As always my obligatory intro: I am a nobody trying to point everybody to somebody that can and will change anybody who lets Him.
Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, onto the subject at hand.
I am sure when you clicked on this article, your initial observation was there is something wrong with the graphic at the top. Being that the WWJD movement was started years ago (early 90s), there aren’t many people on this planet (from an Evangelical standpoint) that do not recognize the letters WWJD. Entering the term in Google yields you a lengthy Wiki article that indicates that the phrase may have originated all the way back to the 1400’s and names its possible originator. A fairly unknown guy that goes by the name of Charles Spurgeon. (jaw dropping discovery). The phrase yielded a host of apparel, I still remember my blue bracelet, events, conferences and even garnered lots of usage from secular institutions as a way to hold Christians accountable for their behavior and practices.
Right about now you may be wondering well how and why did you switch out the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (Yeshua Hamashiach) with the name of one of the most notorious betrayers in the text of scripture?
I’m glad you asked. (you’ll get the short version..not really but I’ll try..I know you have work to do)
The story of Judas Iscariot is an often told story, but rarely an often explained one. For the sake of time, I’ll try to list some key point of Judas’ life that we all know about or are familiar with if we’ve hand any type of Sunday School training. We know the following:
• Judas was one of the 12 disciples.
• Judas was the treasurer who held the money
• Judas was the one who betrayed Jesus with a kiss for a small amount of money
• Lastly Judas was chosen by God to fulfill a duty.
I went with the basics as to not try to assume that everyone was raised on the years of BTU (insider) training I had coming up Baptist and COGIC.
Upon digging a little deeper in to research, we find out somethings that may not have been as noticeable from just an outside observation. I’ll do my best to keep it short as I have a tendency to overload on detail and information. Using a few choice dictionaries and encyclopedias from the trusted Logos Software (great investment), here are some additional nuggets of information that may or may not be known to the casual Bible reader.
- Judas’ name indicates a few things – One because he was from Kerioth, he possibly would have been the only disciple from Judea while all other disciples would have been from Galilee which technically would have made him an outsider of sorts. He theoretically would have been considered probably the most Jewish disciple of the 12. Secondly it’s possible that the last name could be derived from the Greek term �?ικά�?ιος, sikarios which means assassin or bandit. (Word Studies are direly important when reading certain Biblical stories)
- Judas is always listed last in every list in the Gospels. (Matt 10:4; Mark 3:19; Luke 6:16) – Although he is considered one of the 12 and for all intensive purposes is not seemingly demeaned in any of the primary gospel accounts of the disciples, his name generally appears last in three passages listed, his act of betraying is associated with his mentioning. While this is not super revelatory, I don’t think the writers listed him last just out of coincidence.
- Judas betrays Jesus for a small amount of money. – Essentially Judas held just about every offering that was given to the disciples and Jesus as he was the treasurer for the 12 disciples. The text states (John 12), that Judas regularly helped himself to the offering. We have no idea of how much money Judas stole but in observation, he was with Jesus in ministry 3 years and we would be safe to assume that whatever amount it was, added up to more than the 30 shekels of silver Judas was offered to betray Christ. Coincidentally the price for a slave at the time: 30 pieces of silver. (Commentaries suggest the amount was less than $25. Think about that the next time you go to eat.)
- Judas’ kiss would have been considered the highest form of hypocrisy. – (Matt. 26:48-49) The greek word kataphileo would have indicated that Judas was attempting to show great affection for Jesus and in verse 49 the usage of the verb would have indicated that he kissed Jesus repeatedly. Once the story is being retold, the listeners understanding the manners and customs of that day most likely would have been repulsed at the level of hypocrisy.
- Jesus calls Judas a friend – At the time of betrayal, fully aware of what is about to happen, Jesus looks Judas in the face and asks him this question: “Friend do you have what you need?” – Matt. 26:51 The word appears three times in this gospel and is always used in context of a righteous person in communication with a wicked person.
- Judas forfeited his position of disciple (unpopular) to work along side the chief priests and Jewish leadership (popular). – It is unknown to us, initially why Judas was picked to betray Jesus. And other than being called the son of Perdition (lost one) in the high priestly prayer in John 17, we have very little insight from the text itself as to what about Judas made him a perfect candidate for betrayal. All we know is that Jesus picked him, Satan influenced him, and Judas ended up committing suicide after realizing what he had done.