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The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary

Judas

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JUDE, JUDAS

There were two of this name well known in the Scriptures of the New Testament, the one an apostle of Christ, called in Matthew's gospel, (Matthew 10:3) Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus, and by Luke, the brother of James; and he is again noticed by the persons who thought slight of our Lord and his doctrine, as his brother, Matthew 13:55. This was the Judas which spake to Christ in the midst of our Lord's sermon, and said, "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" (John 14:22) He is the Jude to whom, under the Holy Ghost, we are indebted for that precious morsel of gospel truth which is contained in the Epistle that bears his name. The other Jude or Judas is he who was surnamed Barsabas, (see Acts 15:22) and who was commissioned by the apostles to go to the church at Antioch. We have the account of his journey in the same chapter,. (Acts 15:30, etc) There is another Judas different from both the former, mentioned Acts 9:11. Lastly, Judas Iscariot, the traitor. Some read it Ish-cariot, the man of carioth; but certainly more properly Ish and corath, the man of murder.

See Iscariot

The awful character of this man is related to us so fully in the gospels, that there can need nothing more than a reference to those sacred records to obtain the most complete account of him, together with his tremendous doom: for what can more fully decide the everlasting ruin of the traitor than the Lord Jesus's account of him, when summing up all in one the most finished picture of misery, Jesus saith "good were it for that man, if he had never been born!" (Mark 14:11)

It hath been a subject of some debate in the early church respecting Judas Iscariot, whether he did or did not receive the Lord's Supper. Some have insisted upon it that he did, and others, equally positive, have asserted that he did not. The best way to determine the point, will be to regard what the Evangelists have said upon the subject; for it must be from their testimony alone a right judgment can be formed. I shall therefore, bring each of them in their relation concerning this matter before the reader, and then leave it to his own determination which opinion to take. Matthew gives a particular account of the whole proceedings of the Supper from first to last, (Matthew 26:20-30) and expressly states that when the twelve: consequently Judas was included. And so unconscious were the rest of the disciples who the traitor was, when the Lord at the table intimated that one of them should betray him, that they were exceeding sorrowful, and began to say unto him every one, Lord, is it I? And when the Lord to the enquiry of Judas declared that he was the person, there is nothing said of his departure, but that the Lord proceeded to bless the bread and the cup, and said, "Drink ye all of it." After the supper, when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. This is the whole relation as given by Matthew. Mark states the circumstances very nearly to the same amount; (Mark 14:12-26) This evangelist observes, that prior to the supper Judas had been with the chief priests, and covenanted with them to betray Christ unto them. This however did not prevent him from mingling with the other disciples at the table, for Mark saith, that in the evening Jesus "came with the twelve;" and he adds, that "as they sat and did eat" Jesus intimated the circumstance of one of them betraying him. But from this evangelist's account it doth not appear that any discovery was then made of the traitor, neither is there the least idea afforded as if Judas was not present at the whole supper.

Luke is yet more particular in his account of the supper. (See Luke 22:14-39) He saith, that when the hour was come, Jesus sat down, and "the twelve apostles with him." And what is much to the point in respect to the question now under consideration, this evangelist, in his statement of this memorable transaction, represents the Lord as proceeding to the supper, and giving both the bread and the cup to them before he intimated the presence of the traitor. So that, according to this relation of the subject, the Supper was finished when Jesus declared concerning the act of betraying him. John hath said nothing of the Supper itself, except he had respect to it in the opening of John 13:1-38. The reason, no doubt, of his silence was, that as the other evangelists had related the circumstances so particularly, and his gospel being principally intended as supplementary, to record those things of the Lord Jesus which they had omitted, there needed not again the account of the transactions of the Supper. But if the evangelist meant the Lord's Supper in the Passover, when he said, (John 13:2) "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him"-if this was the sacramental supper, then it will follow that all that is subsequent in this chapter was also subsequent to the service. And as the evangelist John saith also in this same chapter, that it was after the sop which Jesus gave him, as a token of the traitor, that "Satan entered into him," then must it have been after the supper. Such are the several relations given by the several evangelists on this memorable point. The reader will now judge for himself, when he hath duly considered the whole taken together. But I cannot see the very great importance of the question, whether Judas Iscariot did or did not receive the Lord's Supper. Put the case that he did-what did he receive? Nothing, surely, more than the mere outward sign. He had no part or lot in the matter. He had no union with Christ, and consequently no communion with him in the ordinance. For as the apostle justly and decidedly states it, "what concord hath Christ with Belial?" (2 Corinthians 6:15) Judas being present at the table, and partaking of the elements of the table, became neither benefited himself, nor was it injurious to others. We read in earlier periods of the church, that "when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan came also among them." (Job 1:6) But was the meeting unhallowed to the sons of God because the devil came in the midst? Were the apostles of Christ less apostles because Judas was "numbered with them, and had obtained part of this ministry?" (Acts 1:17) And surely if the Lord Jesus, well knowing as he did whom he had chosen, was pleased to number him for a time with the apostles, might he not for a time also allow him to sit down with the apostles at the same table? Yea, did not the Lord Jesus expressly tell the church, that these things were his own appointment, and perfectly known in all their consequences by his divine mind, when he said, "Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" (John 6:70) If choosing Judas to be an apostle, at the time Christ knew that he was a devil, did not in the least contaminate the rest of the apostles, neither injure the cause of Jesus, it must undeniably follow, that his being present at the supper could not pollute the supper, nor the faithful partakers of the supper. These things can never be injured by outward causes. The "precious and the vile" must necessarily in this world be often brought together, but the ordinance can receive no taint from the worthlessness of partakers. Ordinances of every kind, like the gospel itself, will prove "a savour of life unto life" unto some, whilst "a savour of death unto death" unto others. Here lies the grand discriminating mark, "the Lord knoweth them that are his." (2 Timothy 2:19) And while the Lord knoweth them that are his, he no less knoweth them that are not. And we have already left upon record, the awful sentence which will be read to all such in the great day of God. "Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you I know ye not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity." (Luke 13:26-27) Indeed, may we not go farther, and suppose, that from this very appointment the Lord intended special good to his people? Was it not in effect saying, that if in the instance of the Lord Jesus himself a Judas is permitted, yea, appointed to attend his person, can it be wondered at in the minglings up of life, that his people should be so exercised? If in the college of apostles, out of twelve persons one should be a devil, can his people complain that they are sometimes called "to dwell with Mesech, and to have their habitation among the tents of Kedar?" Did Jesus, the Lord of life and glory, who might have commanded twelve legions of angels to attend him, permit, yea, even appoint a known devil to be his servant, to be with him in his miracles and his ministry, yea, to be one of the party at his farewell super-and what doth the meek and gentle Saviour teach thereby all his tried ones upon earth but this, that in their intercourse with the graceless they are to call to mind the unequalled humblings of Jesus in such instances. If he endured such a contradiction of sinners against himself, they are not to be wearied nor faint in their mind. The most blessed purposes are in the design. It hath been so in the church of God from the beginning, and will continue so unto the end. In the family of Adam there was a Cain; in Noah's house there was a Ham; Isaac had his Esau as well as Jacob; and, above all, the Lord Jesus had Judas. Tares are in the church as well as the pure wheat; and it is Jesus himself that saith, "Let both grow together unto the harvest." But then when the harvest comes, the final and everlasting separation takes place; then it will be no longer needful that characters so very opposite should dwell together. "Then will I say (saith the Lord Jesus) to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn." (Matthew 13:30)

I cannot dismiss the view we have taken of this subject without making one short observation more on the occasion, namely, to remark how it is in our reading the Scriptures hastily to leap to conclusions, and to frame our opinions according to our supposed fitness of things, and not by the standard of the divine word. Assuming it for granted that Jesus, who knew the hearts of all men, neither needed that nay should shew him, would not have permitted Judas to partake of his supper, they instantly leap to a conclusion, that it could not be, and decide upon it accordingly. We are told by Chrysostom, that a similar offence was taken in his days, by some weak and injudicious Christians, at that sweet passage in St. John's Gospel, (John 11:35) where it is said, that Jesus wept. Concluding, that it was unsuitable and unbecoming the person and dignity of the Lord Jesus to be affected with human passions, they struck it out of their Bibles. But it was happy for us, and the Christian world at large, that when striking it out of their Bibles they could not strike it out of ours. Blessed be the Lord for presiding over his word, and preserving to us the sweet passage; for surely, to all true believers in Jesus, such views of Jesus are among the loveliest and most endearing parts in his divine character. Nothing can be more soothing and consolatory to a poor, sorrowful, afflicted follower of the Lord Jesus in his hours of suffering, than the consideration that he who is now exalted at the right hand of the majesty on high, was once, when on earth, "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." And the highest possible relief to the anguish of the soul under temptation, is the consciousness of the sympathy and compassion of Christ. He who wept when upon earth in beholding the tears of his people, cannot be unfeeling of them now though in heaven. And we have authority to conclude, that this sweet feature in the character of Jesus is as much his as ever; "in that he hath suffered, being tempted, he knoweth how to succour them that are tempted."

Let me only beg to add one observation more in relation to the traitor Judas, and then take a final farewell of his history forever; namely, concerning the awful death of the man, and the judgments that followed in his bowels gushing out. One of the evangelists saith, that he hanged himself. (Matthew 27:3-5) And another adds, "that falling headlong, he burst asunder, and all his bowels gushed out." (Acts 1:18-19) both events, no doubt, took place: and as by the suffocation induced by hanging, a great swelling might most probably take place, when he fell, the rupture of the lower part of the belly, called the abdomen, gave way, and the bowels gushed out. Think, what a spectacle! How justly the object of detestation both to God and man! And think if possible what followed.-To all the tremendous miseries of eternity he had to add, the special and peculiar aggravation in the everlasting and unceasing thought-that he, of all the creation of God, had this worm of conscience that never dieth, to prey upon him to all eternity, that he it was that betrayed the Lord of life and glory.


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert D.D. Entry for 'Judas'. Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance and Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/pmd/j/judas.html. London. 1828.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, November 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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