Judas Iscariot: The Betrayer of Jesus Christ

David Norczyk
5 min readApr 8, 2024

There are days of infamy throughout history. Most of them have an ominous afterglow. This is the case for the clause, “On the night in which he was betrayed…”

There are people whose names are infamous in the record of history. Judas Iscariot is one of those names. It is reasonable to place his name at the top of the list. Judas Iscariot is not the only person in human history to betray another person; but his name is synonymous with the action itself. One might say, “Benedict Arnold was a ‘Judas’ to his country.”

The magnitude of betrayal is certainly linked to the person betrayed. Jesus Christ was the holy one of God (Lk 4:34; Jn 6:69). He is the Lord, the righteous One (Jer 23:6). He was without sin (Heb 4:15). Everything Jesus said and did was good (Jn 8:29). He was the perfectly obedient Son to God His Father. He was God enfleshed (Jn 1:14).

Every person who ever lived, with the exception of Jesus of Nazareth, has sinned against God (Rom 3:23; 5:12). Everyone inherited the original sin of Adam. Everyone has a sin nature (Eph 2:3). Everyone practices sin to some degree. Sin is lawlessness (1 Jn 3:4); and sin’s wages is death (Rom 6:23). In Adam, the first man and federal head of humanity, we all die (1 Cor 15:22a).

Adam’s transfer of original sin to his entire posterity means everyone is condemned already from conception (Jn 3:18; Rom 5:19). It is appointed for a man to die, once, and then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27). Guilty sinners, apart from the salvation of Jesus Christ, are sentenced to eternal punishment in the fiery hell of the lake of fire (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:11, 14–15).

Judas Iscariot helped the enemies of God to locate Jesus. Judas identified Jesus by greeting Him with a kiss. A kiss of any kind has some semblance of closeness. The Bible only permits us to know a few facts about Judas and about his relationship to Jesus. It is wise for us not to speculate further about this notorious disciple of Rabbi Jesus, Judas’ Lord, Master, and Teacher.

Keriat was a town in southern Judah. Iscariot is likely a geographical reference. At some point, Judas Iscariot became a close follower of Jesus of Nazareth. He was one of the twelve disciples. He lived and traveled with Jesus and the others for approximately three years.

God knows the heart of every person. Man looks at the outward appearance but God searches the heart (1 Sam 16:7). God’s assessment of the human heart is not good. He reports that every inclination of the heart is only evil all the time (Gen 6:5). The human heart is deceitful above all else (Jer 17:9). Judas’ heart was not right to begin with; and not even three years of living with the perfect man could influence Judas for good. We need Jesus for than His perfect example!

Some people reveal their hearts more than others. The Scriptures help us to see Judas’ love of money, which is fairly common to lovers of this world. The pride of life spurs many people in the quest for riches. This is one way the devil blinds the minds of men (2 Cor 4:4). They lose track of the fact that they come into the world with nothing; and they leave the world with nothing (1 Tim 6:7). Gaining the whole world while losing one’s soul is not a prudent investment.

Each person’s response to Jesus Christ is a revelation of the state of that person’s heart. People either love Jesus (1 Jn 4:19); or they hate him (Jn 7:7; 15:18–25; Rom 1:30). Most try to be lukewarm regarding the report of Jesus’ Person and work. They do not openly confirm or deny Him. Knowing the world’s hostility toward Jesus Christ, many followers try to appease and make peace with the world.

Men love darkness, in this world of darkness, because their deeds are evil (Jn 3:19). Judas betrayed Jesus under the cloak of night (Jn 13:30). He conspired with the Jewish leaders to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, away from the illumined scrutiny of the public eye. Today, men try to hide Jesus from the public square in the effort to keep the peace with cults, atheists, and idolatrous worshipers of other religions.

For Christians to hide their light under a basket is antithetical to their role as witnesses of Christ to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). To claim to be a Christian, and then to later deny Christ, is to follow the steps of Judas. It is apostasy at first (falling away from the faith once held), and then it is betrayal of the Holy Spirit, who bears witness of Jesus (Jn 15:26).

The natural man does not have the Spirit of Christ (1 Cor 2:14), whom the world cannot receive (Jn 14:17). Every son of disobedience has a different exposure to the things of the Spirit, who occupies Christ’s church. Exposure to the Spirit, like Judas’ exposure to Jesus, has no effect upon the hardened heart of the reprobate. Many taste the good things of God (Heb 6:4–6). They eat the bread of life from the Lord; but they do not like it. They do not like the taste and prefer to have nothing more to do with Christ and His church (see John 6).

Christ’s church, indwelt by the Spirit of Christ (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11), does not accommodate unbelievers, people of the world. The church is being built by Christ Jesus (Mt 16:18). The Lord knows His own (2 tim 2:19), who were given to Him by His Father before creation (2 Tim 1:19). All that God the Father drags to Christ will come to Him (Jn 6:44); and all who come to Christ, our Lord will in no wise cast out (Jn 6:37). No one receives Christ and believes in Him, unless it is the will of God (Jn 1:12–13).

It was not the will of God for Judas Iscariot, the son of perdition (Jn 17:12), to be saved. It was God’s will for Judas Iscariot to serve God as the iconic reprobate, a vessel of wrath prepared by God for destruction (Rom 9:22). In this, no one serves God, in judging God for what he has done with what He has made. Judas Iscariot did not have a chance because there is no such thing as chance. All things are from God, having been eternally decreed by God and executed in the revealed will of God, in time, through God’s providential working of all things in a demonstration of His Almighty power and infinite wisdom.

In conclusion, let us fear God and tremble at His Word (Is 66:5; Jer 23:9). Let us acknowledge His eternal council regarding both those He has predestined to election and those He has predestined to reprobation (Rom 9:22–23; Eph 1:4–5). Let us, who believe His revealed Word, humbly give thanks to God for so great a mercy and grace granted to us in Christ before all time and manifest forever.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

April 7, 2024

John 13:21–30



David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher