Judas – The Betrayer

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Judas – The Betrayer
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John 18:1-9

Thank you for joining us as we continue our study in the Gospel of John. We are honored to be here and look forward to learning from God’s word with you. This broadcast is sponsored by Heralds of Hope. We are an organization dedicated to using media to make disciples of Jesus Christ to accomplish the great commission in our lifetime. We focus on Bible teaching and Bible distribution. We thank God the Bible is not limited to a certain area or people. It is relevant for all people, no matter who you are.

The title for today’s lesson is Judas – the Betrayer, and we will be looking at the first nine verses of John 18. You may be asking, what can we learn from Judas? I encourage you to stay tuned and find out. Before we start that, I remind you the deeds of Judas were predicted in the OT, and it is incredible how the prophecy was fulfilled to the smallest detail. The actions of Judas were not a surprise to Jesus; He knew it was going to happen. 

I’d like to take a moment and look at this aspect of the Bible. It is encouraging for every Christian to look at the Old Testament and see all the prophecies which were fulfilled in Christ. These prophecies were written hundreds of years before Christ, yet all of them, to the smallest detail, have come to pass. There is no other book which has been as accurate at predicting the future as the Bible.

This is solid evidence the Bible can be trusted, and it is encouraging for us to be reminded that God is in control, and He is never surprised or taken off guard by what happens on the earth.

Look at the prophecy in Zechariah 11:12- 13. 12 And I said unto them, “If ye think it be good, give me my price; and if not, forbear.” So, they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said unto me, “Cast it unto the potter. 

In this verse, without much study, I see three things which came true in the New Testament. 1) Jesus was betrayed for silver, and 2) it was exactly thirty pieces, and 3) is the connection to the potter, because as you remember, Judas gave the money back, and it was used to buy the potter’s field.

This is just one passage, and a very short one at that, yet we see these details lining up exactly with the events that are recorded in the Gospels. In the Old Testament, there are many writers from different centuries who predict various events in Jesus’ life. I love how God validates the Bible and Jesus over and over as every prophecy is fulfilled to the smallest detail. It really is very incredible, and it builds my faith.

My faith is strengthened in two areas. First, if all of those prophecies about Jesus came true exactly as they were written, then we have good reason to believe all the prophecies about future events and the end of the world will also happen. It is only a matter of time. Till then, you can believe what is prophesied and live like it will happen, because someday it will. The second area my faith grows is in knowing God knows. NO events happen without Him knowing about it. He is not surprised or threatened by anything happening on earth. He knows, and I find comfort in knowing that He is over all things and His plan and purposes will win.

We don’t claim to understand how He will do it, but we trust Him. And we can depend on Scripture because it has been proven. Now let’s listen to Bible teacher J Mark as we look into John 18 and learn from the life of Judas. 

One of the most outstanding events in all of history is the death of Jesus of Nazareth. The records in the Bible clearly report His birth and report His death in even more detail. We must pay close attention to what the record says.

Certain Bible passages predicted His death many centuries before He was born. There was King David, for example, when he wrote Psalm 22. In it, he describes a kind of death that is most clearly a death by cruci­fixion. The Prophet Isaiah, in chapter 53 of his book, 700 years before Christ, spoke also about One who would bear the sins of many in His death.

The writers of the New Testament Gospels give us the actual account of the events that surrounded Jesus’ death. In this meditation, I choose to focus attention on the betrayal of Jesus by one of His disciples called Judas in John 18:1-9.

  1. When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden, into the which he entered, and his disciples.
  2. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus off times resorted thither with his disciples
  3. Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.
  4. Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?
  5. They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.
  6. As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground.
  7. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.
  8. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way.
  9. That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spoke, of them which thou gayest me have I lost none.

I said one of the most outstanding events in history is the death of Jesus. Our text explains the FACTS of how Judas betrayed Jesus.

Fact number one There Was the Secret.

We are told that Jesus and His disciples crossed over the brook Kidron. The Kidron Valley separates Mt. Moriah, the temple area, and the Mt. of Olives to the east of the city. In those days, a path led from the Eastern Gate through the valley across the brook and into the garden called Gethsemane.

I understand that the word Gethsemane actually Implies an oil press. There were olive trees on the slo­pes of the mount, which gave it the name, Mount of Olives. They most likely had an olive press in a nearby place. You can still see the remains of an ancient olive press on the eastern slope of the Mt. of Olives in Bethany.

Well, Judas knew the place in this Garden because Jesus had often gone there with His disciples. It must have been a kind of secret place where He could spend time alone with His disciples. There was then the secret garden.

Fact number two There Was the Security Guard.

We noted as we read that Judas had received a band of men and officers. By examining the English word, band, in the Greek New Testament, we find that it is pronounced “speira,” which means a Roman cohort of as many as 600 men. Now whether he had the whole battalion or not, we do not know. But the word actually implies that he had 600 men plus the officers or temple guards.

Why would he bring that many soldiers to take one man? Most likely, they expected some resistance, and they prepared to overcome any resistance that His disciples might offer. They came with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

Jesus was very popular. Only a few days before this, large crowds had escorted Him into Jerusalem and had shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” Just in case He might be surrounded by these crowds, Judas came with this great band of soldiers and officers with their lanterns, torches, and weapons.

But Jesus, unafraid, stepped forward and asked, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Immediately Jesus identified Himself by saying, “I am he.” I want you to observe a very clear statement in verse 5. It reads like this, “And Judas also, who betrayed him, stood with them.” Get that clear from this record. Judas was with them, not with Jesus.

And then, There Was the Shocking Discovery.

They surely did not expect Him to step out and iden­tify Himself like He did. When He did identify Himself, fear seized them, and they fell backward to the ground. It was an unexpected easy capture. They had come with a large band of soldiers and their weapons to make what they imagined to be a difficult capture. But He stepped out and gave Himself over to them.

When they had somewhat revived from this shocking discovery, He asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” He said, “I told you I am he, and since you are seeking me, let these go their way.” In other words, Jesus said the disciples are not prepared, nor do they intend to offer any resistance. He said, “Take me and let them go.”

I want you to refer to verse 9. Jesus asked that His disciples be permitted to go their way and not share in His arrest so that the statement He had made earlier would be fulfilled. In His prayer, He had prayed that He had kept all of them except the son of perdition. So, He was asking these officers to let His disciples go, and the Scripture was fulfilled which He spoke, “Of them whom thou gayest me I have lost none.” That was part of His prayer which He prayed before He went to the garden.

Thus, we see how Judas carried out His evil intent: first, by invading the secret garden where Jesus had gone with His disciples; second, by involving the security guards with a great band of soldiers; and then, to their amazement, they made a shocking discovery which they were hardly prepared for when Jesus volunteered to be arrested.

Do you see that Jesus did not resist arrest even though He knew what the outcome would be? He said one time, referring to His life, “No man takes it from me; I lay it down of myself; I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.” Do you understand? He willingly died for us, for you and me.

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Now, I urge you to tune in next week as Pastor J. Mark continues our study from John’s Gospel. You won’t want to miss it. And until then, keep looking to Jesus; He’ll give you hope for today!

This episode is an exposition of John 18:1-9 by J. Otis Yoder, re-recorded by J. Mark Horst, with a new opening and closing by Arlin Horst.