If you have your Bibles with you today, please turn with me, if you would, to Mark chapter 22.
The disciples set out. Bow with me as we go to our Lord in prayer. Lord I continue to pray for our sick this morning.
Jeremy Carriker, Jim Belk, Elsie Camaro, Mayna Zimba, Shelby and John Key, Nicole Lowes. I praise you for Kitty Clay's recovering. Be with them all, Lord, and bring healing to their bodies and strength to their souls. Heavenly Father, this passage is one that makes us shudder. He was a man who walked with Jesus, fellowshiped with the disciples, and is right now in hell.
Why? He turned his back on Christ. He betrayed him.
He hated him. He worked hard to be sure that Jesus was crucified. John chapter 6, Jesus said to his disciples, Have I not chosen you and one of you as a devil? Then in today's passage, Jesus said, But woe to that man who betrays the Son of God.
It would be better for him if he had never been born. So, Lord, what can we learn today that would help us to be less like Judas and more like Jesus? Help us to read what happens to a man whose heart is open to satanic activity and tremble at the danger. Help us to not take lightly the blatant satanic activity that we are seeing in our world today. Fill us with the fear of God. Also fill us with the love of God. And may our lives count for Christ's sake. For it is in the precious holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen.
You may be seated. Verse 10 starts off with the word then. That means that what happened right before this is connected.
Now, what did happen right before this? Jesus and his disciples had been invited to what we might call an appreciation dinner. A fellow named Simon, who was a leper that Jesus had healed, had invited them over for this big meal. It was going to be good food. It was going to be a caring and appreciative host. And it was going to be a time for Jesus just to relax a little bit just days before his crucifixion.
The guests had finished the meal. And Mary, the sister of resurrected Lazarus, comes walking in the room and she's got in her hands a very priceless heirloom. It's a jar of spikenard.
Extremely expensive perfume. She walks right over to where Jesus is. She cracks open the top. She takes about half of it and just pours it over his head.
Much of it just rolls off down into the floor. And then she gets down on her knees before Jesus. She lets her hair down. And I believe at that point in time the tears begin to roll down her cheeks.
These are tears of appreciation and joy. For Jesus has answered her prayer. You see, her brother several days ago was dead. Lazarus was in the tomb for four days. His body was decaying and stinking. And Jesus raised him from the dead. And now she looks over and there is Lazarus, her brother. He's standing right beside Jesus.
Not only is he alive, but he's healthy and perfectly well. So first of all, the tears that she shed were tears of appreciation and tears of joy. But they were also tears of anguish and tears of pain. For she knew exactly what was coming for Jesus. Jesus was going to be mocked. He was going to be laughed at. He was going to be lied about.
He was going to be falsely accused. He was going to be beaten and then nailed to a cross until dead. What Mary is doing here is a memorial.
A memorial to Jesus' death and to his burial. Now Jesus has already been talking to the disciples on several occasions about his soon coming death. And it's just like it went right over their head. I don't think they got it.
Let me tell you something. Mary got it. Mary understood exactly what was going to take place and it was tearing her heart out. She gets down on her knees before Jesus. She takes the rest of that expensive perfume. She pours it all over his feet until there's nothing left in the bottle. And a lot of it just sank right down into the floor. And then she takes her hair and she uses it like a towel and she dries Jesus' feet off completely.
But the disciples are stunned. This was amazing. This was just over and above what anybody would have expected. She could have done this a different way. She could have just used a few drops on his head and a few drops on his feet. And then she would have had a lot of perfume that she could have sold and she would have had a bundle of money.
But no. She gave her best. She gave her all and she held nothing back. Brothers and sisters, that's worship. Finally, she stops drying his feet with her hair and she stands up and all of a sudden the silence stops. There's Judas. He's mad. He's indignant.
You almost see the steam coming off his head. And he points at Mary and he says, what a waste that was. You could have taken that perfume, sold it, and then taken that money and used it to feed the poor. In John chapter 12 verse 6, John gives a commentary on what Judas had done here and on his comments. He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief.
