March 5, 2024

The Judas Lessons: Meet Judas Iscariot

Grow. Pray. Study. (GPS)

Sermon: The Judas Lessons: Meet Judas Iscariot
Scripture: Luke 6:12-16

“12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.” (NIV)

Thursday, 2.29.24 Luke 6:12-16
After spending an entire night in prayer, Jesus chose Judas. This cannot be overstated. When handpicking His 12 disciples, Jesus selected Judas, the one who would betray Him. If anyone else had done the selecting, it could be written off as a simple mistake or a case of poor judgment. But we cannot forget that Jesus has the ability to know what is in someone’s heart (see Mark 2:8). Therefore, since Jesus chose Judas knowing what was in His heart, He undoubtedly saw something in him that was worth pursuing, worth saving. This is an encouraging word to you today. Jesus knows what is in your heart, even the things for which you are deeply ashamed. And yet, He chooses you all the same. Why? Because there is something inside you worth saving. Today, take joy in the fact that Jesus does not give up on you.

Friday, 3.1.24 Luke 6:17-26
Immediately after choosing His twelve disciples, Jesus begins disciple-orientation for his newly-picked students. Judas, of course, would have been listening to Jesus’ words during this lesson (which we will be exploring over the next few days). Remember that many believe Judas may have been a part of, or at least heavily influenced by a group called the Zealots. This aggressive, often violent group was driven by a hatred of Rome and its oppressive rule over the Jewish people. Now, if driven by a hatred of Rome and its oppressive rule over the Jewish people. Now, if Judas was a part of this group, it is possible that he viewed Jesus as the one who would overthrow Rome. Knowing this, how would Judas have heard Jesus’ words?

Saturday, 3.2.24 Luke 6:27-36
Like the zealots of which Judas may have been a part, we are all prone to seek revenge and justice. But Jesus’ lesson to His new disciples is the opposite—love your enemies, pray for them, bless them, do to your enemies what they don’t deserve. Sometimes Christians are pretty lousy at following Jesus’ words here, choosing wrath instead of mercy. Yet, Jesus insists that the world will know His followers by the way they love. Today, let love be the defining mark of your life.

Sunday, 3.3.24 Luke 6:37-42
Perhaps the biggest temptation the zealots faced was to dehumanize Romans. It’s always easier to treat someone badly when you forget that they are God’s children, too. Jesus reminds His disciples here that they are not to judge others. Instead, He urges them to treat others as they would like to be treated. Want to be forgiven? Then forgive others. Want to be blessed? Then bless others. Focus on the sin in your own life before you focus on the sin of another. Because, chances are, you aren’t all that different from the person you hate. How would doing this change your life? Or, change the world around you?

Monday, 3.4.24 Luke 6:43-45
This brief passage holds major weight for Jesus’ followers. The reason we look at the sin in our own lives instead of judging the sins of our neighbors is simple: what is inside our hearts and lives will come out. Some say sin is a wrong action. That’s incorrect, according to this passage. Sin is the fruit of a bad heart! So, simply pruning off the bad action (or fruit) doesn’t solve the problem. You have to get to the “root” of the problem… your heart. Today, spend some time exploring your heart, searching it for sin and temptation. How will you address the sinful thoughts residing in your heart?

Tuesday, 3.5.24 Luke 6:46-49               

Tuesday 3.5.24 GPS Video

In a mere chapter, Jesus describes the core of Christianity. Love others, live mercifully toward them, and do good even (especially) when they don’t deserve it. This is how you please God, and this is how you build a life worth living. To close, Jesus tells His disciples that failure to live like this will result in catastrophe, like a house that collapses. In other words, your relationships will break down. Your life will feel unfulfilled. You’ll find you have don’t have the steady foundation you need to make it through tough times in life. Because He knows this, Jesus urges His disciples to live the kind of love He preaches. Certainly a hard teaching for any of us! How do you think His disciples would have heard this teaching, especially Judas?

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