Moments in the life of a Pastor

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30 – Judas Iscariot – “Results of a rebellious heart” – Part 2

Matthew 27:3-7

When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.” Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself. The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.” After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners. That is why the field is still called the Field of Blood.This fulfilled the prophecy of Jeremiah that says, “They took the thirty pieces of silver—the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,10 and purchased the potter’s field, as the Lord directed.”

It’s here that fourth we see a:

  1. Remorseful heart

The problem with remorse is that it doesn’t resolve the problem it just wants to remove the problem, we just wish the feelings of guilt would go away. But you can’t removal the guilt unless you replace it with God. Remorse without repentance will never make us right. Sorrow doesn’t save us from sin. Judas tried to get his fellow conspirators to offered him comfort, but they didn’t care about his conscience. He thought he could be guilt free by returning the riches, but the truth is that his remorse wasn’t over riches it revolved around a relationship.  It wasn’t a money problem it was a me problem. It is amazing how heart problems manifest themselves through hunger problems. Judas hungered for wealth because relationally he was bankrupt, but riches can’t fill relational emptiness. Some hunger to fulfill the flesh, but sex doesn’t satisfy, what about wine, it only leaves us wanting.   The list of human hunger is endless and only Jesus can heal our heart problem. Only Christ could deal with his coveting. Judas returned the silver to the temple, but he didn’t turn to Jesus. Freedom comes through forgiveness not flinging down your riches and fleeing. What about you, where will you run with your remorse, will you run to the Redeemer or Religion?

  1. Responsible heart

In verse 4 he said, “I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.” “What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”The NIV says “That’s your responsibility.” It’s not enough just to have remorse we have to take responsibility for our actions. Judas confessed two things: 1. the innocence of Jesus and 2. his sin in betraying Him (27:4). The truth is that sin wasn’t just Judas problem it was also the chief priest’s problem and its also our problem. Today in our desire for satisfaction we are trading the Savior for sin. The thirty pieces of silver looked so appealing before the betrayal; only after the trade did, he realize their worth. The things of the world are like that; to covetous eyes they sparkle, and shine and we give up things of much greater worth to obtain them. The only way to weigh the worth is by comparing the cost. Today in our mad rush to get we fail to realize what we give. We trade the truth for the temporary trinkets. In our attempts to get love we sacrifice our lives, we trade our bodies for beauty, we give sex to feel special, we give all to get attention, we give up holiness to get ahead and to obtain love we give in to lust. True riches are found in the Redeemer its not about the money but the Master. What are you trading? Can we honestly say that we have never sold Jesus out? When we have played dumb in the presence of non-believers or we joined in the laughter to avoid the ridicule of being associated with Christ, we are selling out Christ for selfish gain. It’s here lastly that we see the:

  1. Response of the heart

His response to the rejection of the Redeemer.

  1. Return the riches

Judas tried to trade away his treachery by trying to get them to take it back. Even if the chief priests had been willing to take the money back, he would still have been guilty because religion can’t redeem. It’s not about taking or trading it’s about truth, it’s not about setting down the silver it was about surrendering self. We can’t undo our sin, but we can surrender to the Savior. We can’t fix our flaws, but we can be forgiven. When Judas self attempt, of trying to return the riches instead of turning to the Redeemer failed, he tried to pay for things himself. This is when we run into ruin.

  1. Run to Ruin

Today we try to pay, Judas hung himself, but he didn’t have to because Jesus was about to be hung in his place. Today many are traded God’s tree for trying instead of trusting. What if he had turned and trusted and waiting on God, in three days he would have seen the risen Savior and the victory of the resurrection. Instead Judas committed suicide. We will either run to redemption or ruin, life or death. What will you choose, to be free or to flee, to run into ruin or to the Redeemer?

  1. Run to religion

The behavior of the chief priests and elders on this occasion qualifies as a perfect example of “straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel” (Matthew 23:24). That expression, used by Jesus to describe the conduct of the Scribes and Pharisees, made reference to the custom of some Jews of putting cloth over the mouth of a vessel containing drink to prevent gnats from falling into the vessel and defiling the liquid. The Scribes and Pharisees were totally concerned about the smallest matters of defilement at the same time that they were willing to ignore much more obvious causes of defilement, i.e., “swallow a camel.” The camel was the largest unclean animal known to the region. The chief priests and elders had just condemned an innocent man and arranged for His death in a parade of unrighteous travesties, but their “piety” would not allow them to mingle “blood money” with the rest of the money in the temple treasury. Apparently, they had already “forgotten” that it was they who had paid the blood money to Judas! In keeping the price of blood out of the temple treasury, they had carefully strained out the gnat, but only after having already “swallowed the camel.” We must be careful that we don’t fall into this foolish thinking where like the Pharisees we swallow the camels in our daily lives, while ostentatiously trying to strain out the gnats to impress our religious neighbors! Jesus said, “One of you shall betray me.” And the disciples began to ask, “Is it I Lord?” Like them we too have to ask that question, “Lord is it I?” Are we going to be faithful followers or foolish frauds?




