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The Master's Men Part 5: Judas Iscariot

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
August 3, 2022 4:00 am

The Master's Men Part 5: Judas Iscariot

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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August 3, 2022 4:00 am

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Jesus chose Judas because of the plant yet offered Judas every opportunity not to fulfill it.

He gave the lesson of the wedding garment to Judas. He gave the lessons of money and greed to Judas. He gave lessons of pride to Judas Judas never was and never provided any Of his decision, staggering evil committed by Judas Iscariot. But keep in mind as bad as his sin was, you can still take away a lot of important lessons from his life. John MacArthur drives that point home today on grace to you as he continues his classic series.

The Masters men now is a way of setting the stage for today's lesson John something our listeners might not know about you is that you had a long time interest in Judas and the disaster that he became in effect, this despised character in human history that kind of unique part in your preparation for becoming a pastor so talk about that for a minute. Yeah, it really is true. When I did my graduate dissertation in seminary, I wrote on the character analysis of Judas Iscariot and it was interesting that I can find a lot of material. I remember having to go to a Catholic library to find some rather obscure treatments of Judas in order to fill out the research in the paper but the bigger question is why would I do that and the answer to that question is because I couldn't comprehend how a person could be close to Jesus intimately with Jesus for three years and betray him.

It was just it was more than I could comprehend because Christ is so compelling so glorious so magnificent. Everything about them so attractive, so full of grace and truth. How can someone be with him for three years. How profound is human depravity.

How deep can sin be how deadly and persistent is unbelief. So I really wanted to try to see if there was an answer to how a person can be that close to Christ and end up walking into hell and what prompted the question also was affected. I had to experience that with some of my friends one high school and college and one in seminary who studied the things of Christ to professed Christ and who abandoned Christ vocally and completely and walked in the direction of hell. I was always trying to figure out how can you do that Christ is to compelling for me to even imagine how that could happen so we are about to look at Judas. This tragedy of all tragedies. He's the odd one out in the in the story of the disciples but is a tremendously significant lesson because the Bible says that Judas hell will be far worse than anybody else's hell, because the proportion of punishment in hell is related to the proportion of truth you rejected.

Nobody rejected more than Judas rejected his is the worst of all ends. That's right.

And thank you John. It's amazing that we can learn so much from such a bad example. So now friend to help unlock truths that you may never have considered about the most notorious of the disciples. Here's John Matthew chapter 10 will complete our series on the Masters men. By examining this man Judas Iscariot. Let me read from verse one to the first part of verse five and when he had called unto him his 12 disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Know the names of the 12 apostles are these the first Simon who is called Peter and Andrew his brother James the son of Zebedee and John his brother Philip and Bartholomew Thomas and Matthew the tax collector James the son of Althea's and Libya's, whose surname was Thaddeus Simon the zealot and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

These 12 Jesus sent forth. Now we have met already. The first 11 disciples. We set about to learn everything that we could learn about the but one of them stands out against the background of the others. He is isolated he is lonely he is alone. His name is Judas Iscariot. He is a horrifying colossal misfit. He is the epitome of disaster. He is the vilest wickedness man. The Bible knows anything about is listed last. You'll notice in verse four and he is always listed last and with the comment about his betrayal because that was his brand and will be for all time. The dark story of Judas is a blight on the page of human history. Although there is much we know there is much mystery and darkness surrounding Judas that perhaps will never know his name became a byword for betrayal is name is so despised that it is not used in human society, though its meaning is full of loveliness.

There are 40 verses in the New Testament in which there is a reference to the betrayal of our Lord and each of them. There is the implication of the incredible sin of this man. Judas I believe this man can teach us some profound and awakening lessons, so let's examine what the Bible says about it. First of all, his name is name Judas a common name BS Thaddeus in verse three is also called Judas is simply a form of Judah, the land of God's people. Some say the root of it means Jehovah leads and others think the root of it might refer to one who is the object of praise, but what a paradox. Either way if it means Jehovah leads there never was one who was more obviously led by Satan then was Judas if it means one worthy of praise.

There is never lived one more unworthy of praise than Judas, so he is a very very enigmatic old man even in terms of his name.