Having charge of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. Listen. Listen to how Jesus deals with Judas' stinking attitude. I have to believe that Mary was pretty much taken aback by Judas' criticism. And it was not just Judas for the scripture says that there were other disciples that joined in with him, chimed in, and they criticized too. And I think that hurt Mary. And I think when she heard that criticism, she looked over at these guys and she said, these are the disciples.
These are the followers of Jesus. These men love God and they think I was wrong. And all of a sudden it begins just to gnaw at her on the inside and she said, oh no, I meant this for good. I wanted to bless Jesus, but look what's happened. Now I've turned around and I've hurt Jesus instead of helping him. Jesus saw her consternation.
And I want you to listen very carefully to what he said to clear things up. Jesus said, leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me for you always have the poor with you and where whenever you want, you can do good for them.
But you will not always have me. She has done what she could. She has anointed my body beforehand for burial. Truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her. That's the background for the passage that we want to look at today. I've got four points about Judas that I want to share with you.
Number one is the betrayer. Look with me at verse 10 through 11a. Then Judas Iscariot, who is one of the twelve, went to the chief priest in order to betray him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad and they promised to give him money. Luke 22 verse 3, the parallel passage, we are told that it was right at this time that Judas's heart was opened and Satan entered in to that heart. Let me ask you something.
What was it? What's going on that caused Satan's heart to be so open? I think it was Mary's unselfish, Christ-exalting, totally abandoned worship of Jesus that just got under his skin and he just couldn't take it. This self-centered, hypocritical, demon-possessed man could not stand it when Mary began to worship Jesus with total abandon. So Judas just opened his heart. He opened his heart to Satan and Satan came and completely controlled him. Now if you've ever doubted God's sovereignty and God's providence, then explain to me the person of Judas and the timing of exactly what happened at this point in time.
Wow! Psalm 41 verse 9 was a prophecy that was written a thousand years before Judas was even born. It's about him.
Listen to what it says. Even my close friend and whom I trusted who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me. And then in Psalm 55 verse 13 through 14 and verse 20 it says, But it is you, a man, my equal, my companion, my familiar friend. We used to take sweet counsel together within God's house we walked in the throng.
My companion stretched out his hand against his friends. He violated his covenant. As we study Judas today, I don't want anybody in this building walking out of here feeling sorry for Judas. I've just given you Old Testament prophecies that foretold exactly the wickedness that Judas would do. With anger in his heart and with greed on his mind, he walked out of the house of Simon the leper where he just had this big meal. Jesus had just rebuked him for his criticism of Mary. What does he do? He goes straight to the chief priest and he says to them, I will deliver Jesus over to your hand if you will pay me for it, if you will give me money.
That I will do for you. I have heard people take these passages and say it was predestined that Judas would do what he did. So poor Judas was nothing but a victim.
He was nothing but a robot. So this was not really his fault. It was God's fault.
He could not work at cross purposes with providence. So this was not his fault. It was God's fault. Judas should not be held responsible.
You don't hear anything else I say here today, I want you to listen to this. God's predestining power never leaves the predestined person free of responsibility. Rest assured, Judas was not forced into this sin and treachery. Judas did exactly what his wicked heart wanted to do.
In John chapter 6 verse 70, Jesus said to the disciples, have I not chosen you twelve and one of you is a devil. One of you is a devil and the scripture says that he was speaking of Judas Iscariot who had betrayed him. David prophesied Judas's betrayal and a thousand years later, Jesus is prophesying that betrayal. And it happened at Passover. It happened at Passover where the true Lamb of God would be slain and would shed his blood to purchase our salvation. In Revelation chapter 13 verse 8, Jesus is called the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the earth.
In God's perfect time, in God's perfect place, for God's perfect purpose, our sovereign Lord used wicked people and very strange events and even the devil himself in order to bring about his plan of salvation where Jesus would die on the cross and shed his blood to pay for our redemption. Judas was called the son of perdition. His act of betrayal was wicked, it was demonic, and it was disloyal. But yet people are bound and determined that they're going to say Judas was just a victim and we should relieve him of his guilt. Back in the late 1970s, an ancient document was stolen from an Egyptian tomb that was called the Gospel of Judas. The Gospel of Judas, Irenaeus, one of the early church fathers, just proclaimed that it was wholeheartedly rejected by the early church. And it was written many years after Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written.
