Judas, The Traitor
The very mention of the name Judas brings a variety of negative responses. Certainly, you would never name one of your sons Judas. The only thing I have heard named Judas in recent years was a Judas goat so named because it was the goat that led the rest of the goats into the slaughter. No one wants to be known as a Judas. The very mention of the name of Judas reminds us of the man who was used by the devil to betray the Son of God for thirty pieces of silver. He is described in the Bible with a variety of negative statements. The Lord Jesus said he was the son of perdition. Jesus said he had a devil. Luke describes him in these verses but John also describes him and tells us that Judas, though he was the treasurer of the twelve, was also a thief. In an earlier chapter Luke says something about him that is very significant. Luke says that Judas was the traitor. I suppose of all of the things said about Judas this is the worse of them all. No one likes a traitor. We all know the story of Benedict Arnold in the early days of America -- how that he betrayed his people. I'm told that in New York State there is a monument for four generals. One of those generals was intended to be Benedict Arnold, but the place where his statute wa-s to be is empty because Benedict Arnold betrayed the people. Judas didn't just betray people; Judas betrayed the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. What a terrible thing it is to say that a man is a traitor. When Dante describes his vision of hell, in the lowest pit of hell he places the devil and in the mouth of the devil he places Judas. Judas the traitor, Judas one of the twelve who betrayed the very Son of God.
Judas evidently had a good beginning. His name, Judas, means praise. Evidently named by hopeful parents that one day his life would bring praise to God. When he was a grown man we learned that he was selected to be one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ. What a privilege ...
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