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The Long-Expected Traitor - Part A

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August 24, 2023 6:00 am

The Long-Expected Traitor - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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August 24, 2023 6:00 am

What place have you given to Jesus in your life? Today, Skip challenges you to put Jesus where he belongs, right in the center of your life.

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I do know this for certain. John was right where Jesus wants us to be. Leaning toward him. Toward his heart. Being able to just talk to him so intimately. Jesus does not just want to be in your midst. He wants to be in your heart.

He wants to be in the center of your life. What place have you given to Jesus in your life? Today on Connect with Skip Hyten. Pastor Skip challenges you to put Jesus where he belongs, right in the center of your life. But first we want to tell you about a resource that will equip you to give evidence for your faith in Jesus. Is there archaeological proof that Jesus existed? Did Jesus ever actually claim to be God? Is Jesus really the only way? There's a good chance you'll be asked tough questions like these at some point.

You may ask these questions yourself. That's why we want to send you Josh and Shawn McDowell's new book Evidence for Jesus to help you answer crucial questions about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Was that truth challenged in the presence of knowledgeable witnesses?

Especially antagonistic witnesses. Peter on the truth phone. He says, men of Israel, listen to these words you leaders. Jesus of Nazarene, a man attested to you, not just to us. See, he threw it right back in the antagonist's lap. He said, attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs, which God performed through him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.

I'll tell you this folks. If those antagonists had not seen those witnesses, miracles and signs, Peter would have been lucky to have made it out there alive. Instead of what happened historically, thousands were added to the church. Evidence for Jesus will help you confidently answer tough questions like, is there evidence that Jesus was real? Did Jesus actually claim to be God? What makes Jesus unique from other religious figures?

Did Jesus really rise from the dead and why does that matter? Evidence for Jesus by Josh and Shawn McDowell will join classics like more than a carpenter and evidence that demands a verdict that have shaped Christian apologetics. We'll send you a copy of Evidence for Jesus as thanks for your gift of $50 or more this month to reach more people with the teaching and resources of Connect with Skip Heitzig. So be sure to request your copy of Evidence for Jesus today when you give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer or call 800-922-1888. Okay, let's turn now to John 13 as Pastor Skip gets started. This is John chapter 13 after Jesus washed his disciples feet and in verse 17 he said to them, if you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but that the scripture may be fulfilled.

He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it comes to pass, so that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am he. Every minute of every day, people all around the world are trying to predict the future. They're doing so in a number of ways. Some are inside of casinos, placing their bets, trying to figure out what their chances are of winning. Other people are at the stock market trying to predict which stocks are going to rise, which ones are going to fall. Still others are in doctor's offices trying to give an estimated time of how long the patient has to live if they go through an operation or take this medication. And still others are in news agencies studying meteorological charts, trying to discern what the weather will be like in the next few days or week or two. We have been looking at the God who knows the future.

And we have a hard time. In fact, it's impossible for us to know the future. God, however, does know the future because He controls the future. And so in the Bible, we have noticed that He makes predictions that have an enormous amount of detail built into them.

So we can examine them objectively. And prophecies lend themselves to statistical analysis. You know, it's one thing to make a general prediction. It's another thing to make a detailed one. If I were to say to a young lady, you're going to meet somebody tall, dark, and handsome, that's not a big stretch. It's probably going to happen. If I say tomorrow it's going to rain somewhere, you're not going to be impressed.

But if I add details to a prediction, you would be impressed. For example, if somebody were to predict the next President of the United States will be a Republican female, age 51, from Rhode Island, with the first name Zora, who married a man named Blake, who was born in Woodstown, New Jersey, that she was born in the town of Big Bear Lake, California, with a foot-wide birthmark on her back, stands five foot, two inches tall, weighs 111 pounds, has 11 letters in her last name. Her father is from Grenada. Her mother is from Panama.

She has blue eyes. Oh, and one more thing. If the prophecy predicts the exact fingerprint pattern of the new President, you would be impressed. The chances of that happening would be one chance in 1.6 x 10 to the 45th power. We have been looking at several predictions over the last several weeks, and we have told you the odds of one person in history fulfilling them, and we've gone through a litany of that on several occasions. The more details you add to a prediction, you decrease the odds of the fulfillment of those predictions exponentially. It's one thing to make one prediction.