It says his name is not only Judas but Iscariot was at me. Basically, it comes from two terms issue, meaning man and carry meaning town. He was a man of the town of Caria that is simply a geographical identification. Why is it that Judas is identified geographically and the other 11 are not. It's important because he is the only non-Galilean.

He is the only Jew from the southern section is the only Judeans you all of the rest came from Galilee, and this may indicate to us that from the very beginning.

Judas was never really one of the boys. Also, the southern Jews felt themselves greatly superior to the rural Jews of the North and would've looked down on them and consequently there may have been a certain amount of pride involved, which deepened as time went on, 23 miles south of Jerusalem 7 miles from Hebron was a little group of tiny villages.

They were built near farms where the people cultivated the soil as the little villages congregated together in groups. They became one little town of that little town became known as Caria in Joshua chapter 15 in verse 25 it is mentioned and it was that little village gave birth to this man, 7 miles from Hebron. The little child was born that was one day to be the most hated human being who ever lived from his name. We look at his call.

Secondly, his call and I hasten to add that the call of Judas is not recorded in the Bible we medium the first time right here in this list and we don't know how we got in the group. I mean we know the Lord called them in but we don't know any of the circumstances. We know he wanted to be involved, but we don't know how it was that he attached himself to Jesus.

Apparently he was attracted to Jesus. That's obvious he followed him. He stayed with and he stayed with him longer than a lot of the other false disciples who bailed out much earlier than this. In fact, in John six. There were many disciples who follow Jesus. But when he demanded total commitment out of them. It says in many of his disciples walked no more will, but the 12 it says remain so even when Jesus called for all commitment even when he said you must eat my flesh and drink my blood even when he made total demands on them and many of them left. Judas stuck it out. He stayed so he was definitely attracted to Jesus.

I don't think he was particularly attracted by the spiritual.

I think he was attracted on a selfish level.

I don't think it was really Jesus alone that drew them. I think it was what Jesus could do for him that he saw the power of Jesus, and he believed that this man would bring the kingdom and he was not interested in the kingdom for the kingdom's sake or for Christ sake. He was interested in the kingdom for what he might gain from it. If he were on the inner circle so was totally motivated by selfishness, but nonetheless he follow in a halfhearted way, no one thing is certain.

Jesus knew Judas would betray him, and that is why he chose him.

Jesus knew the plan.

You see if they had another plan.

We know the plan. For one thing, because he was omniscient to do everything in the very beginning.

In John six verse 71 says many went away and the 12 remaining Jesus at that early time, said one of you is a what devil's only beginning a new any new because of what the Old Testament said the Old Testament predicted that one of his own would betray for example, in Psalm 41 verse nine we read this and it has a messianic significance says on some 41 nine yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did each of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against the psalmist saw in the future, the Messiah being betrayed by his own familiar friend. Psalm 55 also carries a messianic perspective.

In verse 12 and following verse 12 says, for it was not an enemy that reproached me. Then I could have borne it neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me, then I would have hidden myself from him but it was that a man my knees cool my guide and my familiar friend. We took sweet counsel together and walked into the house of God and company and then drop down into verse 21 the end of verse 20.

He's broken a covenant, the words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart. His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords, treachery, hypocrisy and betrayal again with a messianic perspective and then if you look into the prophecy of Zachariah Chapter 11 as he speaks of the same event even gets more specific. Zachariah 1112 says and I said under them. If you think good, give me my price and if not, forbear, so they waiting for my price 30 pieces of silver, and the Lord said on the me I listen carefully cast it unto the Potter a lordly price that I was surprised out of them and I took the 30 pieces of silver, and cast them to the Potter in the house of the Lord negotiations someone is sold for 30 pieces of silver. The 30 pieces of silver are thrown to the Potter in the house of the Lord. What an intricate prophecy and strange because what is a Potter doing in the house of the Lord. We shall see. Betrayed by his own familiar friend for 30 pieces of silver. The New Testament simply records the fulfillment of what the old testament prophesied. So when Jesus chose Judas he knew he was the betrayer and he knew the prophecies about his betrayal. So we understood the entire plan and he chose him because of that plan eloquently in John 1712 and let's continue our thinking on this point. John 1712 Jesus is praying to the father and he is praying about the disciples he's praying about the 12 and he says well I was with them in the world.

I kept them in 19 those that now gavest me I have kept and none of them is lost father. I kept them, he says, and none is lost, but the son of perdition or the child of lost mess.

