When you’re thinking through Baby names in our country, there are at least three names you usually steer clear of: 1) Jesus, 2) Lucifer, and 3) Judas.
In John 18:1-14, John shows us Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ arrest, which happened directly after Jesus prayed in the garden of gethsemane.
Turn & Read – John 18:1-14
1. Judas valued the kingdom of the world (vv. 1-2)
1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his dis- ciples entered (John’s gospel doesn’t record Jesus’ prayer in the garden but brings us straight to Judas’ betrayal and Jesus’ arrest). 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples.
Judas Iscariot (there are 8 different men named Judas in the NT)
Judas was a Disciple (Judas walked with Jesus for three years)
Judas was a thief (he was the treasurer for Jesus’ ministry but stole money)
Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss (the term kiss of death comes from this scene)
Pastor Mark Driscoll, in his sermon “Jesus and Judas” points out a few things that we learn from Judas and his betrayal. I want to share a few with you…
1) Sitting under good Bible teaching is not enough; you have to believe it.
2) Being in community with Jesus’ people is not enough; you have to be one of them.
3) Leading a ministry is not enough; you have to love Jesus.
4) Sometimes false teachers appear to be credible, loving, and generous to the poor.
5) You cannot lose your salvation, but you can fake it.
6) How your life concludes is far more important than how your life begins.
Judas didn’t love Jesus and didn’t value the Kingdom of God. Judas loved himself and valued the Kingdom of the World. The Kingdom of the World is all about the glory of ME. The KOtW ultimate values and stops at nothing to achieve: Money and Possessions, Control, Happiness, My Comfort and Pleasure, My Reputation and Status. These are enslaving and destructive. You achieve these values by force and by threatening.
The Kingdom of God is all about the glory of GOD. The KOG ultimately values and stops at nothing to achieve: Giving and Generosity, Service to one’s neighbor, Joy, Other people’s good and well being, Jesus’ glory and gospel. These are freeing and eternal. You achieve these values by sacrificial love.
2. Judas chose the power of the sword and lost (vv. 3)
3 So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some o#cers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
The love of Money, Control, Happiness, Comfort, and Reputation lead Judas to betray Jesus- the one who loved him and had washed his feet… Judas chose the power of the sword, the power of control and force, and lost; he chose the kingdom of the world and ended up killing himself. He ended up with a noose around his neck. In Luke’s account, when Peter cuts the servant of the High Priest’s ear off, Jesus says, “Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”
Psalm 20:7 “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” What Kingdom are you serving?
3. Jesus chose the power of the cross and won (vv. 10-11)
4 Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” 5 They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. 6 When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” 9 This was to ful”ll the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut o! his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
Judas brings a band of soldiers and to arrest Jesus. Some say that it was upwards of 1,000 armed men! Judas didn’t understand Jesus at all! When Jesus tells them who He is, He actually just says, “I AM.” The name that God reveals to Moses when asked! YAHWEH. What happens when Jesus says, “I AM”? The whole of the men come out to arrest Him fell down. Can you imagine being there? Once again Jesus is showing all that HE IS CHOOSING THE CROSS!
John 10:18 “No one takes (my life) from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again.”
And then there’s Peter, cutting a guy’s ear off… But, can you blame him? I know that I am a lot like Peter: I want to sacrificially love, but sometimes when push comes to shove, I pull out the sword. If we are really honest, I think when we look at the values of the King- dom of God, we say “That’s really hard!” We are right. Remember this: Jesus as your example will crush you, but Jesus as your Lamb will save you.
Jesus says to Peter, and to us, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” Remember, the cup is God’s wrathful judgement that we deserve because of our sin and rebellion, but Jesus would drink it on the cross as our substitute. The Cross of Jesus Christ was the greatest victory in the history of the world. He triumphed over sin and death and secured eternal joy for all who would come to Him through faith. Jesus died in our place, for our sin, to free us from the penalty of picking up the sword. He also died to take the power of the Sword out of our life…
Jesus chose the power of cross, the power of sacrificial love, and won.
4. The cross beats the sword every time (vv. 12-14)
12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the o#cers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.
Jesus is now taken away and he will be falsely tried over and over again, but He didn’t stop it. He went willingly, for you, for me. This is power! Caiaphas was right in saying “one man should die for the people,” only it wasn’t in the way he was thinking and it wasn’t expedient (which means convenient but immoral). It was necessary! To save our wicked and rebellious souls.
Is Jesus more than your example? What power are you trusting in? What Kingdom are you serving in?
Think through these things for your home and family, job and coworkers, friendships or neighbors, acquaintances or strangers, hurting or homeless, addicted or annoying.
1) Because the cross beats the sword, we don’t have to worship riches; we are free to give and be generous.
2) Because the cross beats the sword, we don’t have to control and use people anymore; we are free to love and serve them.
3) Because the cross beats the sword, we don’t have to chase after happiness anymore; we are free to be joyful in the “nished and sav- ing work of Jesus in our place.
4) Because the cross beats the sword, we don’t have to chase after our comfort and pleasure; we are free to seek other peoples good and well-being.