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                        "THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW"

                    The Betrayal Of Jesus (26:47-50)

INTRODUCTION

1. Certainly one of the saddest moments in the life of Jesus was His
   betrayal by Judas...
   a. One of Jesus' closest disciples, even one of His twelve apostles
      - Mt 26:47-50
   b. Who had been privileged to a part of Jesus' ministry here on
      earth - Ac 1:17

2. What led Judas to betray his Lord and Savior?  How could one who had
   been with Jesus...
   a. Seen His miracles
   b. Heard His teachings
   ...betray Him with a kiss?

3. What about us, who claim to be Jesus' disciples today?
   a. Could we be guilty of betraying Jesus in some way?
   b. Are there things that misled Judas that could have a similar
      effect on us?

[What might we learn from "The Betrayal Of Jesus"?  Lest we follow the
same path of Judas, let's reflect for a few moments on what we can
glean from the Scriptures...]

I. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A CLOSE FRIEND

   A. JUDAS WAS NO STRANGER TO JESUS...
      1. As already mentioned, he was one of the apostles - Mt 10:2-4
      2. He was among those whom Jesus loved - Jn 13:1
      3. Yet as prophesied, Jesus was betrayed by "a familiar friend" 
         - Ps 41:9

   B. BEING CLOSE TO JESUS IS NO GUARANTEE...
      1. Just being His disciples is no assurance we could not betray
         Him
      2. Like several of the churches in Asia Minor, we could...
         a. Leave our first love - Re 2:4-5
         b. Begin to tolerate false doctrine - Re 2:14-16
         c. Permit false teachers to spread their doctrines - Re 2:20
         d. Fail to perfect our works, and not be watchful - Re 3:1-3
         e. Become lukewarm - Re 3:15-16
      3. Yes, we can betray Jesus by denying Him who bought us - 2 Pe
         2:1

[Therefore we need to heed Jesus' admonition to be "faithful unto
death" (Re 2:10), and not assume that close proximity to Jesus in the
past guarantees faithfulness in the future.]

II. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A LOVER OF MONEY

   A. MONEY WAS A PROBLEM FOR JUDAS...
      1. He often pilfered from the money box - Jn 12:4-6
      2. The opportunity to make money led him to betray Jesus - Mt 26:
         14-16

   B. MONEY CAN BE A PROBLEM FOR US...
      1. The deceitfulness of riches can render us unfruitful - Mt 13:
         22
      2. The desire for riches and the love of money can lead us to
         stray from the faith and drown in destruction and perdition
         - 1Ti 6:9-10
      3. The Laodiceans' preoccupation with wealth made them lukewarm
         - Re 3:16-17

[Could we be guilty of betraying Jesus by our desire for riches,
letting such things take precedent over our service to God and His
church?]

III. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A SHOW OF AFFECTION

   A. JUDAS BETRAYED JESUS WITH A KISS...
      1. He could have simply pointed...perhaps by kissing he sought to
         soften the blow of betrayal - Mt 26:48-49
      2. Jesus noted the obvious contradiction - Lk 22:47-48

   B. DISPLAYS OF AFFECTION DON'T ENSURE FAITHFULNESS...
      1. Many people are very emotional in their religion
         a. As displayed in their worship
         b. Believing it to be evidence of being "Spirit-filled"
      2. Yet emotions alone are not a reliable guide
         a. They can easily mislead us - cf. Pr 16:25; Jer 10:23; 17:9
         b. They are often present in the unstable believer - Mt 13:
            20-21
      3. This is not to discount the place and value of emotions
         a. We are to love God with all our heart and with all our mind
          - Mt 22:37-38
         b. The Spirit does produce fruit in our lives that affects our
            emotions - Ga 5:22-23
         b. But we must keep them in the proper order:
            1) Our emotions must come from faith, not faith coming from
               emotions
            2) Otherwise we are led by emotionalism, not faith
            -- And true faith comes from the Word of God - Ro 10:17;
               Jn 20:30-31

[If we believe that displays of affection in our religion can make up
for our failure to heed God's Word, we deceive ourselves and betray
Jesus in the process!]

IV. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY A MISTAKEN DISCIPLE

   A. JUDAS MISTOOK THE CONSEQUENCES OF HIS ACTION...
      1. He evidently didn't think Jesus would be condemned - Mt 27:3-4
      2. This has prompted some to think that Judas was motivated by
         more than money
         a. That perhaps his betrayal would force Jesus to act, show
            His true power
         b. That in such a way it would demonstrate who Jesus truly was

   B. WE CAN BE GUILTY OF MISTAKEN SERVICE...
      1. Thinking our service is acceptable, when it is not - Mt 7:
         21-23
      2. Thinking we can improve on God's way, when we can't know what
         He wants unless He reveals it - Isa 55:8-9
      3. We need to head the Preacher's advice - cf. Ec 5:1-2
         a. Come to hear and do what He says
         b. Not presume to know what pleases God and offer what we
            think is best

[In our zeal, we may be guilty of acting on mistaken knowledge (cf. Ro
10:1-3).  Dare we possibly betray Jesus by presuming we know what is
according to His will and plan?]

V. JESUS WAS BETRAYED BY AN OVERWROUGHT FOLLOWER

   A. JUDAS REACTED TO HIS SIN THE WRONG WAY...
      1. He was overcome with grief - Mt 27:3
      2. He took the wrong course of action and hung himself - Mt 27:5

   B. WE CAN REACT TO OUR SINS THE SAME WAY...
      1. There are two kinds of sorrow - 2Co 7:10
         a. Sorrow of the world that produces death
         b. Godly sorrow that produces repentance
         -- The first is sorrow where one is preoccupied with self; the
            other is sorrow due to sinning against God
      2. It is natural to be sorrowful for our sins
         a. But we should not wallow in our grief
         b. But repent, as did Peter who denied Christ
      3. Paul provides another example of one who did not let his sins
         of the past hinder his service in the present
         a. He focused on God's grace which gave him another chance 
            - 1Co 15:9-10
         b. He directed his attention on striving for the upward call
            of God - Php 3:12-14

CONCLUSION

1. While Jesus was betrayed by all these things, let's not forget the
   influence of Satan...
   a. Satan used Judas to betray Jesus - Lk 22:3-4
   b. Satan put it in Judas' heart to betray Jesus - Jn 13:2
   -- For this reason Jesus referred to Judas as "a devil" - Jn 6:70-71

2. Yet how did Satan influence Judas?  By some of the very things we've
   noticed...
   a. Through his love of money
   b. Through his emotionalism
   c. Through his mistaken ideas
   d. Through his preoccupation with self
   -- Even Peter was influenced by Satan through some of these things
      (cf. Mt 16:23)

And so while we may decry the treachery of Judas, we should humbly
learn from his mistakes, taking to heart the words of Peter:

   "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks
   about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist
   him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings
   are experienced by your brotherhood in the world."
                                                    - 1Pe 5:9-10
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