Devotional Thoughts: Judas in the Gospels

There has been a lot in the news about the Gospel of Judas. Perhaps in a future blog entry, I'll jot some thoughts after reading the translation which made quite a splash a few months ago.

But what about Judas in the Gospels? What do we know about him from there?

Am looking at Matthew 26:14-16. In that passage, Judas is given 30 silver coins in exchange for betraying Jesus.

Where else do we read about Judas in the Gospels?

Running a search for "Judas" and limited it to the Gospels, one finds 32 references in the New International translation of the Bible.

It should be noted not all 32 references are about Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Some are about Judas, the brother of Jesus. Jesus' brothers are James, Joseph, Simon and Judas in Matthew 13:55. We also find out there are unnamed sisters in Mark 6:3.

It is possible that Joseph was a widow prior to marrying Mary and so these could be older brothers and sisters. Another possibility is that Mary had additional children after Jesus. And of course, it could be a combination of both.

The other times Judas appears in the Gospel record aside from his role in the betrayal of Jesus are in lists of the disciples like in Matthew 10:2-4 and in the Last Supper as described in John 13:18-30.

As I read this passage in light of my own devotion to Jesus, I find myself asking, if under pressure, what would be my price in selling out Jesus?

I want to believe that I would be willing to die for Jesus!

However, we all know the disciples said exactly the same thing in Matthew 26:31-35 and Peter denied Jesus and the other disciples fled upon Jesus capture.

I am humbled in knowing this. I am humbled in knowing how my faith has at times been shaken during difficult times.

Lord, I don't know how I'll react in a dire situation. I can only pray that should that time come, I would endure to the end with faithfulness and goodness. In the meantime, my prayer is that I'll live for Jesus each day: doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly before you. Help me to be an instrument of your love, grace, truth and righteousness in my deeds and words. Amen.

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