Judas had heard, observed, and fellowshiped with the Lord Jesus at close range for several years, but apparently he still had no personal relationship with Him by faith (cf. Matt. 7:21-23).  Peter undergoes the same intensity of temptation as does Judas, but with drastically different results (cf. Matt. 26:75).  Much discussion has taken place over the motives of Judas' treachery:

1. it was primarily monetary (cf. John 12:6)

2. it was primarily political (cf. William Klassen, Judas Betrayer or Friend of Jesus?)

3. it was spiritual (cf. Luke 22:3; John 6:70; 13:2,27)


On the subject of Satanic influence or demon possession (see Special Topic: The Demonic in the NT) there are several good resources (listed in the order of those I trust).

1. Merrill F. Unger, Biblical Demonology, Demons in the World Today

2. Clinton E. Arnold, Three Crucial Questions About Spiritual Warfare

3. Kurt Koch, Christian Counseling and Occultism, Demonology Past and Present

4.  C. Fred Dickason, Demon Possession and the Christian

5. John P. Newport, Demons, Demons, Demons

6. John Warwick Montgomery, Principalities and Powers


Be careful of cultural myths and superstitions.  Satan affects Peter in Matt. 16:23 to tempt Jesus in the very same way—His substitutionary death.  Satan is consistent. He is trying any way possible to stop Jesus' redemptive work on our behalf.

1. the temptation of Jesus, Luke 4

2. uses Peter

3. uses Judas and the Sanhedrin

Jesus even describes Judas as a devil in John 6:70.  The Bible does not discuss the subject of demon possession and influence as it relates to believers. But, believers are obviously affected by personal choices and personal evil (see Special Topic: Personal Evil)!

The etymology of "Iscariot" is somewhat obscure; however, there are several possibilities:

1. Kerioth, a city of Judah (cf. Jos. 15:25)

2. Kartan, a city in Galilee (cf. Jos. 21:32)

3. Karōides, a date palm grove in Jerusalem or Jericho

4. scortea, an apron or leather bag (cf. John 13:29)

5. ascara, strangling (Hebrew) from Matt. 27:5

6. an assassin's knife (Greek), meaning he was a Zealot like Simon (cf. Luke 6:15)


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