It could be some kind of coincidence that it comes to pass, but when you start stacking the details, it's different. So much so, we have made a note that for one person to fulfill all of those predictions that Jesus fulfilled is a statistic impossibility. Now it's a statistic impossibility from man's perspective. Without God, it's impossible.

With God, all things are possible. We also need to add the fact that Jesus Himself made the announcement in the Sermon on the Mount. He said, I did not come to destroy the law and the prophets. I came to fulfill them.

The word fulfill means to complete or to accomplish or to verify by a prediction. I have come to verify those predictions that were made in the law and the prophets. And one of the prophetic scriptures, one of the announcements that would happen, one of the predictions is that Jesus or the Messiah, the coming one, would be betrayed.

And there are a few scriptures that spoke of that betrayal. According to Josh McDowell, he noted that there are 29 prophecies that fit a special category, 29. Those 29 predict Jesus' betrayal, Jesus' death, and Jesus' burial. Those 29 predictions were made at various times over a 500-year time span, five centuries.

Between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C., those 29 predictions were made. But all 29 were fulfilled in a single 24-hour period. And the odds, the chances of those coming true would be about the same as a person winning 16 lotteries in a row. So this is against all odds. And today we're examining the betrayer Judas Iscariot. You know his name. You've read about him. Most everyone has heard his name.

He is the most infamous traitor in all of history. In John chapter 13, I want to make just three notable characteristics about him. First of all, he was among the followers. He was in their midst. Jesus chose him to be part of the team. Would you go back to verse 2 of John 13 and just make a note of that?

It says, Supper being ended, this is the Last Supper, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him. Sitting at that table along with Peter and James and John was Judas Iscariot, and he had been with them for three years. If you were to look up in a thesaurus, a word finder, if you were to look up words like traitor or betray, you will find the name Judas. And that is because his name has become a synonym for treachery, hypocrisy, disloyalty, betrayal.

And that's really about the only place you'll find his name. Have you ever met a Judas? Ever had anybody come up to you and go, hi, my name's Judas.

That's like the name Adolph. I mean, you're just not going to find that. I've never dedicated a baby named Judas from this pulpit. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce little Judas to you.

I've never done that. I've met a Judah or a Jude, the shortened form, but not a Judas. You've never met somebody named Judas. You haven't seen a dog named Judas.

And that's because of the treachery that he brought to bear in the gospel accounts. Now, I heard a story about a husband and wife. They were at home. And one night a thief broke into their bedroom.

They were there in the bedroom. The husband and wife saw the thief and the thief said, well, now that you've seen me, I have to shoot you. And so he took the gun out and he pointed the gun at the woman. And he said, now you need to tell me your name. I always like to know my victim's name before I shoot them. She said, my name is Elizabeth.

And he looked shocked. He said, Elizabeth, that was my mother's name. I can't pull the trigger.

I can't shoot you. And then he turned his gun toward the husband and said, what's your name? And he looked down at the gun and looked over at his wife and then looked at the thief. And he said in a shocked stutter, my name is Joe, but all my close friends call me Elizabeth. See, Joe had the same problem that Judas had. His name was okay at one time, but not now.

Now he wants to go by a different name. Now Judas was an honorable name. The word means praise, like the tribe of Judah.

Praise, beautiful name. Probably Judas was even named after one of the heroes in Jewish history by the name of Judas Maccabeus. Some of you have heard that name. Judas Maccabeus was the son of the leader who revolted against the Seleucid Syrians when they came to oppress Israel. And that family became the family that rededicated the temple. So Judas Maccabeus loomed large in their history. And it was a common name. So common a name. Did you know that Jesus had a brother named Judas?

