Judas Iscariot in the Last Supper

The Life of Judas Iscariot from the Holy Bible

Little is known about the life of Jesus’ famous betrayer Judas Iscariot. There is no known information on his birth or life much before he became an apostle of Jesus. However, unlike the other 11 apostles, he was probably from Judea -- his name gives suggestion to this possibility. An interpretation of “Iscariot” is “man of Karioth”, which was a city in Judea. This makes Judas the only Judean in Jesus’ group as the rest were from Galilee.

It seems as though the Judas’ only purpose in life was to betray Jesus, and thus fulfill Biblical prophecy because hardly anything is mentioned about him in the Gospels except stories of his betrayal. For three years he was part of the group of disciples of Jesus, yet nothing specific is recorded of his work, or how he because an apostle. It is hardly likely that he joined the group only in order to betray Jesus, but rather was overcome by greed, selfishness, and the devil in the end. Judas did not join Jesus’ group of disciples, but rather was called and chosen by Jesus. This further supports the notion that Judas was called to fulfill prophecy, as Jesus knew he would betray Him even before calling him. Judas participated fully in the group of apostles, healing the sick and feeding the hungry. He’s even referred to as Jesus’ close and trusted friend. He was also in charge of carrying the disciples’ money box, in other words he was their treasurer.

During the Last Supper when Jesus talks to His disciples of His imminent death, and gives them instructions for what to do afterwards, He reveals that He will be betrayed by one of them. They all deny it, and wonder who, and ask Jesus to reveal the traitor. Jesus hands a piece of bread to Judas which signifies that he is the one. He tells Judas to do what he is going to do quickly, but none of the other disciples understood. It is also suggested the at this point Satan enter Judas, although other accounts say Satan entered Judas before when he offered his services to the priests. Judas, knowing full well that Jesus knows what he’s going to do, leaves and goes to the high priests.

The high priests and teachers of the law were looking for a way to bring Jesus into custody without upsetting the people, and Judas fell into their hands. He approached them, offered to help them get Jesus, and they in turn bribed him with thirty pieces of silver for his betrayal. Realizing it was a good time to turn Jesus in, he went to alert the priests and teachers. He led the temple guard to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was praying, and identified Him with a kiss, a predetermined sign. The soldiers seized Jesus and took Him away to the priests.

There are two different accounts of what happened to Judas after his betrayal, but in both explanations he returns the money, overcome by guilt and remorse. He died by either hanging himself or falling down in a field, body burst, and bowels gushed out. If the authorities threw his body into the field after he hung himself, this could have been the result, thus both are accurate. The referred to field was supposedly bought with the thirty coins Judas received, either by Judas himself, or the authorities, and was later used for burying foreigners or strangers. Although not much is known about Judas’ life, his one final act secured his place in history, and even to this day, his name is synonymous with betrayal and traitor.