By Colleen Donahue


In part 1 of our study we found Jesus at the home of his friends in Bethany. Unknown to his friends this would be his last time with them before going to his death. The chief priests and pharisees had given orders that anyone knowing of Jesus' whereabouts should let them know so he could be arrested (John 11:57).

Mary, the sister of Lazarus had the recent revelation that Jesus was the Son of God. He had raised her brother from the dead after being in the tomb for four days. In a gesture of prophetic love and gratitude she anointed her Lord with one pound of pure nard ending at his feet and wiping them with her hair.

Following this fragrant act of love comes Judas's decision to betray the Lord. How could he do such a thing? Wasn't he one of the twelve chosen disciples? If a close friend of the Lord -- one who walks with him -- can betray him are we vulnerable to do such a thing ourselves?



What could drive a man to betray his friend? The short answer is sin.

Day 1- When we sin what ALWAYS happens?
Isaiah 59:2 / Hosea 5:6

Day 2- Judas had been walking with the Lord and the other disciples for almost three years. He looked like he was one of them but he was already separated because of sin. When he protested Mary's "waste" of expensive nard on Jesus when it could have been used for the poor what was behind his complaint?
John 12:6

Day 3- God is looking for men to be his instruments and so is Satan. We become open targets for Satan and his demons to work because we give them ground to work from. Satan could not have entered Judas unless Judas opened the door. Luke's gospel puts it bluntly.
Luke 22:3

But we are all targets. As you read this verse what are you commanded to do?
1 Peter 5:8-9a


What does it mean to give Satan ground? Probably everyone can visualize a pushy salesman at the door. He is enthusiastic and convincing but you don't want what he is selling. You say "No" but he doesn't take no for an answer. He says, "Let me just have a minute to show you...." as he pushes his way inside! Now he is inside your living room, sitting on your couch and showing you his wares! How much harder is it now to get rid of him then had you been firm with him when he was outside your door!

If you are a Christian don't think this won't happen to you. It doesn't mean your life is possessed by Satan but he has got a foot in your door and that is all he needs to work.

Day 4- With Satan working inside us we become open targets for his lies and deception and half truths. Thus it happened to Judas. What did Satan prompt him to do?
John 13:2

Each time a person goes along with the enemy in sin, life becomes more firmly established with evil spirits working from within -- spirits who have gained a foothold.
John 13:27a

Notice the progression of these two verses. In the first one we see Satan prompting Judas or giving him the thought to betray Jesus. In the second verse it says Satan entered into Judas.

Day 5- Giving ground to Satan means we entertain sin and this leads to more evil spirits working in and around our life.
Luke 11:26

Day 6- Judas started his spiral down with dishonesty and became a petty thief. Because he walked with the Lord of love he had become a hypocrite -- giving an impression that he cared about the poor.
John 12:4-6

Next came full blown greed and covetousness.
Matthew 26:14-15

Day 7- Once we live in a pattern of sin we then step further down into premeditated sin. In other words we look for the next opportunity to do what we want to do. For Judas, it meant that he now looked for the opportunity to betray his Lord in return for money.
Matthew 26:16 / (Also recorded in: Mark 14:10-11 / Luke 22:6 )

Day 8- Once sin is premeditated it means our minds and our hearts are set on it and the acting out of the sin follows as planned.
Mark 14:43-46 / (Also recorded in : Luke 22:47-48 / John 18:1-3)

Day 9 - Every time we choose sin and self over God we betray our Lord and become no better than Judas.
Ephesians 5:5-6

Day 10- Judas was not a predestined pawn in a cosmic plot. He chose his path the same as you and I do. Even at the last supper Jesus was making a last appeal to Judas by revealing directly that he knew all about the plot.
Matthew 26:21-25 / (Also recorded in: Mark 14:18-21 / Luke 22:21-22)

Day 11- There was still a moment when Judas could have decided to abort his plans. The truth is that our God is faithful and he always provides us a way to escape temptation if we will listen and obey.
1 Corinthians 10:13

