John 3: 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
To outline this verse I would do something like this:
- God loved GRACE
- God gave
- We trust FAITH
- We receive
I used the word trust instead of believe to emphasize the meaning of the original language. In common usage "believe" has come to mean "I think", and that is not the faith that saves. Trust includes conviction "I am a sinner", repentance "Lord free me from sin". Trusting Christ for salvation eliminates trusting in anything else, it is exclusive. We come to God empty handed. Ephesians 2:8 says by Grace are ye saved through faith. Titus 2: 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men .
This is the part that is hard for us to understand, though God's grace had "appeared" to all men, not all will repent, and believe. Today we will study a man who stared into the very face of Grace and turned to Satan instead of God.
What do all these names have in common?
- Marcus Brutus (Roman senator who plotted to kill Julius Caesar, his uncle)
- Julius and Ethel Rosenberg (sold nuclear secrets to the USSR)
- Benedict Arnold (American general who tried to give Fort West Point to England)
- Aldrich Ames (CIA agent who sold agent lists to the USSR)
- Judas Iscariot
Matthew 26 (Also Mark 14, Luke 22, John 18)
Betrayal and Arrest in Gethsemane
47 And while He was still speaking, behold, Judas, one of the twelve, with a great multitude with swords and clubs, came from the chief priests and elders of the people.
[For all his infamy relatively little is known of Judas Iscariot. Judas is the Greek form of Jude or Judah. Most believe Iscariot identifies Judas as being from a city in Judah called Kerioth. So unlike the other disciples Judas was not from Galilee. We learned from the anointing at Bethany that Judas was the treasurer for Jesus disciples, and that he stole from the bag that he was keeping for Jesus. Luke 22 tells us that after the anointing at Bethany that "Satan entered Judas" then he made his conspiracy to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. The price of a common slave was given to Judas, who then promised to betray Jesus, when he was away from the crowds, because the priests fear an uprising of the people. Then after the Lords supper, while Jesus went to pray in the garden, Judas went to his co-conspirators to tell them this was the time to take Jesus. In fact during his prayer in John 17:12 Jesus called Judas the "son of Perdition", which means destruction or damnation.]
48 Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him." 49 Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed Him.
[Mark tells is Judas came with a great multitude carrying swords and clubs. Judas gives the signal, the kiss and greeting of respect, became a sign of betrayal. Isaiah 29:13 says these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me]
50 But Jesus said to him, "Friend, why have you come?" Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him.
[Kind of strange that Jesus, knowing the betrayal of Judas, still called him friend. Maybe even at this late hour Jesus wanted to redeem him, perhaps get him to think about what he had done. But the signal had already been given, so they took Jesus.]
51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.
[Luke tells us one of his disciples asked if they should fight back with swords, but John tells us Peter struck before Jesus answered. How often we forget the power of God and try to face problems in our own strength. But the heavily armed mob would easily overcome the few disciples with swords.]
52 But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"
[As usual Peter did not understand. First Jesus had another purpose for Peters life, not to die with a sword in his hand, but to preach with love in his heart, to be a fisher of men, skillfully wielding the gospel of peace. Secondly Jesus had a much greater army available, the angels of heaven who were just a prayer away of Jesus had asked for them. But the third reason is most important; Jesus was fulfilling his purpose and fulfilling scripture:
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. ]
55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled."
Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
[Even though Jesus was fulfilling prophecy, he still judged the actions and motives of those who conspired against him. He rebuked them for treating him like a robber, and for their cowardice of taking him at night, when he taught openly each day. Zechariah 13:7 says "strike the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered", and we see that here. Once Jesus was taken, all his disciples ran away. Jesus would face alone, the judgment for our sin.]