Humble Hero


How Judas Lost His Soul

The history of Judas presents the sad ending of a life that could have been honored by God. If Judas had died before his last journey to Jerusalem, he would have been thought of as worthy of a place among the Twelve, one who would be greatly missed. The abhorrence that has followed him through the centuries would not have existed. But his character was revealed to the world as a warning to all who would betray sacred trusts. HH 329.1

Since the feast at the house of Simon, Judas had had opportunity to reflect on the deed he had agreed to perform, but his decision was unchanged. He sold the Lord of glory for the price of a slave. HH 329.2

By his nature Judas had a strong love for money, but he had not always been corrupt enough to do something like this. He had nurtured the spirit of greed until it had become stronger than his love for Christ. Through one vice he gave himself to Satan, who would drive him to any lengths in sin. HH 329.3

Judas had joined the disciples when the crowds were following Christ. He witnessed the Savior’s mighty works in healing the sick, casting out devils, and raising the dead. He recognized the teaching of Jesus as superior to everything that he had ever heard. He felt a desire to be changed in character, and he hoped to experience this through connecting himself with Jesus. HH 329.4

The Savior did not reject Judas. He gave him a place among the Twelve and granted him power to heal the sick and cast out devils. But Judas did not surrender himself fully to Christ. He did not give up his worldly ambition or his love of money. He did not allow God to shape his life, but cultivated a frame of mind to criticize and accuse. HH 329.5

Judas had great influence over the disciples. He had a high opinion of his own qualifications, and he considered his fellow disciples as greatly inferior to himself. Judas told himself, with satisfaction, that the church would often come into embarrassment if it were not for his ability as a manager. In his own estimation he was an honor to the cause, and this is how he always presented himself. HH 329.6

Christ placed him where he would have opportunity to see and correct his weakness of character, but Judas indulged his desire for money. The small amounts that came into his hands were a continual temptation. When he did some small service for Christ, he paid himself out of this meager fund. In his own eyes these false reasons excused his action, but in God’s sight he was a thief. HH 329.7

Judas had marked out a course of action that he expected Christ to follow. He had planned that Jesus would deliver John the Baptist from prison. But John remained there and was beheaded. And Jesus, instead of avenging John’s death, went away into a country location. Judas wanted more aggressive warfare. He thought that if only Jesus would not prevent the disciples from carrying out their schemes, the work would be more successful. He saw Jesus leave the Jewish leaders’ challenge unanswered when they demanded that He show them a sign from heaven. Judas’s heart was open to disbelief, and the enemy provided thoughts of rebellion. Why did Jesus predict trial and persecution for Himself and His disciples? Were Judas’s hopes for a high place in the kingdom to be disappointed? HH 330.1