Judas Iscariot

National Association of Christian Ministers Summary Series

Judas Iscariot is a prominent figure in the New Testament of the Bible, known primarily for his role as the betrayer of Jesus Christ. Here is a biography of Judas Iscariot, along with relevant scriptural citations:

Early Life and Apostleship:

Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples chosen by Jesus to be His closest followers and to spread His teachings. He is commonly believed to be from the town of Kerioth, which is why he is referred to as “Iscariot” (John 6:71).

The Betrayal of Jesus:

Judas’ betrayal of Jesus is one of the most significant events in the New Testament. Judas agreed to hand Jesus over to the chief priests in exchange for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16).

The Last Supper:

During the Last Supper, Jesus revealed that one of His disciples would betray Him. When asked directly if he was the one, Judas replied, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” (Matthew 26:25, ESV).

Betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane:

Following the Last Supper, Jesus went to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas led a group of soldiers and officials to arrest Jesus and identified Him by greeting Him with a kiss (Matthew 26:47-49).

Remorse and Suicide:

After the betrayal, Judas felt remorse for what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” However, they callously dismissed his regret (Matthew 27:3-4).

Fate of the Thirty Pieces of Silver:

The chief priests used the returned money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners, fulfilling a prophecy from the prophet Jeremiah (Matthew 27:5-10).

Death of Judas:

Filled with guilt and despair, many hold that Judas hanged himself (Matthew 27:5).  However, there is some theological debate about this matter.

Replacement of Judas:

After Judas’ death, the remaining eleven disciples decided to choose a replacement to restore the number of apostles to twelve. They cast lots, and Matthias was chosen to replace Judas as an apostle (Acts 1:15-26).

Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus and subsequent tragic end serve as a reminder of the complex human nature and the consequences of choices made under temptation and misguided intentions. His story is a prominent lesson about the importance of moral responsibility and the impact of one’s actions.