StoneBridge Community Church
Divine Appointments - "Judas"
Senior Pastor Jon Saur
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  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 PM

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In the "Divine Appointments" sermon series, Jesus' interactions with different characters in the Gospel of John will be examined, so that we can recognize how Jesus interacts with us in our lives.

The Text In Context

"I am telling you this strange story to make a point. In this life there are a good many things that are very difficult to understand or to explain. In our text, the disciples found it extremely difficult to comprehend what Jesus was saying when He told them that one of them was about to betray Him..."Growth Group Leaders - Further discussion may be facilitated by paying special attention to the six points that are highlighted in the conclusion.
Who was Judas Iscariot?

Judas was one of the 12 disciples and a part of Jesus' inner circle.

The name "Iscariot" could be telling us that Judas was a "zealot." This was a group of people who wanted to overthrow the government in Jesus' day. While it's possible Judas was part of this group, it's not conclusive. The name "Iscariot" likely means that Judas was from the town of "Kerioth" in southern Judea.

As the gospels tell us, Judas betrayed Jesus and handed Jesus over to be crucified. The authorities in Jesus' day wanted to arrest him, but feared the large crowds that enjoyed Jesus' teachings and signs. Judas let the authorities know when Jesus would only be with a few close disciples, so that he could be arrested without fear of a crowd.

The Gospels tell us that Judas was also a thief who would steal, while claiming he wanted to help the poor.

The Gospel of John tells us that Judas:

*Was controlled by the devil.
*Was chosen by the devil to betray Jesus.
*Was a devil himself.

In the Gospels, we don't ever hear of any redemption for Judas. Matthew tells us that Judas hanged himself. The Book of Acts tells us that Judas died on a field he'd purchased, in an accident. Judas' story is one of the more difficult ones in scripture.

Ballad of Judas

People have wrestled with what to make of Judas throughout history. Here is a link to one ballad at least as old as the 13th century, one of the oldest songs in english. It has a rather odd take on Judas - that his sister actually made him fall asleep, took the silver pieces that Jesus gave Judas to buy food and then Judas sells Jesus for thirty pieces, because he's concerned Jesus will want his silver back.
Why would Judas think Jesus wants the silver more than his life? Beats me.

Another Take on Judas #1

Here is a summary of Dante's attempt at interpreting Judas. In this interpretation, Judas is the worst of all sinners throughout history and suffers more than anybody else. In fact, the worst section of Dante' Inferno is named after Judas. So, we have writers blaming Judas' sister for his sin and we have Judas suffering more than anyone for his sins. The church has had a difficult time knowing what to do with Judas.

Another Take on Judas #2

Here is a brief article about another attempt at interpreting Judas. In 2006, a copy of a fake "Gospel" was released. After Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written and read, authors much later would try to copy them and write about characters from different perspectives. In this fake "gospel," Judas is actually Jesus' best friend and Jesus asks Judas to betray him. Jesus also tells Judas the "real" gospel. This is interesting because it shows that there were attempts to "redeem" Judas fairly early in the Church's history. This Gospel would have been written in the second, third or fourth century AD. Again, this just highlights - people reflecting on Judas' story have had a difficult time interpreting him throughout history. This story is not an actual "gospel," it is not holy scripture and it is not an accurate or appropriate take on Judas.

Another Take on Judas #3

Why did Judas do it?
After we had batted around Barclay's theory for a while, Sam thought for a moment and remarked, "Maybe Judas was throwing Jesus into the deep end of the pool, hoping he'd swim."

1. What has been your response to Judas' story? Does it make you uncomfortable?

2. If not, how have you resolved the difficulties in Judas' story?

3. What areas in your life, or in the life someone you love, seem unresolved or still in need of redemption?

4. How can you hand those areas over to Jesus? Prayer? A conversation with a trusted friend? Writing?

1. Have you seen a movie or read a book that had a sad or hard ending? How did you feel about this ending?

2. Is there something in your life that makes you feel the same way you felt about that book or movie?

3. Jesus is at work in that situation, also. How can you hand that situation to Jesus?

Our new podcast is specifically designed for worshipping on the go! Getting ready for the day? Worship on the go. Busy cooking in the kitchen? Worship on the go. Driving into work? Worship on the go. StoneBridge's NEW podcast includes scripture, the current week’s message, and two worship songs, all in 30 minutes that will elevate your day! Look for the newly branded podcast with the graphic seen above. In addition, Pastor Jon takes a deep dive into the week's message in a bonus podcast episode called StoneBridge Extras. Both are available Saturday nights @ 5:30pm.

Our next Outdoor worship service with communion will be on Sunday, March 7th. Newly added is outdoor programming for kids and youth! Register with the link provided below.

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