As a minister with 15 years of experience in Christian ministry, I have read all the bible characters and their role in the salvation were are enjoying today. One character that has stood out during this time is Judas Iscariot. I have repeatedly read verses where he has been mentioned to understand why he did what he did and if it was God’s plan. With this, you might ask, “How many times is Judas Iscariot mentioned in the bible?”
Judas Iscariot has been mentioned eleven times in the New Testament book, through the New International Version. He is mostly linked to the ministry of Jesus, as he was one of his twelve disciples. Judas Iscariot is first mentioned in the book of Matthew 10:4 when Matthew gives an account of how Jesus called his twelve disciples and what he commanded them to do.
So, join me until the end to explore more on this topic. I will explain the meaning of Judas Iscariot in the Bible, who he was according to the holy book, and what the Bible says about him. I will also explain why Jesus chose him as his disciples, among other topics.
What is the meaning of Judas Iscariot in the Bible?
According to Collins dictionary Judas Iscariot when used as a noun in the Bible, can be used to refer to the apostle that betrayed Jesus to his enemies for only thirty pieces of silver. This is recorded in Luke 22:3-6. According to Smith’s bible dictionary, Judas Iscariot is a man from the tribe of Judah who betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
Another dictionary also defines Judas Iscariot as the apostle who betrayed Jesus to the authorities for thirty silver coins. Judas in this dictionary is pronounced as (jooh-duhs i-skar-UHT)
When we read the Bible, we find that although there are different Judases’ in the Bible, the scripture usually mentions Judas Iscariot with both names to emphasize that he was the only Judah in the Bible that betrayed the messiah.
Who was Judas Iscariot, according to the Bible?
Judas Iscariot is named in the Bible as the only disciple of Jesus who turned against him and betrayed him. There is no detailed description or explanation of where Jesus found him before picking him as a disciple, as he is only mentioned in the list of the twelve disciples.
After Jesus had performed his ministry for three years and his time on earth was ending, Judas went to the chief priests and discussed with them how he was to betray Jesus. They then settled on thirty shekels of silver coins.
Judas Iscariot was then able to betray Jesus on Mount Olive. After Jesus was seized by the soldiers and handed over to Governor Pilate, Judas was overwhelmed by a sense of guilt which pushed him to commit suicide by hanging himself, as recorded in Matthew 27:1-8.
What does the Bible say about Judas Iscariot?
The Bible suggests that Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. Mark gives an account of the disciples that Jesus chose Mark 3:13-19. The disciples have been listed in this order, Simon, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James’s son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot. We can see that Judas Iscariot was mentioned as the last disciple of Jesus in this book, but it does not give us a reason why.
The Bible also implies that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Matthew 2:14-16 records that Judas agreed with the chief priests on thirty silver coins and was on the watch for the right time to hand him over to the teachers. When the last supper was over, Jesus went to the mountain to pray alongside some of his disciples. This was when Judas Iscariot arrived with a crowd of the army, walked to Jesus, and greeted him with a kiss. Judas had already alerted the army that they were to arrest the person he would kiss, as it would be Jesus, as recorded in Matthew 26:47-56.
Biblical references about Judas
Luke 6:16 says that Judas Iscariot became a traitor after being chosen by Jesus as one of his disciples.
John 6:71 implies that Judas Iscariot was the son of Simon Iscariot.
Matthew 10:4 suggests that Jesus was a disciple of Jesus who betrayed him.
John 13:26 records that Jesus gave Judas a piece of bread he had dipped in the dish, knowing very well that he would betray him.
Luke 22:3 suggests that Satan entered Judas Iscariot and went to betray Jesus to the chief priests.
Matthew 26:14 suggests Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests to plan Jesus’ betrayal.
Matthew 27:3-4 records Judas Iscariot regretting why he had betrayed innocent blood.
Mark 3:19 also suggests that Judas was among the twelve disciples of Jesus.
Mark 14:10 also suggests that Judas Iscariot approached the chief priests intending to betray Jesus.
John 13:2 suggests that the devil prompted Judas Iscariot as the last supper was in progress.
How did Jesus meet Judas Iscariot?
The Bible does not record how Jesus met Judas Iscariot, compared to how it gives a full account of how the other disciples were called. However, there have been suggestions by several scholars that Jesus met Judas Iscariot through other disciples, who most likely introduced him to Jesus.
Additionally, there are some other spiritual books written by religious scholars that speculate that Judas had been a follower of John the Baptist and saw it better to follow Jesus after the death of John. With all the speculations, it is unclear to know the exact answer on how Jesus met with Judas Iscariot.
Why did Jesus choose Judas Iscariot as a disciple?
Jesus chose Judas Iscariot because he knew that Judas perfectly fit God’s plan. The main reason God sent Jesus on earth was to die for our sins. The only way Jesus would die for our sins was if he was killed, and the first step was by being betrayed by a person from his inner circle. Jesus might have known how much Judas Iscariot loved money when choosing him as a disciple and even entrusted him with the basket of money to elevate his greed.
Jesus also chose Judas Iscariot because it was God’s intended purpose, and he had to fulfill what God had planned as suggested in 1 Peter 3:18. Ultimately, everyone involved in Jesus’ life during his time on earth had a purpose to fulfill, including Judas Iscariot.
What did Judas Iscariot do before following Jesus?
It is unclear what Judas Iscariot did for a living before deciding to follow Jesus, as the Bible does not reveal that to us. However, it is highly suggested by most bible scholars that he was likely involved with finances before his call as a disciple.
John 12:6 suggests that Judas was the group’s treasury and that he handled everything involved with money during the three-year ministry of Jesus. This scripture reveals that Judas Iscariot was the keeper of the money bag, and he would sometimes launder it to his benefit.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.