By Kelly Wise Valdes
Judas Iscariot, the twelfth apostle of Jesus Christ, was quick to seek an order of protection after allegations of his betrayal over the weekend. It is reported that Iscariot was paid 30 pieces of silver to lead authorities to arrest Jesus.
Iscariot was born in Kerioth, a small town in southern Judea. When he was young, his family moved to Jericho, where he lived and had been employed in his father’s various business enterprises until he became interested in the preaching and work of John the Baptist. Judas’s parents were Sadducees, and when their son became a Christian, they disowned him.
Iscariot was seeking employment with a fish-drying enterprise at the lower end of the Sea of Galilee when he was asked by Disciple Nathaniel to join the other Apostles. He was thirty years old and unmarried at the time. Iscariot was thought to be the best-educated man among the twelve and the only Judean.
However, according to Peter, Iscariot had no outstanding trait of personal strength. “He was a good thinker but not always a truly honest thinker,” said Peter.
Andrew appointed Judas treasurer, a position in which he was exceptional. “Up to the time of the betrayal of Jesus he took the responsibilities of his office honestly, faithfully and most efficiently,” said Andrew. “He was good business man. It was difficult to manage the financial affairs of such an idealist as Jesus, as well as managing the helter-skelter business methods of some of the Apostles. Judas really was a great executive and a stickler for organization.”
Many believers are still speculating as to why Iscariot would betray his Master for 30 pieces of silver. Some family members speculate that he was a product of a non-believing family. “Judas was an only son of atheist parents,” explained his cousin Ishmael of Canaan.”
Iscariot had disclosed to some of his relatives and to certain friends of his father’s family that he had reached the conclusion that, while Jesus was a well-meaning dreamer and idealist, he was not the Messiah.
According to witnesses at the scene, Iscariot carried through with his plan and led the soldiers to arrest Jesus. It was nighttime, and the soldiers told Iscariot to enter the garden where Jesus was praying and kiss him on the forehead. The kiss was the sign that allowed the soldiers to quickly apprehend Jesus. The eleven Apostles were horrified and stunned.
Jesus inspired 12 ordinary men to leave their old lives behind and become followers of Him. Among these new followers were fishermen, a tax collector and a revolutionary. The Gospels record the failings, struggles and doubts of these twelve men who followed Jesus. This series will document one of the disciples each month in a fun way in order to learn more about how God turned each man from ordinary to extraordinary.