Is There a Limit to God’s Grace?
A sermon on Judas Iscariot
based on Matthew 26:14-16;
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
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
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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