Character studies of Bible personalities are beneficial studies. There are those whom we have studied over and over again. We glean new insights to their lives and lessons to be applied to our lives each time we study them. Application of these lessons to our lives is really one of the purposes of any Bible study. We all like to study those individuals who will encourage us in our daily walk toward heaven. There is a time when we need to study those individuals who have a negative life. The purpose in studying these individuals is to take knowledge of their faults and apply those lessons to our lives to see if we are guilty of doing the same thing. If we do see some of the same attributes in our life then we know that changes are to take place. Change is not always easy, but change can be done. Let us notice some attributes in Judas’ life and if we find these attributes in our life let us make the necessary changes.

Do you know any one who is as bad as we consider Judas? He is pretty much the bottom of the barrel we may think. This may be because of what he did while a disciple of Christ. Yet consider for a moment this fact. He was one of the chosen twelve and as such could do any miracle that any of the other eleven could do. Jesus commanded the twelve, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). Those items listed are all miraculous items. Every one of these items is items that had to be done with the help of the Holy Spirit. Judas was one of the twelve and therefore could do any one of these miraculous events. When appointed into this office Jesus must have not thought too badly of him. But are we even in the same category as Judas? Most of us would make a resounding, “NO!” But let us notice some things about his life and see if we have any of these attributes in our life. If we do find that we have some of the same attributes then let us work on subtracting them from our life.

We do find that Judas was a hypocrite.  “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but that because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12:4-6). A hypocrite is one who portrays to be one way when he is actually another. Thus in the case we do find that Judas fanned to be concerned about the poor while he did not care for them at all. Jesus also accused the scribes and Pharisees of being hypocrites (Matthew 23:13, 14, 23, 25, 27, 29). Just think that our Lord called some one a hypocrite right to their faces. Could we have hypocrisy in our life? Could we act one way toward a person when we really do not have the kind of feelings we are showing toward them? Could we say kind words to a person to their face and when we leave their presence we say unkind things about them? That is being a hypocrite. So before we condemn Judas we must look at our own lives. Remember what Jesus said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged, For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with way measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2). As Christians hypocrisy should not be a part of our life.

Judas was also dishonest. “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein” (John 12:6). He lied about the “bag.” He lied about being concerned for the poor. He stole. He took items that did not belong to him. Could we do any of these things? Have we done any of these things? In Acts 5 one of the first sins against God after the church began was the sin of lying. Peter told Ananias, “…Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou has not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3-4). Do we lie to the IRS about how much we give to the church? If so we are not lying to the IRS but unto God. This would be like robbing God. No one would rob God! Yet many do. In the Old Testament the Jews were doing it and their tribe has not diminished today. We do not give to God what we ought to and thus are robbing God (read Malachi 3 to find out about this subject). Revelation 21:8 says, “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” There is not a person who wants or desires to be a part of this group, but do we tell lies? If that is the case then our Father is not God but the devil himself (John 8:44). As Christians, lying nor stealing should be a part of our life.

Judas also betrayed his friend. “And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them” (Mark 14:10). Betray means to deliver to an enemy by treachery. Judas would bargain with them as one would over a slave. That is the price that he obtained for our precious Savior! He sold the Lord for petty reason. Would we sell out our Lord for petty reasons? Would we sell out our Lord for cheap things and trinkets? Be careful about this. Would we stay away from services of the church for a television program? Would we sell out our Lord for the price of a ball game? If Alabama played one of their rivals on Sunday would you miss the services for such? Would sell out the Lord for a couple of hours of overtime? (This is interesting. How must did Judas sell Jesus for and what is the value of those 30 pieces of silver? Find out and see if you make that much money, even with overtime pay!). Do we sell out our Lord for less? Do we sell our Lord for a few hours of sleep? Do we sell out our Lord for what some call a good time?

Let us be careful that we are not guilt of doing the same things that Judas did. If he was a bad fellow for doing all of these things and we are doing the same thing, what does that make us? With repentance it makes us a saved individual which would be unlike Judas. Let learn from these lessons from the life of Judas. Make changes in your life if you need to.

Love, Keith

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