And it goes almost just contradictory to almost everything that is said in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Let me read you a short synopsis that explains concisely what the Gospel of Judas is all about. This heretical document is a desperate attempt to make Judas the hero who delivered Jesus from having to live in a physical body by handing him over to be killed. According to the Gospel of Judas, these two men were the best of friends. And Judas betrayed Jesus only because Jesus asked him to do it. Judas and Jesus had many private conversations during the last week of their lives in which Jesus told Judas many secrets that he never shared with any of the other disciples. This is because Judas was the most important disciple, the only one who really understood Jesus. Step away from the others, Jesus said to him, and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom.
It is possible for you to reach it. All this is utter nonsense, of course. A blatant contradiction of everything the Bible says about Judas and Jesus. The people promoting this false gospel are trying to rehabilitate Judas by saying that he was never really the villain that Christians say he was.
He was just misunderstood. But what these scholars are really doing is betraying Jesus all over again by calling something a gospel that fails to give people any good news. Folks, God did not put wicked thoughts in Judas' heart. God did not tempt Judas to sin. James chapter 1, 13 through 14 says, Let no one say when he is tempted that he is tempted by God, for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Folks, God didn't make Judas sin. God just took his hand of restraining grace off Judas and let him do what his wicked heart wanted to do. All right, point two is Passover, the opportunity. Look at verse 11b through 17.
On the first day of, and he sought an opportunity to betray him. On the first day of unleavened bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover? And he sent two of the disciples and said to them, Go into the city and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. And wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, The teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? He will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready.
There, prepare for us. And the disciples set out and went to the city. They found it just as he had told them and they prepared the Passover.
When it was evening, he came with the twelve. Judas did not realize that his wicked betrayal was occurring in God's perfect timing. Jesus knew that the time he had left on this earth was very short.
In fact, at this point in time, less than a day, less than 24 hours, that Jesus will be nailed to the cross, he will die, and he will shed his blood to pay for our salvation. For us to say that his intensity had ratcheted up would be a vast, a vast mis-understatement. Jesus was holding here nothing back. He was proclaiming his deity. He was sharing with people his divine authority. He was prophesying his death.
He was clarifying the relationship between God and government. He was prophesying the destruction of Jerusalem and prophesying the second coming of the Son of Man. What Judas knew was this. This was Passover season. And people from all over the world would be leaving their homes to come to Jerusalem and Jerusalem was going to be some more crowded. I think Judas looked at the Passover as, not as a prophecy of what Jesus would do, but more as just a commemoration of what had taken place 1,300 years before.
He looked at it and he said, well, this is what took place. The Lord spoke to the people of Israel and said, kill the Passover lamb, take the lamb's blood, put it on the doorpost and the lentils of each of your homes, and then when the death angel comes through that night, he will pass over the homes where he sees the blood applied. The other houses, they will experience the death of the firstborn, but where the blood is applied and the death angel sees it, then he will pass over. In other words, there will be life for you instead of death. Now, folks, the time had come, now was the Passover, and Judas thought that things would be so busy and it would be so crowded that he could just go ahead, he could betray Jesus, he could get the money for that, and then he could kind of get away and nobody would really notice it. Jews from all over the place had come to Jerusalem. I think many of these Jews had heard about Jesus and they were coming hoping that they would get a chance to see him, hoping they would get a chance to be under his teaching. And I think many of these had come with the idea that maybe this is the Messiah, I'm going to listen to him, I want to repent of my sins, and they had come with great hope.
Jesus takes the disciples away from that crowd and he takes them away, takes them away, takes them to a special out-of-the-way place, it's called the upper room, that's what we call it anyway. And here Jesus would have the Passover meal with his disciples, he would institute the Lord's Supper, and he would also prophesy the betrayal of Judas. Why don't you put yourself in Judas' shoes for just a minute? You've already made your deal with the chief priest. They're going to pay you for betraying Jesus, so you're just kind of biding your time. You're sitting back at the Passover table and you're just kind of smiling a little bit because you know what's coming.
