Why did Judas betray Jesus? (Part 1)

Judas isn’t a popular name. According to data from the Social Security Administration, there have been approximately 429 baby boys named Judas in the United States since 1880. To put that in perspective, there have been about 351 million births since 1880. It’s the 18,102nd most common name, i.e. not common.

Of course, there’s a pretty good reason for this. Here’s the first verse in each gospel that mentions Judas (the first three are references to Judas in the list of Jesus’ apostles):

[…] and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Matthew 10:4

[…] and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mark 3:19

[…] and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. Luke 6:16

He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him. John 6:71

Not a great tag line, huh? Without a doubt, this is what Judas is known for. Yet I think it’s easy to see Judas as a caricature. “Oh, there’s Judas again. Look at him, the traitor. Stinks to be him!” Yet Judas was a person just like you and me, with desires, dreams, struggles, relationships, etc. A bit of this comes out when we see him filled with remorse in Matthew 27 when he throws the money back at the chief priests and elders. He was a real guy who lived with Jesus for 3 years, and I’m pretty confident that he didn’t start following Jesus with the intent to betray him.

Desmond the Moon Bear

So, why did he do it? Why did Judas betray Jesus?

Good luck, folks. I’ll post my thoughts next week.

If you find the end of this post profoundly unsatisfying, you probably should take a look at this post for context.

Edit: you can read part 2 here.