Judas Betrays Jesus : John 13 21-32

Image Copywright www.theglobalcospel.org copied from www.free biblefreeimages.com
Image Copywright www.theglobalcospel.org copied from www.free biblefreeimages.com

The pain of a personal betrayal, it could be argued, can be more painful, than physical suffering through a violent beating or illness.

Perhaps we were let down by a job we once had, we were unkindly ‘let go’ as one of my employers called it when I was surprisingly sacked on one occasion.

I often puzzled over the word ‘let go’ afterwards. I wasn’t devastated, but it felt uncomfortable, and quite disorientating, to be suddenly ‘let go’ like that.

But as is often so with adversity, you will be pleased to know I soon moved on to something better.

But the worst betrayal, in my opinion, is when it is from someone loved and trusted: a friend, or a brother or sister. Or worse still a partner or parent betrays us.

I was ‘let go’ from my job for a purely business reason, but how must it feel to be let down by a loved one in the hope of experiencing something better?

Judas took his thirty pieces of silver rather than a relationship with Jesus, he quickly saw the error of his ways though. As people usually do who betray a loved one in the hope of gaining – well who knows what really?

I suppose there are many different motivations, but it is never a healthy choice to make – because loyalty is the Christian way.

So I wonder how painful Judas’ betrayal was to Jesus, was it as painful as the beating he took before his crucifixion, or more painful even?

I think it was more painful for Jesus.

Because He must have somehow known that he would be betrayed, as we are told that he was troubled during the Last Supper.

He must have also known of the terrible physical pain that awaited him at the hands of the Romans, but it doesn’t seem to be that which he was troubled about.

Mel Gibson’s film The Pasion of Christ illustrates that in gruesome detail, although I am not advising anyone who loves Jesus to watch it.

But at the last supper, when he sat with his disciples, he seemed troubled because he said ‘One of you will betray me.’

The Gospel According to Judas

Did you know that Judas wrote his gospel, his version of the terrible events of those final days?

St John said at the Last Supper, that Satan entered into Judas, and Judas wanted to explain why in his gospel.

He argued that he was only helping as it was all part of the plan of salvation, saying Jesus wanted him to do it.

So perhaps there is a different interpretation of the role of Judas?

Perhaps he was not a villain or ‘betrayer’ but was simply helping Jesus to fulfil the plan of redemption for the world.

So maybe we should be kinder in our thoughts about Judas?

However, many theologians have studied this argument in favour of Judas’ innocence, but I don’t think many support it.

The early Church leaders decided not to include Judas’ gospel in the Bible, so they must have had reservations about his view of the situation.

Which was indeed extremely complicated and supernatural.

Some feel that Judas just never fully accepted Jesus, that he was not Jesus-filled.

Others argue that Jesus chose Judas, because he knew he would betray him, as he was not a true believer, and he needed someone to do that.

Then some would say none of us are any different to Judas and we are all capable of being tempted by dark forces too, and it was for this reason Jesus was sad. Sad for the sins of all Christians in one way or another, which must have been a huge burden to bear.

However, for whatever reason Judas did what he did, there is no doubt that he left the door open for Satan to enter and use him to identify Christ for the Roman soldiers and Jewish council.

Evil In the World Today

Whilst most Christians happily talk to others about Jesus today, not many of us mention Satan, or the evil still alive in our world today.

Maybe we are embarrassed to talk about this subject, or maybe we do not believe that it is a reality in these modern times. Just a mystery from the past perhaps?

I wondered if I should talk about it this evening, but perhaps at this time of year, it is reasonable to do so.

Because, as we know Jesus’ spirit is alive today and lives in the hearts of all true believers in his church, and we know him as the Son of God and Prince of Peace

So too, we must be aware that Satan still prowls the earth, eager to inveigle his way into the lives of those who are not Jesus filled, and sew himself into the seams of their souls.

He is known as the god of this age and the Prince of Darkness.


The message I would like to leave you with is – we must always be aware of the threat of this very real and dark presence still active in the world today.

And for what ever reason Judas acted as he did, we can keep ourselves safe from dark forces by fully accepting Jesus 100% in our lives as our saviour and our lord.

Not just on a Sunday, or when we get together at other times, but 24/7 every day of the year. Behind the closed doors of our homes and the daily interchanges we have in the world outside.

Then, when we fill ourselves with Jesus, as the other eleven disciples and St Paul did, as well as countless saints down the ages, there is no room left for the Prince of Darkness to take a foothold in our souls, minds and lives.

When we live a Jesus-filled life and are loyal to him, we can make more sense of our purpose here in the world today.

Then as Jesus lives on in us, so too we can help others overcome their sufferings and find lasting comfort, hope and security, in Jesus;

the Prince of Peace, the Messiah, and Son of the living God, whose love is loyal and, unlike Judas, he will never betray those who are loyal to him. Amen

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