You know that you're going to have some extra coins in your pocket. Jesus is going to be dead, you don't have to worry about him any longer. Judas' mindset is the epitome of delusion. Why did Judas hate Jesus so much? Judas followed Jesus because he thought that Jesus would exalt him in society. He thought Jesus was going to become king if he was one of his close followers, then that would mean he would become filthy rich.
And then Jesus got the disciples together and he said, if anyone be my disciple, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me. That's not where Judas' heart is. And so he gets bitter. He gets bitter, and when Jesus praises Mary, forgiving her best and forgiving her all, that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
Alright, point three is the fruit of bitterness, verses 18 through 20. And as they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, Truly I say to you, one of you will betray me. One who is eating with me, they began to be sorrowful.
And to say to him one after another, is it I? He said to them, it is one of the twelve who's dipping bread into the dish with me. Jesus tells the disciples, one of you is going to be my betrayer. One of you is going to betray me. And nobody at the table is pointing to Jesus, I bet it's him. Nobody's doing that. They're all looking inside.
Why? Because they know they've got a sin nature. They know that they are capable of doing some horrible, terrible things. And so they look to Jesus, and tears in their eyes, they say, Oh no, Lord, it's not me, is it?
I wouldn't do something like that, Lord, it's not me, is it? Jesus is not feeling that way. He's not under the conviction of the Holy Spirit whatsoever. He doesn't care about this. He doesn't care what anybody thinks.
It's not bothering him in the least. He is just seething with bitterness. People, we need to be very careful about allowing bitterness to reside and reign in the heart. Hebrews chapter 12 verse 15 says this, Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God, Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, And thereby many be defiled. Bitterness is called a root in the scripture. The root's the part of the plant that's underground. You don't see the root.
But it's soaking up moisture and nutrients from the ground. You can't see the root of the plant, but you can see the leaves and the fruit that it produces. And the root of bitterness produces what kind of fruit?
Anger, frustration, lashing out, ugly, ugly unforgiveness. The writer of Hebrews warns us that bitterness will cause us to fail of the grace of God. Jesus said, I am the vine, which is the life. And he said, you are the branches. A branch is like a hollow tube connected to the vine. So Jesus' life pours out into us through grace, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and then it pours through that branch, and it produces fruit, and it produces beautiful and wonderful fruit. But if bitterness is in the life of a believer, it clods up the hollow tube that we call a branch.
And it keeps the grace of God and the Spirit of God from flowing through and producing the fruit that God wants to produce in our life. Folks, think of it like mud clogging up a straw. You go outside, you take a straw, you dip it, you just thrust it down into some mud. It's got mud all the way through it. You take that straw, you put it in a Coca-Cola bottle, try to suck something through it. And what's going to happen? I mean, nothing.
It's clogged up. It is totally useless now. It's not worth anything. Bitterness that you have is not going to destroy the one you're bitter against, but it sure will poison us, won't it? Listen, there is no joy in bitterness.
It darkens our emotional state, it clouds our thinking, and it steals our joy. That's what Judas accepted. He threw away the opportunity to experience eternal life's joy.
He threw it away, and he drank the poison of bitterness. I want to get personal in just a minute. Are you there? Can you relate to that? Is there somebody in your life that you just can't forgive? Well, let me ask you this.
Have you thought about the consequences to it? If you hold that bitterness in your heart toward that person, then you will not forgive, what's going to happen? A stoppage of the grace of God's flow? A heart filled with the darkness of depression?
A fruitless life? You say, Doug, but you just don't understand. This person has hurt me deeply. Maybe it's a spouse that's cheated on you and walked out on you and left you single, and it just hurts, and it hurts deeply. Maybe it's the boss at work.
You've worked hard, you've put out your all, and he keeps passing over you for promotions, giving them to somebody else. Or maybe it's a person that you've lent money to, and that person won't pay it back. Ask yourself this. Did whatever they did to you come anywhere close to what you've done to Jesus?
And guess what? Jesus forgave us, and he forgave us all. Point four, the epitaph of Judas. Look at verse 21. Well, the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.
