Judas Iscariot

The Gospels tell the stories of Jesus and His disciples, including the one of Judas Iscariot, who betrayed his teacher. Iscariot means “man of Kerioth”, which is a city in the South of Judea. He always comes last when the Bible gives the list of the Apostles of Jesus, and it is followed by his betrayal of Jesus (Mark 3: 19). Why did Judas betray Jesus Christ? Let’s dive into the story of Judas the Apostle as it is told in the New Testament.

The Story of Judas Iscariot in the Gospel of Mark

Judas Iscariot, Apostle of Christ

“These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter), James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” 

(Mark 3: 16-19)

The Kiss of Betrayal

“Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested”

(Mark 14: 42-46)

The Death of Judas Iscariot

“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.”

(Matthew 27: 4-5)

Judas, the Traitor

When reading the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, one can notice that Judas is only presented as a traitor after he signaled who Jesus was to the Roman officials. However, the Gospel of John also reveals to us that he was a thief. The Bible states that when Mary anointed Jesus with an expensive bottle of perfume, “one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12: 4-6). 

The heart of Judas was corrupt before his betrayal, which is why the Lord Jesus said: “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ (an insult, a term of contempt) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” (Matthew 5: 22). We must watch that our thoughts will not lead us to commit evil deeds, because it all starts with having a corrupt heart. 

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