Luther translated it the lost child, the one whose nature it is to be lost. The one who was always lost. The one who was damn doorway who never altered his lostness isn't one who lost his salvation but one whose nature was lost. He lost none of them but the lost one in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled in other words, Jesus says to the father, Judas is lost because it is the fulfilling of the Scripture.

I say that Jesus therefore chose him because he knew the Scripture. He chose him to be the fulfillment of that Scripture that was the plan. Now listen, you have here the paradox you say if it's in the plan that is Judas responsible yes yes I will. How can God predetermine this set up the plan make all the prophecies pull it off for Judas in and it will. Judas responsible.

That's exactly what God does, how he can do that. I don't understand because the infinite mind of God is beyond my own but I do understand very clearly what the Bible says, and for your own interest to resolve the problem you listen to this verse.

Luke 2221 and 22 it says this Jesus speaking in this, the Last Supper, behold, the hand of him that betrays me is with me on the table. He's here, he's right here.

Then Luke 2222 says this and truly the son of man goeth. Listen to this, as it was determined. In other words, I am going into betrayal. I am going into a rest. I am going into death as it was determined the betrayal and the man was determined but in here it comes.

Woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed. You see, on the one hand it is determined on the other hand, Judas is responsible. So you see the overruling power.

The overruling providence of God can allow such a man is Judas to wish to follow Christ to choose to follow Christ and yet be in on her fulfillment of the divine plan and still have his own choice. That is the power of God, not outwardly. Judas didn't appear to have defective character. I'm sure that in fact he must've had qualities and capacities which commended him three years he was with the disciples and Jesus said in the upper room and in John 13. He said one of you will betray me and all the apostles responded your number how they responded that they say is Judas no every one of them said is it I why they had no more reason to suspect Judas than they had reason to suspect them so they knew better about themselves and they assumed better about Judas. He was a fantastic hypocrite. He was so good at it.

They elected him Treas. of the group's right they gave him the money. That's how much they trusted, disabled, and they know we must have a rotten sinful background if he was such a rotten wretched vile man they would do this to Christ. He must've had a track record.

It was horrified yeah, but it wasn't at them at the worst any worse than any other ones. It's hard to be much worse than Matthew was an extortion or a thief and took bribes will be hard to be much worse than Simon the zealot was an assassin so you know they were all kind of a crummy bunch of you look at it that way and Judas must've put on an act, and all acts it's interesting to me that he never has a word to say until he complains about the waste of money and Bethany the whole biblical record. The whole three years. He never opens his mouth. I'm sure he really guarded his mouth well to keep the roots up.

He had the same potential as a the others he could've been a John or Peter or whatever. I mean Christ could've transformative his heart been willing. He was the same raw material. He was no more unqualified than anybody else the same song that melts the wax hardens the clan while the other men were being melted and molded. He was being hardened. He was probably young, somewhat devout Jew, a zealous Jew a patriotic Jew who didn't want the Romans to rule. He saw an opportunity to follow this man he believed this man was the Messiah and that he would set up a kingdom, and the king would be earthly and he would overthrow Rome and he would push the conquerors out and he would reestablish the kingdom of Israel, and days of prosperity and glory would come again, and for him.

It was all earthly. It was all crass and it was all materialistic and it was also be holding your hand, and he saw the possibility of getting in on the gravy train. He was never really drawn by the person of Jesus to believe and to love Jesus. He only saw Jesus as a means to an end to gain for himself and you know he could put off a little because at the beginning he didn't join the group for money because they were poor, but he figured if he hung around long enough after the revolution he get on it. It was willing to make the investment of a few years for a dividend that he thought would be tremendous. So Jesus chosen because it was the plan, but he chose Jesus, of his own will, because he saw the road to personal prosperity so we could summarize by saying this about his call. Jesus chose Judas because of the plan yet offered Judas every opportunity not to fulfill it. Jesus gave the lesson of the unjust steward of a man wasting his opportunity to Judas. He gave the lesson of the wedding garment to Judas.

