555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

136. In What Sense Was Judas a Devil?




Little is known of the life of Judas before his appearance among the apostles. He was probably drawn by the Baptist's preaching, or by his own ambitious hopes of the coming of a Messianic kingdom, in which he might play an important and lucrative part. He seems to have declared himself a disciple of Jesus, as the others did, and as he was entrusted with the finances of the little company, we may judge that he enjoyed a measure of confidence, although this seems to have been undeserved. (See John 12:6.) That Jesus himself knew the heart of Judas from the beginning is made clear from the text. (See also John 6:64-71.) Our Lord knew his inmost thoughts. He knew Judas to be deceitful and treacherous. He knew of his criminal confidences with the priests, which culminated in the betrayal. (See John 18:3-5.) The act of betrayal was not the outcome of a sudden impulse at the Last Supper, but was the closing scene in a long career of deceit and treachery. Judas was probably ambitious, and like several other apostles believed that Jesus would set up an earthly kingdom in which he himself might have an influential part Of his early history before his name appears in the. list of the apostles, nothing is known. The name "Iscariot" is variously explained, some writers holding that he was so called because he belonged to Kerioth in the tribe of Judah.