Connect Recap Notes: March 19, 2017
Speaker: Skip Heitizg
Teaching: "The Long-Expected Traitor"
Text: John 13:18-19Path
We have learned that Jesus’ whole life, ministry, and atoning sacrifice were foreseen and expected by the Old Testament writers. But did you know that His betrayer was also foretold and anticipated? The prophets predicted him, and Jesus announced him. Judas had no idea he was fulfilling the Scriptures by being the turncoat—but he was. Josh McDowell noted that, over a 500-year period, twenty-nine prophecies were given about Jesus’ betrayal, death, and burial, and all were fulfilled within a twenty-four hour period—against all odds. Let’s consider what the Bible tells us about Jesus’ betrayer, Judas Iscariot:
- He Was Among the Followers (v. 2)
- He Was Against the Master (v. 18)
- He Was Anticipated by Scripture (vv. 18-19)
He Was Among the Followers:
- It"s surprising that anyone who walked with Jesus throughout His ministry, heard Him preach and teach, and watched Him heal people would not be loyal to Him. But Judas" name has become synonymous with betrayal.
- Judas comes from the name Judah, meaning praise. His name, once honorable, became the most dishonorable of all time. Even so, he was on the same team as Jesus:
- After a night of prayer, Jesus chose Judas as one of the twelve disciples (see Luke 6:12-16).
- Jesus placed Judas as the treasurer of their group (see John 12:6; 13:29). This was a position of trust and because Judas held it, it was likely one of the reasons none of the others suspected Judas of treason.
- Jesus positioned Judas (see John 13:21-30). At the Last Supper, Jesus named two guests of honor to sit on His right and left: John and Judas. Perhaps Jesus was giving Judas one last chance to change his mind about his course of action. At any rate, John leaned in to ask Jesus who His betrayer was and Jesus handed the condemning piece of bread to Judas.
- Probe: John was right where Jesus wants us to be, leaning toward His heart, choosing Him and His ways. Judas leaned away, choosing his own path. Do you lean toward or away from Jesus?
He Was Against the Master:
- Jesus made it clear that His betrayer would "lift up his heel" (v. 18) against Him—kicking Him away.
- Not everyone sees Judas as a bad guy. Some see him as a misguided patriot or a well-intentioned follower, but Jesus referred to His betrayer as "a devil" (John 6:70) and the "son of perdition" (John 17:12).
- Judas was not good but greedy—not a servant but a saboteur. He saw Jesus not as his Master but as a means to an end. He wanted to see Jesus crowned as king so he would have a high position in the kingdom. He wanted nothing to do with the cross, but you can"t have a crown without the cross.
- Judas was also covetous. He stole from the group"s funds and criticized Mary for "wasting" expensive perfume on anointing Jesus" feet. He sounded pious in saying the money could have gone to the poor, but he really wanted to use the funds for himself (see John 12:1-7).
- Jesus told Judas to leave Mary alone, and perhaps that was confirmation for him that he wasn"t going to get what he wanted by following Jesus" plan. It is possible that at that moment he determined to enact his own agenda, trying to force Jesus to step up and became a political savior.
- Probe: Francis Bacon said, “A bad man is worse when he pretends to be a saint.” Why doesn’t it work for someone to act like a Christian on Sundays and then behave however they want the rest of the week? Are there areas where your personal agenda clashes with that of Jesus?
He Was Anticipated by Scripture:
- Jesus quoted from Psalm 41:9, in which David likely described his own betrayal by a trusted counselor, Ahithophel, who sided with David"s son Absalom when he rebelled against his father (see 2 Samuel 15).
- The difference is that David trusted Ahithophel, saying, "Even my own familiar friend in who I trusted, who ate my own bread, has lifted up his heel against me" (Psalm 41:9). Jesus left out the first phrase, making it clear that He never trusted Judas. He knew all along that Judas would betray Him (see John 6:70-71; 13:10).
- If Jesus knew Judas would betray Him, why did He pick him in the first place? The answer is two-fold:
- To fulfill Scripture (see John 13:18). Jesus had complete and total knowledge of Old Testament prophecy (see John 17:12).
- To love anyone is make yourself vulnerable. There is a high probability that somewhere along the line, someone you love will hurt you—even betray you. We see this probable pain and implicit risk in marriage vows: for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, till death do us part.
- There are other incredibly specific predictions about the details of Judas" treason. Matthew 26:14-16 points back to Zechariah 11:12-13, which describes the end of the ministry of a good shepherd, including prophetic details about haggling over the price, the amount of money involved and the type of metal, and throwing the funds into the house of the Lord, as Judas later did in his remorse.
- Probe: What is the only way to avoid the risks that come with loving someone? Why is it better to choose to love anyway? What do Jesus and Paul say about forgiveness (see Matthew 6:12; Ephesians 4:32)?
Connect Up: Judas’ betrayal came because he put his own agenda ahead of God’s. He had a critical eye and ahypocritical heart. How can we make sure not to make the same mistake?
Connect In: Some people play the game, acting like Christians at church but acting the exact opposite elsewhere. But for every star that falls, billions stay in their place and shine brightly. Who are some shiningstars in your life? Take time to thank God for them.
Connect Out: Knowing that all love, aside from the love of God in Christ, carries inherent risk, how can you reach out to people who have been hurt by love in the name of Jesus? What can you tell them about the impact of God’s ability and desire to forgive sin and heal bitterness and pain?