I should say a step brother. Joseph and Mary had children after Jesus was virgin born and one of them was named Judas. So it was a common name. Not only that, but I don't know if you know that not one, but two of the apostles were named Judas. We only know of one because of his infamy, but there was another one among that 12 that was named Judas. And sometimes you'll read about it in the New Testament. It will say Judas not Iscariot in parentheses because his name, Judas Iscariot's name has become so infamous. And that's because of his treachery. Because of that there are three times the New Testament lists all of the apostles by name and there's something that is noteworthy. Peter is always named first, Judas is always named last. So though his name meant praise, this was not a praiseworthy man.

Though his name was an honorable name, he was not an honorable man. But he's among the followers. How did he get there? He got there because Jesus picked him, right? He chose him. After spending a night in prayer, Jesus went and picked the inner circle out of all of the disciples to be called his 12. Luke chapter six tells us this, he went out to a mountain to pray, continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called the disciples to himself and from them he chose 12 whom he also named apostles. And then the list comes Peter, James, John, the others, finally and Judas Iscariot who also became the traitor. So think of it, for three years, for three years, this man Judas walked and talked with the living Son of God.

For three years, he was among them. He was with Jesus. He sat under the stars with Jesus.

He ate meals with him. He listened to his sermons. He was there when he gave the Sermon on the Mount.

He saw him raise dead people, heal blind people. In fact, Judas was sent on his own preaching mission along with the other 11 to the towns around Galilee. He was that close to Jesus as to be picked by him. Not only was he picked by Jesus, he was placed by Jesus. He was given a prominent place among the 12 disciples.

You know what his position was? He was the treasurer. He kept the money box, the Bible tells us. He was given that special responsibility by Christ himself. So I can only figure Judas had a real keen business mind.

He was like the chief accountant. Now what's interesting about that is there was another money guy among the 12, Matthew, the tax collector. You think, well, he would have been a good guy to look over the money box, but it was Judas that was chosen. This is one of the reasons none of the other apostles suspected Judas at all, which is interesting, right? You might think, you know, Peter could have thought, I always thought it was him.

I knew it by that hoodie he wears and that sinister look he had. That's such a traitor. No one suspected Judas at all, all the way up to the end. In fact, when Jesus at the last supper, another gospel records, announces that there is a betrayer sitting at the table, there's one question all of the apostles asked.

You know what it was? Is it I, Lord? Is it I, Lord?

None of them said, is it him? They didn't know it was Judas. He was so good at covering things up, nobody knew his dark side. So Jesus picked him. Jesus placed him.

There's something else to make a note of. Jesus positioned him, and I mean at the last supper. As I've studied this text and others for years, I've come to believe that it was Judas who sat in a very prominent position with Christ at the last supper, that Judas was sitting right next to him at his left side.

That's what I've come to believe. I want you to look at verse 21 of John 13. When Jesus had said these things, he was troubled in spirit and testified and said, most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray me. Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke. Now there was leaning on the bosom, on Jesus' bosom, one of his disciples whom Jesus loved.

Who was that? That's John. It's called the disciple whom Jesus loved. Again, make note, John is writing this.

Just thought you ought to remember that. I'm the one Jesus loved, you know, me, John. But I love that he writes that about himself. The disciple that Jesus loved was leaning on Jesus' bosom. Verse 24, Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask him who it was of whom he spoke, because he's right next to him. Then leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, it is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it. And having dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him, and Jesus said to him, what you do, do quickly. But no one at the table knew for what reason he said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, buy those things we need for the feast, or that he should give something to the poor.

Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately, and it was night. With all due respect to Leonardo da Vinci, who gave us that famous painting, The Last Supper, it's a great painting, but it's so inaccurate, because you know the painting, everybody's sort of leaning toward Jesus, facing the camera, right, kind of off to one side. And as nice as that picture is, and as lofty in the art world as it has become, it doesn't paint the accurate picture. They weren't sitting on chairs at a table, like you and I have a meal. They were at a triclinium, a U-shaped table called a triclinium, three-sided table. And in those days, they would not sit in chairs, but recline on their left elbow, typically with their right hand free, to grab food, to pass it around. But they were in a relaxed, declined position, so that as they were reclining, John would have been to Jesus' right, leaning left toward Jesus' breast.

