Biblical Lessons From Judas Iscariot
KEY SCRIPTURES: I Timothy 6:10; John 12:4-6; Proverbs 28:13
I Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. Judas was part of Jesus’ ministry until he transgressed and fell. He sat at Jesus’ feet to learn of his teaching. He was part of those Jesus sent out to preach the gospel. According to the scripture, he was in charge of money (treasurer) of Jesus’ ministry. His story must strike a sober chord in our heart and calls for personal reflection on the way we live our lives. He was a faithful disciple of Jesus before he allowed the love of money and greediness to gain root in his heart. He displayed a non-caring heart for the poor because he was busy stealing money that was not meant for him. The other disciples never thought him to be a thief, they believed with all the teachings of Jesus, his heart has been regenerated. Even when Jesus spoke about a betrayal in their midst, most of the disciples still didn’t know who Jesus was speaking about.
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Satan entered into him, he went and betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver thinking he will have the money and Jesus will escape from the Chief priest and others as usual but his thoughts were wrong. Judas became guilty for what he had done after he saw the way things turned out but it was too late to return the money, and instead of genuine repentance for what he did, he decided to take his life by hanging himself on a tree. There are lessons to learn from the story of Judas Iscariot and in this article, we will be learning some biblical lessons from his story in the bible.
- HIDDEN SINS: James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that all of you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
Judas Iscariot kept his sins hidden from his friends and ministry partners. Jesus led a transparent life with his disciples and before all but Judah wasn’t. He has hidden sins and instead of telling it to Jesus so that he can be prayed for, he kept it to himself until they led to his destruction. As Christians, we must learn to confess our fault to one another especially when our struggles move or affect others. It is better to confess, show genuine repentance and be prayed for than to die in your sins and end in eternal damnation.
- LOVE FOR MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL: I Timothy 6:10
Judas Iscariot was serving two masters and since you can’t love two masters equally, it affected his ministry. He loves money and added stealing to it after a while. He was a hypocrite from the beginning and the love for money drew him away for God. After all the time he spent learning at the feet of Jesus, he never put God first in all his doings which led to his destruction. As Christians, we should not copy his deceptive ways and put this world’s lust of riches before the Lordship of God. Do not allow the love of money draw you away from God. You cannot serve two masters, God and money. We must learn to put God first in all we do. This earth is not your home, you should not gain the whole world to lose your soul to eternal hell.
- BE WATCHFUL AND PRAYERFUL: I Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”
Judas Iscariot was not prayerful and watchful despite Jesus teaching them the Lord’s prayer which some of the part said, do not lead us into temptation and deliver us from all sins. From the scripture, we read that Judas betrayed Jesus after Satan entered into him Luke 22:3. If he had been watchful and prayerful, the plan of the devil wouldn’t have work in his life. Likewise, we as Christians should know that Satan tries to deceive all followers of Christ. We need to put on the whole armor of God and stand strong against the schemes of the devil. We can’t afford to be lazy Christians who don’t pray. Prayer is the key and our weapon of war to fight all plans of the devil to make us fall into temptation and also into evil so that before we can repent, it will have been too late.
- TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR ACTIONS: Judas Iscariot after seeing the way Jesus was beaten and treated by the people changed his mind and brought back the money, he got betraying Jesus. He was sorry for what he did but instead of repenting like Peter, decided to commit suicide. Being sorry for one’s sins should lead us back to repentance and we should try to restitute for what we have done. We shouldn’t try to justify our sins or be desperate to the point of killing oneself. There is no sin God can’t forgive if you genuinely ask for repentance and accompany it with the willingness to change. Repentance should make you feel sorry that you have offended God and drive you to Him to receive His undeserved forgiveness. We should be responsible for all actions taken because they flow from our own decisions.
- FAITHFULLY TRUST IN GOD: Judah wasn’t really in the faith again after a while when he was with Jesus. Instead of fully and faithfully trusting in God and his doctrine which he was being taught at the feet of Jesus Christ, he was entangling himself with things that don’t matter. Judas’ life which drives us into sober reflection if indeed we are in the faith or we are still doubting the possibility to faithfully serve Jesus in this era. We must learn to fully trust in serving God so that nobody can snatch us away from God. When we have become disciples of Jesus, he will guard us and lead us to eternal life.
- CHURCH ATTENDANCE DOESN’T GUARANTEE SALVATION: 2 Timothy 5:12 “Study to show yourself approved unto Good, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Judas Iscariot was given an awesome opportunity to be part of Jesus’ group who was expected to have developed a heart that yearn more of God. He witnessed all the signs and wonders of Jesus Christ and was also part of the people sent out to preach to people but he lacked genuine salvation. As Christian, being in a church or assembly of God doesn’t automatically mean you will be saved. You have to work out your salvation by doing your best to nurture yourself in meditating and studying the scripture even after you have been taught in church. Your heart must be right with God and you must show yourself approved as a workman that rightly divides the word of truth daily.
- DON’T BE UNEQUALLY YOKED WITH UNBELIEVERS: 2 Corinthians 6:14 “Be all of you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion has light with darkness.”
Judas Iscariot left the company of Christ to collude with the wicked religious leaders. Evil communication corrupts good manners, Judas joined the religious leaders and became like them. As Christians, we should learn from Judas and flee all allures of worldly elevation, especially leaders who have access or opportunity to commune with cultural elites and political leaders. We should not value the world over the Lord.
There are some lessons to learn from the life of Judas. From how he was added to be part of Jesus’ disciples, to his betrayal and how he ended his life. These lessons are meant for us to learn and try as much as possible to avoid the mistakes that Judas committed. Once we are able to avoid them, I believe God will be pleased with us and we will live a blessed and a fulfilling life in Christ where on earth including eternal life in heaven.