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Matthew 26:17-25



Sunday Morning Sermon

May 3, 1998

Fair Avenue Baptist Church



Here in our text we have a story dealing with Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Christ.  The more I read about this man the more I am disturbed.


The more I read, the more I think about 20th century Christians.


Let’s think about the life of Judas for a few minutes.


He was chosen by Jesus Christ to be one of the original twelve apostles.  He was chosen to be one of the men that would get to spend the majority of their time with the Lord.


What a privilege!  To be chosen by Jesus!


He had been with Jesus and the other apostles for several years.  They had eaten together ... traveled together ... spent much time together.


Can you imagine what it would have been like to sit around a campfire (John 21:9) and talk and eat and fellowship with Jesus?


He had seen all the miracles.  He was there when Jesus walked on the water.




Judas had heard all the preaching and teaching.  I’m sure that from time to time the apostles would take groups and preach or teach them.


He had seen all the people saved.  I’m sure that there were times when people came to the apostles and asked questions about Jesus and about salvation.  Judas was there.


He had seen the people healed of their diseases.  He had seen the lame walk and the blind see.  I’m sure he was there when blind Bartimaeus received his sight.


He had even seen people raised from the dead.  He probably helped get Lazarus out of the grave clothes after Jesus raised him from the dead.




Judas had been a part of it all,

He had seen it all,

He had even participated in it.


In fact, in Mark 3:14, 19, we are told that Judas was ordained by Jesus Himself.


But, back to our text in Matthew 26:22 where the apostles asked, “Lord, is it I?”


Jesus told them that one of them would betray Him and they all asked, “Lord, is it I?”


Peter had been around Judas,



James, the brother of John,


Nathanael, also called Bartholomew,


Thaddeus, also called Jude,

James, son of Alpheas,




All eleven of them had been with Judas.


They had talked with him,

fellowshipped with him,

eaten with him,

sat around a campfire with him,

preached with him,

traveled with him,

worked with him,



Notice the response of each and every one of them, “Lord, is it I?”


You would have thought that at least one of the other eleven would have suspected something about Judas in a three year period.


Surely an unsaved man would have shown his true colors at least once in a three plus year period.


Surely, somewhere, somehow, sometime, Judas would have slipped up and shown his true nature, his true self.


But the truth is that Judas had everyone fooled, everyone, that is, except the Lord.


Over a period of three plus years, Judas had been right there with the other eleven, and yet no one suspected him.


WHY?  Because he was a master deceiver.




I wonder how many people today are unsaved yet in church?


I wonder how many people,

in church,

see the blessings of God,

but they are unsaved.


They have fooled everyone around them.


You’ve known them for years.

They’ve been to church,

Sang in the choir,

Kept the nursery,

Sang a special,

Gave a special offering,

Helped in Vacation Bible School,

Gone to the altar and prayed,


Yet, they are unsaved.




I wonder how many people are like Judas and have everyone fooled.


You say, “Preacher, how do you know that Judas was unsaved?”


Take your Bibles and turn to two passages, Luke 22:3 and John 6:70.


Luke 22:3, “Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot,being of the number of the twelve.”


Satan cannot enter into a saved person.


John 6:70, “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?”


You can’t be a saved person and be a devil.


Judas was unsaved,

Never had been saved,

Never was going to be saved,

Had no desire to be saved,


He had done it for over three years.


He fooled the skeptic Peter,

He fooled the other guys.

He even fooled John.


He had them all asking themselves, “Lord, is it I?”


Those other apostles thought Jesus was talking about them.  It hurt them for Jesus to say that.


“And they were exceeding sorrowful”


Judas was a master deceiver.


And so are so many people in our churches today.




They attend church,

Sing the hymns,

Put in an offering,

Go through all the motions,

Know when to say “Amen,”

Carry a Bible,

Look the part,


But they have never trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.


Yes, they know God, but so did Judas.


Yes, they even serve the Lord, but so did Judas.


Yes, they know the songs,

they know the motions,

they know the part,


But, somewhere, deep down inside, they know their relationship with the Lord isn’t right.


They are struggling with bitterness,

Struggling with anger.


Somewhere, deep down inside, in the darkest corner of their hearts, they know they are just playing around.


They wonder why they don’t have any real joy and happiness.


They know something is not right.


I’m convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt, absolutely no doubt in my mind, that our churches today are filled with people just like Judas.


They look, act, talk, and walk like they are on their way to heaven.


They have everyone fooled.




The truth is that it is very hard to separate the saved from the unsaved.


Peter couldn’t do it with Judas,

Neither could the other apostles.


Matthew, whom the Holy Spirit of God inspired to write one of the books of the New Testament, he didn’t know.


Nor did John, whom God used to write The Book of the Revelation.


But Judas knew.

He knew it when he asked the same question, “Master, is it I?” (V. 25)


He knew,

and so do you.

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