It would have been better for that man if he had not been born. Now, what motivated Judas to do this? He had been with Jesus from the beginning. He at least acted like Jesus was his friend. He wasn't just a disciple. He was a friend, and he had seen things Jesus had done.
He'd seen the miracles, and what miracles they were. Jesus healed the sick. He cast out demons. He raised the dead.
He walked on water. He fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. These were supernatural, powerful miracles that Jesus did. He heard Jesus teach. Never heard anybody teach like Jesus taught. So what was it that motivated him to turn against Jesus and betray him? I think, first of all, it was money. Judas said to the chief priest, he said, I will deliver Jesus over to your hands if you pay me for it.
That's what I'll do. Paid him 30 pieces of silver. And from that moment on, Judas sought the opportunity to betray him. Listen very carefully to what Paul says in 1 Timothy 6 and verse 10 about money. He says, for the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
Philip Ryken hit the nail on the head when he said this. Many Christians think of the love of money as one of the lesser sins, but see where it leads. When we refuse to be content with our financial situation, whether we happen to be rich or poor, we open the door to fatal temptation. Once we decide that we want something more than we already have, we start thinking about ways to get it. The more that desire grows, the more tempted we are to get what we want in ways that do not please God or depend on his providence.
Are you content with what you have? Or has your mind been playing around with ways to get richer? Are there any ways you are compromising your integrity for financial gain? The reason the Bible reveals that Judas had a profit motive is not to stigmatize him, but to show how ordinary his temptation was. Judas did it for the money, which is exactly the reason why a lot of people do a lot of the wrong things that they do. The second motivator for Judas' betrayal was Satan. In the parallel passage, Luke 22-3, the scripture says, and at this point Satan entered into Judas' heart.
To understand the true nature of the conspiracy to kill Jesus we need to realize that it came right from the pits of hell. The scripture says that Satan entered into Judas' heart. This is kind of strange because if you read about demon possession all the way through the Bible, it's not usually Satan that's doing it. It's a lesser spirit.
It might be a spirit of fear, a spirit of anger, all these different kinds of little spirits. It's not Satan himself. It's one of his minions, not Satan himself. But this event was so important that Satan could not leave it to a lesser spirit. Satan himself, Lucifer, entered into the heart of Judas and directed all that took place. He didn't want to leave anything to chance. Later when Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, Satan will enter Judas once again so that Judas can finally betray him.
Please understand this. Judas was not a true Christian. He was not a child of God who Satan just decides to use.
No, not at all. He is a phony, a fake, a hypocrite, a thief, and a liar. Satan possessed Judas because Judas was open to that possession. A true Christian can't be possessed by Satan, but he can be oppressed by Satan.
So how can that happen? Well, when we open the door and offer him access, God tells us to stay away from things that harm the soul and addict the heart. Why does God tell us this?
Not to destroy our fun, but to protect us from the enemy. In 1 Peter 2 verse 11, Peter says, Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lust, which war against your soul. Don't mess with the occult. Don't toy with drugs. Don't practice promiscuity.
Don't look at pornography. When you do, you give Satan legal access to invade your life and wreak destruction. Satan entered Judas and controlled him because Judas' heart was open to that. Let me close with this reminder. Satan believes that he's in control.
He's not. 1 Corinthians chapter 2 verse 9, Paul said, If the princes of this world had known what they were doing, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. Boy, isn't that true.
Here's the message. Fear not. Where Satan rules, God overrules. And that was not just true at this situation.
That's true in every situation. Amen? Amen.
Let's pray. Heavenly Father, I pray that at the first of this service that you would help us to be less like Judas and more like Jesus. We saw today some of the temptations that he gave into and was destroyed. He was angered over Mary's lavish and unselfish worship of Jesus. And he became jealous when Jesus honored her. He was bitter because Jesus did not seek to overthrow the Roman government. He was deeply in love with money. Giving into those temptations opened his heart to full, complete satanic possession. May his demise teach us the value of love for and obedience to Jesus. For it is in the precious and holy name of Jesus that I pray. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 12:24:42 / 2023-03-12 12:36:44 / 12