He gave the lessons of money and greed to Judas. He gave lessons of pride to Judas. He said a lot of things. One of you is a devil to warn Judas Judas never listen and never applied anything and he kept up his deceit. Jesus knew exactly what he was in John 13 that the Last Supper, Jesus said one of you is going to betray me. They also visit Isaiah. He said the one to whom I give the sop he it is who betrays me sop was a piece of bread that you stuck in a bowl in the bowl was a sort of a paste like jam made out of fruit and nuts and you took the register of soaked it in that and it was common in the Orient to honor a guest at the meal and the one was the honored guest would be the one to whom the host gave the sop host would dip it and give it to the honored guest and he said the one whom I give the sop he is a betrays me a dip to stop and give it to Judas and at that very moment he was honoring him. He was respecting him. He was showing love to him. He was lifting him up was an act I think of affectionate was an act of love beside teaching them and teaching them and warning them he actually honored the man he was overreaching to that man but he never responded and that brings us to the third point is progress into betrayal is progress. John's Gospel is the place we have to go to get the progress and we can kind of see what's going on three years are going by and Judas keeps hoping that any minute, Jesus is going to grab the kingdom I'm it's gonna come he sees a miracle in another miracle and another miracle and people are healed and the blind can see the desk in here.

The lame can walk in the Duncan speaking people are fed and he's he's in awe of all these things and he knows the power is there to do it and he anticipates any moment.

It's gonna happen and he is so greedy that he just keeps hanging in there and hanging in there and hanging in there with tenacity, waiting for the kingdom to happen now. I would hasten to add to you that he is no different than the other 12 they all believe that the Messiah had come, they all believe the Messiah would bring an earthly kingdom. They all believe the Messiah would overthrow Rome, he would establish the kingdom and they would enter into the glory of the king. They all believe that they had met the lion of the tribe of Judah, but the Lord began to tell them the before he was the lion of the tribe of Judah. He had to be the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world and he talked about dying. He talked about giving his life and he talked about being lifted up and whatever he talked about that you can just hear Judah saying what is this and I believe that the final thing that just destroyed Judas finally was the triumphal entry when Jesus rode into the city and it was Hosanna to the son of David, and palm branches at his feet and all the praises and everybody acknowledging him as the Messiah and he rides in and Judas is gotta be in the back saying this is it. It's gonna happen today.

What is set up, Jesus gets off the Duncan gives a speech this is a speech except a quart of wheat fall on the ground and died a bite of the loan.

I have to die and I believe that literally devastated. That was the last straw, the Judas could handle it when what happened and I think that made it finally clear to him.

You see the other disciple started where he started, but the Lord listed them to a spiritual plane. Judas never got there the Lord they had them do a spiritual kingdom to see things in a divine dimension, but Judas never got off the crass, materialistic, earthly level. He was the epitome of a crass materialist the other disciples had worldliness yes and greed and selfishness. What was overcome by the love of Christ and they begin to love them and in their love for him, he lifted them to another level. Well, it never happened in Judas life, greed and selfishness and materialism and worldliness conquered love the others were lifted and he stayed the others became uncorrupted and he became more corrupt, more greedy he had at the root of his character.

A terrible terrible passion and he never was willing to relinquish his soul like Goethe's Faust sold his soul to Mephistopheles. Judas sold his soul eternally to hell itself. This is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us. Today's lesson looked at the tragic sins of Judas Iscariot.

It's part of John's current series titled the Masters men in front. Maybe you haven't spent a lot of time studying the life of Judas, but there is a lot to learn from him.

With that said, you'll appreciate interview program called when believers stop believing. John sat down with me to discuss the dangers of apostasy and how to recognize false Christians download that interview for free at our website you could do it today.

Our web address Jide The full title when believers stop believing portrait of an apostate.

It will show you what to think and do.

When a pastor or an elder Christian friend suddenly turns against Christ again. That interview is free at our website. TY.downloaded today. And remember, at Jide'll find thousands of free Bible study resources. If there is a passage in the New Testament that has always confused you or that you simply want to know more about John has a sermon on it.

You can also check out our blog you find articles on compelling topics like glorifying God in the gray areas of life for the doctrine of election or the issue of moral purity, and many others. And if you benefited from John's current radios let a friend know about this daily broadcast and encourage him to tune into Grace to you on this station now for John MacArthur and the staff.

I'm Phil Johnson encouraging you to watch Grace to you television this Sunday and be here tomorrow when John wraps up his look at history's greatest trader with another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on grace to you

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