If you were to name your newborn son, which of these
three names would you choose: James, John,
or Judas? You might select James or John, but—
undoubtedly—you wouldn’t name your son Judas. You
might name your dog Max or Buddy, but not Judas. Even
a dog deserves a respectable name!
Judas means praise, but it has become an icon of
condemnation, a name synonymous with the worst form of
treachery and betrayal. Imagine conversing with Judas and
asking, “Why did you betray Jesus, and with a kiss? (Luke
22:48). Were you disillusioned that Jesus wasn’t the kind
of Messiah you wanted—a Messiah who would overthrow
the Romans and reign on David’s throne? (Zech. 9:9; Matt.
21:4-10). Instead of reigning, Jesus talked about submitting
to Caesar (Matt. 22:21) and becoming a slave (20:25-28).
Jesus came into Jerusalem, not to become king but to be
humiliated and to die on a cross (20:18-19; Luke 18:32-
33). This seemed like nonsense to them! (v.34).
“So was it because of money? Weren’t the ministry
funds you embezzled enough to satisfy your greed? (John
12:6). You sold out your Master to the leading priests,
hoping they would reward you handsomely (Mark 14:10-
11). Were you disappointed that they paid you only
30 silver coins? (Matthew 26:14-15). Surely you were
shocked that your King was only worth the price of a
slave (Exodus 21:32). Yet you betrayed your own conscience for a few coins.
“Judas, why did you use a kiss to betray Jesus? (Matthew 26:49) A kiss is
a symbol of trust and intimacy, love and affection. But you used it as a tool of
betrayal and treachery. Coming up close, embracing and kissing your Master,
Friend, and Brother, you amplified the despicability, the heinousness, and the
treachery of your betrayal!” (v.24).
Read Psalms 55:1, written by David after a close friend and trusted confidante
betrayed him (vv.12-14, 20-21). How did he cope with the anguish and pain
Have you on occasion been tempted to “betray” Jesus? In today’s context,
what would constitute a “betrayal” of Him?