Matthew 26:1-4 -- And it came to pass, when Jesus had
finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, "Ye know that after two
days is the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be
crucified." Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes,
and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called
Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him.
The Passover was a part of God's divine appointment. Jerusalem was
overflowing with people who had come to observe the Passover. The palace
of Caiaphas was very important in the last hours of Jesus' life here on earth.
It was there that the death of Jesus was plotted. Who were the ones who
plotted His death? They were the Chief Priest, scribes and elders.
This was not the time to crucify Him due to the fact that the town of Jerusalem
was crowded. They knew it would bring an uproar among the people of the
city. So they laid out a plan.
Matthew 26: 14-16 -- Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went
unto the chief priests, and said unto them, "What will ye give me, and I will
deliver him unto you?" And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver
and from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
Judas was a trusted disciple in the group of the twelve disciples. I can
just imagine him going to the people and making the deal to betray Jesus, all
for the lust of a few coins. In the early days of Jesus' ministry, he had
those who could not understand what He was teaching them. They were not
willing to sit down and learn what Jesus was trying to teach them. They
were not willing to sit down at the feet of Jesus and say, "Master, teach us."
They fled and followed Him no more.
John 6:67-71 -- Then said Jesus unto the twelve, "Will ye also go away?"
Then Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words
of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ,
the Son of the living God." Jesus answered them, "Have not I chosen you
twelve, and one of you is a devil?" He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of
Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
In these verses Jesus identifies the one who is the devil. There is a
question often asked by many -- when did Judas cross the line? Some people
believe that Judas was straight and moral up to this point. I believe that
he was not, just as Scripture has led me to believe. Jesus selected Judas
knowing what was planted in his head. You may ask, "Why did Jesus
select him to be one of the disciples if He knew him. I will tell you this
-- Jesus knew the plan. It was all in God's plan. God is not
surprised by anything. We serve an all-knowing God who is able to look
through the telescope of time and see exactly what will happen in any given day.
It may shock you what I getting ready to say -- Judas is a lot like us or we
like him. Except by the grace of God, we would have done something just as
bad or worse. Who is out there performing abortions tonight? Who is
out there drinking and doping tonight? Who is out there destroying
families? Judas had the nature of sin. You and I have the nature of
sin. those out doing the things I mentioned have the nature of sin.
If you think you are never tempted, the devil has both hands wrapped around you.
He doesn't need to tempt you; he has you right where he wants you.
James 1:12-13 -- Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he
is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to
them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of
God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
God does not use evil to tempt his children. When you have a roving eye,
God did not put that woman beside you. Adam tried to use that argument.
He said, "I didn't do it; the woman did. You put that woman there."
James 1:14 -- But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own
lust, and enticed.
Every sin starts with a fault. Have you heard people use this excuse?
"Well, people think I did it, so I may as well go ahead and do it." No,
you should not either. Never let your bad thoughts fester. When lust
has been conceived, it brings forth action, and the action brings forth death.
Some people believe we live in an age of no accountability, that we can do
whatever we want and it will be all right. Anything goes and nothing will
happen to us. So when did the devil enter Judas? He never left him.
Jesus and His disciples shared a meal, sang a hymn and departed to the Mount of
Olives. There Jesus found a quiet place to pray. Have you ever gone
somewhere to a quiet place and poured out your heart to God. You don't
need a Gethsemane to pray. You can pray driving down the freeway in a semi
or standing at the kitchen sink washing dinner dishes. You can find your
quiet place. While Jesus was praying he said, "If it be Thy will, let this
cup pass from me. I don't know for sure what that meant. Some say He
looked into the cup and saw the sins of the world and that may be true.
Matthew 26:47-50a -- And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve,
came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief
priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a
sign, saying, "Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast."
And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, "Hail, master."; and kissed him.
And Jesus said unto him, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?"
The Scripture goes on to say that Jesus could have called twelve legions of
angels to come to His aid, but He knew Scripture had to be fulfilled and He was
left alone to face the multitude, for the disciples fled.
JR. Fields, Pastor
March 9, 2008