “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 4:6).
Peter says that we are to “sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that ask’s you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
(2) The Believer’s Weapons Are Spiritual, Not Physical Or Carnal.
Writing to the Corinthians Paul said "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)…He goes on to say in Romans that "those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (Romans 8:5-8)…To the Galatians he writes "For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please" (Galatians 5:17)
f) Jesus didn’t need Peter’s help with the sword.
(1) With one sword, Peter is willing to take on a small army of men. Yet he couldn’t pray with Jesus for one hour (Matt.26:40). Often prayer is the very hardest and best work we can do.
(2) With his sword, Peter accomplished very little. He only cut off one ear, and really just made a mess that Jesus had to clean up by healing the severed ear (Luke 22:51). When Peter moved in the power of the world, he only cut off ears.
But when Peter was filled with the Spirit, using the Word of God, Peter pierced hearts for God’s glory. Acts 2:37 says "Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” " (Acts 2:37, NASB95)
5. The Third Picture of Commitment Is a Purposeful Commitment (Matt.26:53-54).
a) Jesus’ willingness to die for man.
(1) Jesus Could Have Saved Himself. He could have prayed to His Father and seventy-two thousand angels would have rallied to His defense and blasted His enemies away. The number is impressive, especially considering that one angel killed up to 185,000 soldiers in one night (2 Kings 19:35). He does not need the weak efforts of men to defend Him. He is God’s Son, God’s only Son, and God will defend His Son as He wills.
(2) However, Jesus Was Determined To Fulfill Scripture: He had to die, and He was willing to die for man. His life was not being taken from Him by men. He was laying it down willingly as God had purposed (John 10:17-18; Is.53:5-7; Acts 2:23).
Jesus said "For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father." (John 10:17-18, NASB95)
About the Messiah, Isaiah writes "But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth." (Isaiah 53:5-7)
And according to Acts 2:23, Peter says that "this Man, (being Jesus) delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death." (Acts 2:23, NASB95)
(3) The commitment God wants from us is a purposeful commitment: a commitment to die daily for Christ and His cause ( Luke 9:23).
Jesus said that "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. " (Luke 9:23, NASB95)
(4) Purpose, meaning, and significance are what every man desires and needs. Such is found in Christ alone. Christ and Christ cause alone, fills the heart of man with purpose, meaning, and significance.
6. The Fourth Picture of Commitment Is That of Two Tragic Commitments (Matt.26:55-56).
a) A commitment that opposes Jesus: the world’s treatment of Jesus (v.55).
(1) Note how the world treated Jesus: they treated Him as (1) a thief, as though He was going to steal from them; (2) as a dangerous man who must be opposed with weapons; and (3) as a man who must be opposed in the dark and in secret.
(2) A Christian’s relationship to the world:
(a) Light of the world Matt.5:14)
(b) Not of the world John 17:14, 16)
(c) Chosen out of the world (John 15:19)
(d) Tribulation in the world John 16:33)
(e) Sent into the world by Christ (John 17:18)
(f) Not conformed to the world (Rom. 12:2)
(g) Crucified to the world (Gal. 6:14)
(h) To live soberly in the world (Titus 2:12)
(i) Unspotted from the world (James 1:27)
(j) Overcomers of the world (1 John 5:4, 5)
(k) Denying desires of the world (Titus 2:12)
b) A commitment that forsakes Jesus: the disciples fleeing. They fled for at least two reasons.
(1) They feared for their own lives. Jesus was not using His power to free Himself. They could not understand. They fled to save themselves.
(2) They were disillusioned; they could not understand Jesus’ behavior and why He would not blast His enemies away and free Himself.
Remember when the Samaritans would not receive Jesus and "When His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”](Luke 9:54-56, NASB95)
7. The Power of Darkness (Luke 22:53)
a) Joining Forces with the Power of Darkness (Luke 22:53).
(1) Note these points about the word “hour.”
(a) An hour is only a short time. It soon passes. Therefore, the power of darkness and those who oppose the Lord will last but a short time.
(b) The power of darkness is always broken and conquered by light. When light appears, the presence and power of darkness are destroyed. So it is with Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. The power of darkness and those who oppose Christ may have their hour now, but their hour is to end. He, the Light of the world, will arise and dispel the darkness, and completely do away with it.
(c) An hour soon passes, but then what is left? All the hours of life and of eternity. The power of darkness and those who oppose Christ may have an hour, but that will be all. However He, the Light of the world, will give Light to the world forever.
(2) The phrase domain of darkness to the supernatural forces of Satan against Him at His arrest).
(a) Domain could be translated “jurisdiction,” or “authority.” The triumph of the domain of darkness was short-lived, however. A few hours later, Jesus forever shattered Satan’s power by His death on the cross. You need not fear that power, for “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world“ (1 John 4:4).
(b) Colossians 1:13—Through His death, Jesus crushed Satan and delivered us from his dark kingdom. Those who receive the Lord Jesus Christ have been rescued from the domain of darkness.
b) Turn Today, from Satan to God (Acts 26:12-18).
c) Four Characteristics of Spiritual Darkness.
(1) It Is The Work Of Satan.
Those who are not the children of God are the children of their “father the devil, and [they] want to do the desires of [their] father,” who “was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him” (John 8:44; cf. vv. 38, 41). Every person is either a child of the devil or a child of God.
(2) Spiritual Darkness Not Only Is The Work But The Domain Of Satan.
The unbeliever does Satan’s work because he is under Satan’s control (in Luke 22:53 he is called “the power of darkness”) as a citizen of his “dominion of darkness” (Col. 1:13; cf. Eph. 6:12; 1 John 5:19). That is why it is so foolish for people to reject the claims of the gospel because they imagine they would have to give up their freedom and come into a forced and unwanted obedience to God. One of Satan’s most deceptive and destructive lies is the idea that a person apart from God is free. The unbeliever is totally bound and imprisoned by Satan through sin. He cannot do anything but sin and he cannot obey anyone but Satan. Fallen man thinks he is free only because what he wants so closely agrees with what Satan wants. But the believer’s obedience is the deepest desire of his heart (cf. Rom. 6:17–18, 22; 7:22; Ps. 119).
(3) Spiritual Darkness Brings God’s Penalty.
Paul declares, “the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6), who are “by nature children of wrath” (2:3). In the book of Romans he says, “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (1:18).
(4) Spiritual Darkness Leads To The Ultimate Destiny Of Eternal Darkness.
Those who do not believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, whether they are Jew or Gentile, “shall be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 8:12; cf.1 Sam. 2:9; 2 Pet. 2:17). Those who reject Christ do so because they are content with darkness. And because they choose darkness rather than light, they will forever have darkness rather than light. Eternity simply crystallizes the choice into permanence.
d) Turn Today, from Satan to God (Acts 26:12-18).