It will forever be a mystery as to how Judas could hang out with and be taught by Jesus for three years and then turn around and betray him.  Judas should be an example to us that even the most “spiritual” people might not really be spiritual on the inside.  In The Cost of Discipleship, writing about Jesus sending out the disciples in Matthew 10, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,

No power in the world could have united these men for a common task, save the call of Jesus.  But that call transcended all their previous divisions, and established a new and steadfast fellowship in Jesus.  Even Judas went forth to the Christ-work, and the fact that he did so will always be a dark riddle and an awful warning (p. 205).

We need to heed the warning of Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:5 when he said, “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.  Test yourselves.  Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you fail to meet the test!”

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2 thoughts on “Even Judas Was a Missionary

  1. Actually I’ve come up with what I think is a plausible explanation, which is that Judas acted with the full knowledge and approval of Jesus himself – probably even at Jesus’ request. The Roman authorities were after them, and it wouldn’t have been unusual for that time and place, for Jesus to offer to “turn himself in” as it were, in return for the sparing of his disciples’ lives. Judas could have been acting as messenger for those negotiations, behind the scenes. I take Jesus’ statement that “no greater love has any man that this: that he lay down his life for his friends” very literally. And I agree with him; that is the ultimate sacrifice and I think he did so willingly, and that he deserves a lot of credit for that. When Jesus told the rest of the disciples that one of them would betray him, couldn’t it just as well be that he was telling them what he had planned, not that he was predicting the future? Just thought I’d throw that out there as a possible explanation. Not saying it’s necessarily so, just that I think it’s possible, and interesting. I’m curious, if you’ll tell me, is there scripture that would contradict the possibility of this?

  2. Cheryl,

    I disagree because I believe Jesus is God and so he knows everything–past, present, and future. Jesus came knowing exactly what he was meant to do–to die, not just as an example, but as the payment for man’s sin.

    Here are some verses to consider:

    Matthew 26:25
    Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

    John 6:70
    Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.”

    And most importantly:

    Acts 4:27-28
    For truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.

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