The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 13: Jesus and Judas -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 105:418 (Apr 1948)
Article: The Son of God among the Sons of Men Part 13: Jesus and Judas
Author: Everett F. Harrison

The Son of God among the Sons of Men
Part 13: Jesus and Judas

Everett F. Harrison

XIII. Jesus and Judas

To deal with Judas is a difficult and delicate task. He is so unthinkable that we can hardly imagine him playing the part which he took in the life of our Lord. It requires all the persuasiveness of the Scripture record to convince us that so impossible a figure existed and did the thing attributed to him. No one in intelligent Christian circles would think of naming a son Judas, any more than he would think of naming a son Jesus. We desire to be as separate from the iniquity of the one as we know we must be from the holiness of the other. Judas’ act of betrayal is bad enough in itself. The world instinctively dreads and hates a traitor, for treachery strikes at personal security and endangers the success of any enterprise in which others are associated with us. But the perfidy of Judas is heightened to a point beyond all comparison by reason of the person of Him against whom it was committed. He stands unique in his infamy simply because Jesus of Nazareth has no peer.

Judas, as well as his father before him, was Iscariot. It is practically certain that this means “man of Kerioth,” a Judean town midway between En-gedi and Beer-sheba. He was the only one of the apostles from this section. All the others were Galileans. Whether or not he was a disciple of John the Baptist can only be conjectured. It is reasonable to suppose that his interest in Jesus, or even in John, was dictated by a patriotism which was at the same time a religion with him. Any stirrings of prophetic ministry in

his time might mean that the hour for Messiah had come, and he purposed to be in on it.

The first allusion to Judas in the fourth Gospel comes at the close of chapter 6. Now the crucifixion is only a year away. In retrospect we see the days spent in Galilee, when Jesus toured the country teaching and healing. During those days Judas was simply one of the Twelve. We do not read of him as taking the lead in any spiritual endeavor or asking any question which betokened a desire for greater light. But the same could be said of others in that group. If there was no prominence of attainment, neither was there discernible hint of the dark tragedy which was to unfold from his heart. But now something of a crisis is reached in the ministry of our Lord. In a few short hours, from the heights of popularity so great as to press upon Him by force the role of political Messiah, He is reduced to the loyalty of a few men who must have watched the exodus of other followers with puzzled seriousness. The offense of the cross was beginning to operate. Jesus was b...

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