And then Jesus would have been reclining toward somebody else. Now you'll notice in verse 26 that Jesus said, It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread, and having dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot the son of Simon. Did you know that at a meal like Passover, there were places of honor to be given by the host, typically? The places of honor was the right hand and the left hand. You remember Mrs. Zebedee, who came to Jesus one time? She goes, I have a small request. I want my two boys to sit at your right and left hand in the kingdom.

Those were places of honor. So at the Last Supper, John, invited presumably by Jesus to sit at his right hand, was leaning toward Jesus' breast. So all he had to do was cock his head a little bit and go, So who is it? And Jesus could simply look and say, The one to whom I give a piece of bread. Jesus took a piece of bread and passed it to someone in that U-shaped table.

The one he could reach would be the person on his left. And I believe that was Judas Iscariot. So you have John leaning left into Jesus breast, Jesus leaning left into Judas' breast, Judas leaning left into somebody else's bosom. He took the bread and he gave it to Judas, which must have meant that before the evening started, our Lord went not just to John, but to Judas and said, Judas, I want you to sit right next to me tonight. Jesus knew all about this creep, but he invites him right next to him as if perhaps one final reach out to say, doesn't have to be this way.

You don't have to do this. Reaching for his heart. Now, I can't say that for certain, but I do know this for certain. John was right where Jesus wants us to be. Leaning toward him, toward his heart, being able to just talk to him so intimately. Jesus does not just want to be in your midst. He wants to be in your heart.

He wants to be in the center of your life. And John was in the right place leaning toward Jesus. Here's my question for you. Are you like John leaning toward Jesus or are you more like Judas leaning away from Jesus?

It's a good question for evaluation. Which way am I inclined am I leaning? So Judas was among the followers. The second noteworthy thing about this text is he was against the master. He was against the master. In verse 18, we noted that Jesus quotes an Old Testament prophecy, which we'll look at in a moment, but notice it. He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.

What a picture that is of somebody lifting up their heel like kicking you away. I want nothing to do with him. Did you know that there are some people who actually think Judas Iscariot wasn't a bad guy?

He was a good guy. Yeah, he has been recast throughout history. And you will note this around Easter time when they have those kooky television specials about the real story of Jesus and his followers. And they'll make something up from some crazy source that they found. They'll make a whole documentary to subvert any traditional faith in Jesus Christ. And many of them make Judas out to be this misunderstood hero who is trying to save Jesus from himself. But Jesus got himself into trouble, wouldn't listen to Judas. They make him out to be the hero, Judas.

It goes all the way back to a play and a movie in the 60s called Jesus Christ Superstar, and a book that was put out by Hugh Schonfeld called The Passover Plot. Those are sources that try to cast Judas as the good guy. I just want you to know, Judas was not a good guy. Jesus in John 6 calls him a devil.

How's that for a title? There's a devil among you. In his prayer to the Father in John 17, our Lord Jesus called him the Son of Perdition. So he's not a good guy.

He was a greedy guy, but he was not a good guy. That's Skip Heitig with a message from his series Against All Odds. Find the full message as well as books, booklets, and full teaching series at connectwithskip.com. Right now, here's Skip and Lenya to share some exciting news about a trip to the Holy Land. Well, if you've ever dreamed about visiting Israel, let's make that happen. Lenya and I are leading a tour group to Israel next summer in 2024. We'll start up north visiting Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, and the Jordan River. We'll spend several days in Jerusalem, see the Temple Mount, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Upper Room, and more. Now, visiting the places where the Scriptures unfolded, where Jesus lived out his earthly ministry, it never gets old.

That's why I keep going back. Join Skip and I and our friend Jeremy Camp next summer in Israel. See the itinerary and book this Israel tour with Skip Heitig and Jeremy Camp today at inspirationcruises.com slash c-a-b-q. That's inspirationcruises.com slash c-a-b-q. Come back tomorrow as Skip wraps up his message and shows you that Jesus already knew what Judas would do to him. Connect with Skip Heitig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-08-24 04:57:49 / 2023-08-24 05:07:05 / 9

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