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29 – Judas Iscariot – “Results of a rebellious heart” – Part 1

Matthew 26:1-16

“When Jesus had finished saying all these things, he said to his disciples, “As you know, Passover begins in two days, and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified.” At that same time the leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him.“But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.” Meanwhile, Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had previously had leprosy. While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head. The disciples were indignant when they saw this. “What a waste!” they said. “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” 10 But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? 11 You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me. 12 She has poured this perfume on me to prepare my body for burial. 13 I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” 14 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests15 and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.”

Our last disciple, Judas Iscariot, is one of the most famous disciples because of his betray of Jesus and it’s here in Matthew 26 that we see his:

  1. Rebellious heart

Judas conspired with the chief priests to deliver Christ for the cost of thirty pieces of silver. He personally live and fellowship with Jesus for three and a half years and still betray Him.He heard Christ’s words and witness His works, yet he still wasted his life. Why did he betray Jesus, what would compel a man to sentence his closest friend to one of the most horrible deaths imaginable? The why leads us to the who – Who was Judas Iscariot? Well like many of the disciples we don’t really know all that much about him. We do know that his father was Simon (John 6) his surname Iscariot was probably a combination of two Hebrew words which would then be translated, Man of Kariot. Being from Kaerrioth Judas would have been a Judean and the only non-Galilean in the group. Acts 2 reminds us that all the other disciples were Galileans. He was the treasurer of the twelve and also a thief and a traitor. In Matthew 26:6-9 sandwiched between the plotting of the Jewish leaders to take Jesus by trickery and Judas’ offer to betray his Master, there is a suggested possible motivation for Judas to betray Jesus. After the anointing of Jesus with oil in Bethany and the criticism of the disciples (John reminds us Judas was upset over the waste) Judas then went to the chief priests and offered to betray Jesus to them. Judas saw Mary’s sacrifice as a waste because he was focused on the money not the Master. Judas chose riches over the Redeemer, because greed was his God. As Mary’s generous, selfless act of love for Christ filled the room with a sweet aroma Judas was filled with betrayal. Our attitudes can affect and sometimes infect our actions. Mary served the master while Judas’ behavior was one of betrayal. Does your attitude reveal a sweet or a sour aroma? Second in Matthew 26:20-25 we see a:

  1. Revealed heart

Matthew 26:20-25 – “When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table[c] with the Twelve. 21 While they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 Greatly distressed, each one asked in turn, “Am I the one, Lord?” 23 He replied, “One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. 24 For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!” 25 Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, “Rabbi, am I the one?” And Jesus told him, “You have said it.”

Jesus revealed his rebellious heart at the last supper, ironically the Passover meal was supposed to remind them of Gods rescue and redemption. How the lamb’s blood protected them and made a way out of slavery and bondage. This is the story of God’s grace that we take for granted. Jesus washed Judas feet, but Judas wasted the washing. He was called, and he could have been clean, Jesus confronted this fact when he said in John 13:10 not every one of you is clean. He missed the opportunity to be changed as Jesus instituted communion, God’s continued plan to rescue and redeem. While Jesus poured the wine Judas chose to profit, as Jesus broke the bread Judas chose betrayal. What has Jesus revealed to you about your heart? Is there any rebellion that you need to confess and repent of? Third in Matthew 26:45-50 we see the:

  1. Results of a Rebellious heart

Matthew 26:45-50 – “Then he came to the disciples and said, “Go ahead and sleep. Have your rest. But look—the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Up, let’s be going. Look, my betrayer is here!” 47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss. 50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him.” 

The first casualty we see of a rebellious heart is relationship. Instead of pursuing Jesus, Judas was pretending. “Oh, innocent victims of Cupid, remember this terse little verse to let a fool kiss you is stupid But to let a kiss fool you is worse.” – Yip Harburg. In the end all he has to offer is the fake kiss of friendship. Today many are faking friendship and in doing so are missing the richness of a real relationship. Look at the crowd that Judas had joined, he had traded the Savior for the sword. Fakers look like friends in the same way wolves look like dogs. Proverbs 27:6 says“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than kisses from an enemy.”What about you are you a follower or a faker?