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Sermon Series: The 12 Apostles of Jesus

Sermon Number 5

Judas Iscariot

Link to the other sermon Manuscripts for the 12 Apostle Series:


Is There a Limit to God’s Grace?
A sermon on Judas Iscariot
based on Matthew 26:14-16;
27:3-5; Luke 22:3-6
by Rev. Frank Schaefer

Today I’m going to preach about Judas Iscariot, a subject I have never dared to tackle until I started this sermon series on the 12 apostles. 

My first challenge was that I felt that Judas could not be lumped together with any other disciple in the series. But that’s OK because I felt the same way about Thomas (who has his own day of commemoration on the second day of Easter) for different reasons. So instead of a 6-part sermon, I am able to present a 7-part series that stretches from Lent 1 to Easter 2.

My second challenge was when to preach this sermon. After some deliberation, I decided that Good Friday was the perfect time to talk about the one who betrayed our Lord.

Good Friday is the saddest day on the church calendar anyway, it’s when we hit rock bottom, and we can’t go lower than rock bottom.

I would like to make a statement right up front about Judas’s betrayal; to be fair, he was not the only one who betrayed Jesus, he may have been the one who literally sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, but figuratively speaking, all of the other disciples with the exception of John left Jesus, denied him and betrayed him in some way.

And if we’re going to be perfectly honest, we too have betrayed our Lord before, figuratively speaking. We have turned out backs to him, ran away from his purpose, have disobeyed his laws, and broken our promises.  We have to be careful not to make Judas our scapegoat. It always seems easier to point to someone else’s guilt and say: “at least I am not like this person” than to confess our own shortcomings to God.

What can be said about Judas that conveys in some way the good news of Jesus Christ? Where is the gospel in the Judas story?

Let’s review the events surrounding Jesus’ betrayal:

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Handout: Historic Overview (Downloads in Adobe format):

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