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Friday, November 23 2012

Did Judas Iscariot Repent?

"Jew" is an abbreviation of Judah, who was one of the twelve sons of Jacob (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria). The LORD (i.e. Jesus Christ; see Who Is The LORD? and What Does Word of God Mean To You?) renamed Jacob as Israel (see A Biography Of Jacob: When Jacob Became Israel). From Judah came just one of the twelve tribes of Israel (see Who Were The First Jews?).

A number of Jewish names are based upon their forefather, Judah e.g. Judas and Jude. Both were popular nationalistic and patriotic names. One of the Messiah's own physical brothers was named Judas (see The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth).

"13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us?" (Matthew 13:55-56 KJV; see also Why Did Jesus Have Brothers and Sisters?)

There were many good and righteous men named Judas. It is unfair to use just the name "Judas" for traitor. "Judas Iscariot" was the traitor.

The gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke came to be known as the Synoptic Gospels because of their similar structure and chronology. In them, Judas Iscariot ("Iscariot" came to be used as a surname, from their home town of Kerioth i.e. Ish-Kerioth) is always recorded last in the listing of the twelve apostles, and always with the designation of "traitor" or the one who "betrayed" i.e. "Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him" (Matthew), "Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him" (Mark) and "Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor" (Luke).

Judas Iscariot

"10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter [see also What Did Peter and John See That Others Didn't?], and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 10:3 Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 10:4 Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." (Matthew 10:2-4 KJV)

"3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, 3:15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils: 3:16 And Simon he surnamed Peter; 3:17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James [see also The Kinsfolk Of Jesus Of Nazareth]; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder: 3:18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 3:19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him" (Mark 3:14-19 KJV)

"6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God [see also How To Pray]. 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; 6:14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, 6:15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, 6:16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor." (Luke 6:12-16 KJV)

John's account is more detailed in some areas than the Synoptic Gospels, but doesn't include a listing of the apostles. John nevertheless uses the same "Judas Iscariot" and "betray." As John records here, the Messiah had many betrayers ("From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him"), but Judas Iscariot was unique in that he was a betrayer who remained.

"6:60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

6:61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 6:62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 6:64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 6:65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him [see Who Lights Your Walk?].

6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

6:70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 6:71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve." (John 6:60-71 KJV)

The evil character of Judas Iscariot was made evident before his betrayal of the Messiah at Passover. He was a thief who stole from the other apostles i.e. "he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein."

The Tomb Of Lazarus

"12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany [see The Ascent From Bethany], where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead [see also When Was Lazarus Resurrected?]. 12:2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. 12:3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

12:4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, 12:5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 12:6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein." (John 12:1-6 KJV)

The Messiah made a stark statement about Judas Iscariot: "Woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born."

"26:20 Now when the even was come [see Nisan 14: The Sacrifice Of The Lamb Of God], he sat down with the twelve. 26:21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

26:22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

26:23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.

26:25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I?

He said unto him, Thou hast said." (Matthew 26:20-25 KJV)

There is no doubt that Satan used Judas, although the mind-twisted Satan should have been doing everything that he could to prevent the Sacrifice of the Lamb of God - the event that now authorizes the Messiah to remove Satan as "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4; see also What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?).

"22:3 Then entered Satan [see also Satan's Masquerade] into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. 22:4 And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests [see How Did The Messiah's Levite Priesthood Change?] and captains, how he might betray him unto them. 22:5 And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money." (Luke 22:3-5 KJV)

John records it more specifically, not that Satan personally "possessed" Judas Iscariot, but that he "put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him" (the father of Judas Iscariot was named Simon i.e. John 6:71).

"13:2 And supper being ended, the devil [see also The Devil Cure] having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him" (John 13:2 KJV)

What did Judas Iscariot do after his betrayal of the Messiah, after his "conscience" saw what he did? Judas "repented himself," and then he "repented" to the men who paid to have the Messiah killed. There is nothing about repenting, crying out, to the Messiah, who was then still alive, or praying to God. Everything that Judas Iscariot did in "repentance" was to himself and to the other betrayers of the Son of God. When the chief priests refused to take back their own blood money that they paid Judas Iscariot, he "cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself." People who repent to the LORD don't, and don't have to, kill themselves. Rather than repenting and living a life of repentance thereafter, Judas Iscariot deliberately cut himself off from any effort to do so.

Judas Iscariot

"27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: 27:2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 27:4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood [see Innocent Blood].

And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

27:6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 27:7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. 27:8 Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. 27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; 27:10 And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me." (Matthew 27:1-10 KJV)

There are some who nevertheless believe that Judas Iscariot did repent. Apart from the Messiah's stark statement that it would have been better for Judas Iscariot to have never been born, if Judas had repented and been forgiven, there would have been no need to replace him. That happened immediately after the Messiah's ascension (see What Happened When The Messiah Arrived In Heaven?).

"1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey. 1:13 And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James. 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren." (Acts 1:12-14 KJV)

Peter's statements about Judas Iscariot are just as unconditional and final.

"1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. 1:17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 1:19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood." (Acts 1:15-19 KJV)

Peter then quoted prophecies that Judas Iscariot fulfilled with his betrayal.


"1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishopric let another take." (Acts 1:20 KJV)

So it was that the place of Judas Iscariot was re-filled by Matthias. Why? So that "he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place."

"1:21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

1:23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. 1:24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, show whether of these two thou hast chosen, 1:25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. 1:26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." (Acts 1:21-26 KJV)

The twelve apostles, after the Messiah's return, "shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." That is both the reason that a replacement was required for Judas Iscariot, and, by the choosing of a replacement, proof that Judas Iscariot was not be restored to the place that he betrayed.

"19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Matthew 19:28 KJV)

The New Jerusalem will have "twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Judas Iscariot will not be among those names.

"21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 21:11 Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 21:12 And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 21:13 On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 21:14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." (Revelation 21:10-14 KJV)

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This Day In History, November 23

912: Otto I ("Otto the Great") was born. As German king, he was the Holy Roman emperor from 962 to 973 (see Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).

1248: Seville surrendered to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

1510: Ottoman armies (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) sacked Kutaisi (today in European Georgia).

1531: In Switzerland, the Peace of Kappel was signed, ending the second civil war and ensuring Roman Catholic areas were recognized as part of the Swiss Confederation.

1616: Prospero Alpini died at age 63. The physician and botanist is credited with the introducing of coffee and bananas to Europe.

1654: French mathematician Blaise Pascal, 31, underwent a profound religious conversion. He abandoned science, stating that "the Christian religion obliges us to live only for God, and to have no other aim than Him."

1890: Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands at the age of 10 upon the death of her father William III. Her mother, Queen Emma, acted as regent until 1898.

1936: The U.S. abandoned the U.S. embassy in Madrid, Spain because of the civil war there.

1947: Officials at Jerusalem's Hebrew University first learned of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Originating sometime between 200 BC and 70 AD, they had been found the previous year by two Bedouin boys in a cave near Qumran (listen also to our Sermon The Dead Sea Scrolls).

1959: General Charles de Gaulle, President of France, declared in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for a European Union: "Europe, "from the Atlantic to the Urals."

1979: Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Earl Mountbatten, cousin of Queen Elizabeth.

1980: A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Eboli in southern Italy, killing 2,735 people and injuring at least 7,500. It was Europe's most severe earthquake since 1915.

1985: 58 people were killed when Egyptian commandos stormed a hijacked Egyptair airliner in Malta.

2005: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia, thereby becoming the first woman to lead an African country.


Copyright © Wayne Blank