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What Did Judas Do In The Bible

Plot of Judas

Judas Iscariot is one of the most well-known characters in the Bible. He is famously known as the disciple who betrayed Jesus, causing the ultimate tragedy of Jesus’ death. The accounts of Judas’ betrayal can be found in all four of the Gospels of the New Testament, highlighting his infamy as an infamous figure in Christianity. In his lifetime, Judas was reputably an apostle that followed Jesus very closely. He was selected among the other disciples during the first call in Galilee.
Just like Peter, Judas was a passionate advocate of Jesus and His teachings. He was even said to be one of the apostles entrusted with the controll of the money bag. As suggested in certain historical records, Judas may have been the treasurer of Jesus during his ministry, with John 12:6 specifying that Judas kept all the funds in the treasury.

The Betrayal of Jesus

In the Gospel of Mark, Judas is depicted as facilitating the handing over of Jesus to the authorities in exchange for money. He chooses a specific time to kiss Jesus on the cheek so that the men of the high priest would know who to arrest among the crowd. This “kiss of betrayal” is considered a literary motif and “proof” of Judas’ heinous act.
Matthew and Luke expand on the circumstances of Judas’ betrayal, such as the motive of money and the fact that Judas and the Jewish officials conspired in a plan for the arrest of Jesus. In Matthew, Judas is even said to express regret for his actions, leading him to throw the pieces of silver obtained from the high priest and killing himself as a result of this guilt later on.

Gospel of John

The Gospel of John, in comparison to the other Gospels, delves further into Judas’ motivation for the betrayal – suggesting it to be a tool for Jesus’ own mission. Here, Judas is portrayed as being a willing tool of God, being appointed to his specific action in order to fulfill the divine plan.
The Gospel also mentions that Judas had kept the pieces of silver, indicating that he did not use it but, instead, kept it out of greed. It follows that Judas suffered from the sins of greed and pride, evident through his careful handling of the money both prior to and after his act.

Effects of Judas Acts

Regardless of the motivations and specifics of Judas’ betrayal, the implication of Judas’ action are immense and potent. By choosing Satan’s will for his own, Judas was literally signing the death sentence for Jesus, initiating the tragic events of Jesus’ execution on the cross that not only meant the death of an innocent man, but also His subsequent glorification at the resurrection.
At the same time, Judas’ role in the Bible encapsulates the consequences of actions – the idea that the power of choice does not only affect a person’s own well-being, but also those of other people, and individuals should be held accountable for their choices. Lastly, the suffering and guilt faced by Judas creates a narrative of repentance, highlighting the possibility of recovery and restoration after committing sins.

Opinion of Other Reciters

Those who interpret the Bible tend to form different opinions when it comes to Judas’ character. Some emphasize the evil nature of his betrayal, viewing Judas as a villain who sacrificed Jesus to obtain power and money. Others take a more sympathetic approach and interpret the act as necessary in order to fulfill the divine will.
“The Gospels have Judas both as the willing tool of a power greater than himself, and as the victim of human greed and ambition,” says theologian Brennan Hill in his book “The Gospel according to Judas”.

Condemnation of The Betrayal

Nevertheless, Judas’ actions are largely seen as a crime and a mistake, allowing him to be remembered in history as “the disciple who betrayed” as opposed to one of Jesus’ most loyal followers. In addition, Judas’ name has become a term used to describe acts of treachery and betrayal.
The “Kiss of Judas” is an illustration in Italian Renaissance art depicting Judas’ betrayal of Jesus. It is used as a literary device to highlight the connection between Judas’ act and its consequences within the narrative. Therefore, Judas’ name has become an archetypal representation of the evil actions done by human, allowing his story to live on and serve as a reminder of the consequences of our actions.

Aftermath of Jesus’ Death

The Bible does not mention what happened to Judas after his act of betrayal. Matthew states that Judas was consumed by guilt from his actions, leading him to drown in a field believed to be Kidron Valley.
However, the Legenda Aurea, the Golden Legend, an influential compilation of saints’ lives popular in the Middle Ages, elaborates on Judas’ afterlife by claiming that the body of Judas – once dead -would rise up three days later only to be “dragged by an ass into a field and devoured by dogs”. This kind of “comeuppance” contrasts with Jesus’ perceived victory, making Judas a symbol of ultimate failure in his works.

Modern Relevance of Judas

In modern times, Judas remains to be studied and discussed. Questions about Judas’ actions and intentions still provoke heated discussions among scholars, trying to explain the crucial role of Judas in the narrative of Jesus’ death.
Theories and opinions about Judas are still ongoing, with some interpretations and modern artworks such as plays, books, and movies being met with significant interest from the public. These works provide Judas – an infamous figure in Christianity – with a much needed narrative for his actions, allowing us to better understand Judas’ motivations and, in turn, the wide implications of these actions.

Entrapment of Judas

As it stands, Judas is portrayed as someone torn between the human sense of greed, error and the divine sense of acceptance and participation in the preordained events of the Bible.
One opinion is that Judas was prearranged to deliver Jesus to the Sanhedrin as a means to speed up the prophecy of Jesus’ death. Some think that it was his willingness to betray Jesus caused by a storm of anger against Jesus, while still others argue that Judas did what was asked of him by the Father.
Regardless of the reasons and excuses, Judas’ role in the Bible – in delivering Jesus to the cross- still serves as a symbol of the tragedy of human mistakes, emphasizing that good intentions can be easily corrupted by corruptive materialistic desires.

Spreading Blame

In the face of Judas’ crime, many curiously raise the question of “who is really to be held accountable for the tragedy of Jesus?” Is it Judas for foolishly accepting the bribe of the high priest, or the other disciples for not intervening? Should we blame the Roman and Jewish leaders for condemning an innocent man without proof? Or God, for orchestrating the greatest divine plan?
The answer, however, is difficult to determine, making Judas’ role both multifaceted and humanly understandable. While we can hold important characters accountable for their mistakes, the story of Judas serves as an important lesson: even if something is inevitable, evil will still prevail in the face of anything but goodness and moral.

High Priest Infected Judas

Another theory pointing to Caiaphas, the Jewish high priest, as being the one responsible for Judas’ wrongdoing. Apparently, Caiaphas was said to have cut off Judas’ ear during an argument and, as revenge, Judas went to the Sanhedrin to report Jesus.
Reinforcing this hypothesis is the fact that, in various Bible accounts, Caiaphas is described as being extremely unscrupulous and particularly interested in arresting Jesus. Some even argue that Caiaphas purposely filled Judas’ ears with lies in order to coerce him into his plan without being held accountable for it.
Thus, in some interpretations, Judas can be viewed as an unwitting victim of Caiaphas’ treachery who, under the influence of a powerful, lawless figure, ends up making a wrong choice – a victim not only of a misguided and far-reaching political agenda but, most of all, of evil itself.

Morally Corrupt

No matter how one interprets the reasons behind Judas’ betrayal, the fact remains that Judas is still considered to be one of the greatest examples of moral corruption, emphasizing the importance of moral vigilance and understanding the consequences of our actions.
While Judas can be understood as a character with inner conflicts and the need for proper guidance, his story still serves as a reality-check for modern believers. In that sense, the character of Judas stands as an archetypical representation of the all-consuming power of desire, insanity, and wrongdoings, as well as a reminder of the consequences of our choices.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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