Day 12- If at any time we feel that we have arrived at a place where we are above being tempted and committing sin here is our warning.
1 Corinthians 10:11-12

When it comes to temptation and sin we must ALWAYS be watchful.
Matthew 26:41 / 1 Peter 5:8

Day 13- Notice in this verse (the last of a series listing the name of the twelve apostles) what it says about Judas.
Luke 6:16

It says, "Judas who became a traitor." The men all became the Lord's apostles through a process of learning and growing. So Judas became a traitor through a process as well. Sin -- more sin -- premeditated sin.

Day 14- We are either becoming more holy by the day or we are becoming more evil. We are all constantly moving in one direction or the other. When we love Jesus and the things of God there is a fragrance in our life that spreads everywhere. But the reverse is also true as we see with Judas. He became a fragrance spelling doom and death.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16

Day 15- Which direction we move in depends on the choice of our will. There is no neutrality in our walk with God.
Deuteronomy 30:19 / Joshua 24:15 / 1 Kings 18:21 / Psalm 119:30

Judas chose selfish ambition, greed and theft as a precursor to his final deed of treachery and betrayal. Are we so different if we find in our own life jealousy, judgment, independence and pride?

Take a moment to stop and confess anything you know to be sin. "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) Make a decision today to submit your will to God so that you can be used to extend His kingdom rather than your own dead end plans.

William Barclay in his daily Bible Study series wrote this regarding what may have been behind the betrayal of Christ by Judas. "Judas saw Jesus Christ as a divine leader that was moving too slowly. Judas like many others saw the Messiah in a nationalistic sense -- wanting freedom from Roman rule and wanting to see Israel rise again to greatness. He may have betrayed Jesus with the intention of compelling Jesus to act never figuring that Jesus would go like a lamb to his slaughter."

This may explain why Judas was so shattered that he committed suicide


Day 16- So what can drive a man (like Judas) to commit suicide? The short answer is once again sin.

A. When the situations of life move in what seems to be an irreversible direction.
B. When events pass out of our control so that we are helpless spectators to evil (perhaps caused by us).
C. When we try to do something to correct a terrible thing (maybe our own sin) and we are too late to affect a change.
D. When all the responsibility for the evil (sin) committed falls on us like a 100 pound rock.
E. When our remorse is too little, too late

All of these reasons factored into Judas's decision.
Matthew 27:1-5

Day 17- There is a difference between remorse and true repentance. In remorse we see a regret for one's sins that wrong others and we experience distress from a rising sense of guilt. This is what Judas displayed. But to truly repent means that we turn around 180 degrees and walk in the other direction. Even at this terrible, irreversible point in Judas's story there could have been true repentance. If there had been we would have seen Judas at the foot of the cross with the Lord he betrayed. He would have asked for forgiveness and proclaimed for all the hear that he had betrayed an innocent man. Sadly he was no where to be found.

If you are in a similar place as Judas there is hope for you.
Isaiah 55:7 / Jeremiah 33:8

Day 18- To every man and woman that truly repents what does God delight in?
Micah 7:18

Day 19- Other men may be unable to forget our sins, we may not be able to forget them, but do you know that God can?
We can actually have a clean slate with our God when we genuinely repent.
Isaiah 43:25 / Isaiah 44:22 / Hebrews 8:12

Day 20- Our choosing to walk in true repentance means a clean page with God and full restoration.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 / Isaiah 57:18a / Jeremiah 3:22 / Hosea 14:4 / Micah 7:19-20a

Day 21- You may still suffer the consequences for your sin with men but with God you can begin again and be blameless before Him. You can actually sit in prison and be at peace with your God! King David -- the very one that committed second degree murder and adultery -- prayed this prayer with an earnest heart when confronted by Nathan the prophet. You too can pray this today in true repentance and be restored.
Psalm 51:1-17

Next Study: MPGC#4

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