Sermons

Judas, Wrong Focus

Sun, Mar 31, 2019
Teacher: Mark Hull
Passage: Luke 22:1-6
Duration:25 mins 6 secs

Message text

Judas, Wrong Focus
Luke 22:1 – 6

There was a little boy with a bad temper. One day his father gave him a bag of nails, and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He had discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy did not lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It will not matter how many times you say 'I am sorry', the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."

Friends are very rare jewels, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
• The heart, it is a funny thing it is at times a complicated thing.
• The heart is what drives us, it pumps the blood through our body that gives us life.
• From a symbolic standpoint, the heart is the seat of our emotions.
• When we speak of someone who perseveres through adversity, we say they have heart.
• When we are hurt badly by someone or a situation, we say that we are heartbroken.
• We use the heart as a symbol of love.
• When we have compassion for some, we are said to have a heart for them.
• When we weaken under the pressure of a situation, we are said to lack the heart we need to make it.
• When we stand firm, we are said to have a strong heart, when we wilt, we have a weak heart.
• If we are a callous person who does not care, we are told we have a hard heart.
• Many things happen to the heart, anywhere from having the determination represented by a strong heart, to melting like a snowflake when the pressure is on represented by a weak or faint heart.
• There is something else that can happen to the heart, it can drift.
• In this series entitled A Drifting Heart, we are examining some the reasons that would open up your heart to drift away from Jesus.
• Today we will focus our thoughts on Judas.
• Judas offers us a look at how a wrong focus can cause one's heart to drift away from Jesus.
• Additionally, when we have a wrong focus, it can cause one to drift from their marriage, and family as well.
• Let’s turn to Luke 22:1-6. This passage is the one where Judas finally sells out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
• Let's examine what happens when our focus is placed in the wrong place!
• Luke 22:1–2 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called Passover. 2 And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might kill Him, for they feared the people.
I. The wrong focus opens the heart to bad ideas.
• The religious leaders had been upset with Jesus for some time now, they were continually seeking ways to trap Him so that they could erode His popularity.
• The religious leaders were jealous, they were humiliated time after time as they continued to try to make Jesus look bad.
• Now we are in the final days of Jesus’ ministry, the Jewish leaders were at a breaking point, they needed to find a way to dispose of Jesus once and for all.
• The problem for them was it was Passover time or the Festival of Unleavened Bread.
• The Feast of Unleavened Bread was a week-long celebration during the month of Nisan (usually in March), during which the Passover meal was celebrated.
• All males I believe from age 12 up were required to come, so the crowds were massive in Jerusalem.
• The religious leaders as verse 2 tell us, were afraid to stir up a riot since Jesus was popular with the masses.
• The leaders were watching for an opportunity to put Him to death without causing their own death.
• Now we go to Judas.
• Judas was one of the original twelve that Jesus picked to be his disciples and later were to be His apostles.
• We do not know a ton about Judas. He MAY have been a Zealot. A Zealot was in basic terms a nationalist who wanted to get Israel out from under Roman rule and were prepared to fight to do it.
• Nonetheless, Jesus picked Judas to be one of the original twelve.
• One has to think that Judas began his time as a disciple with some excitement.
• He got to spend a great deal of time with Jesus, he got to eat with Jesus, walk with Jesus, he was able to get first-hand teaching from Jesus.
• Somewhere along the line, something changed with Judas.
• How do you go from being picked by Jesus to be one of His closest followers to what he was about to do?
• At some point, Judas had a different agenda than Jesus. IF he was a zealot, maybe he hoped that Jesus was going to kick the Romans out of Israel and reestablish the prominence of Israel once again, to restore the nation to its formal glory?
• Whatever his issue was, it is safe to say he was not focused on the true teaching and vision of Jesus.
• Judas was the treasurer of the group, so he handled all the money that Jesus had.
• In John 12:4-6 we find that John states that Judas was stealing from the money box.
• We can see some signs that Judas has a wrong focus in this passage.
• Jesus was at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus when Mary poured perfume on the feet of Jesus.
• John 12:4–6 4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 5 “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for [a]three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.
• He did not care about the poor, he cared about money according to John.
• So Judas had the wrong focus, and that wrong focus opened his heart to some bad ideas.
• When your focus is not in the right place, it can open the door for you to consider making some bad choices.
• If you are not focused on your spouse, all the sudden the lousy idea of cheating on the one you have may become a possibility.
• We watched a British Crime series on Netflix where a man was upset that this boss did not seem to value him and as well as not giving him a raise he needed to send his child to a private school.
• So, he was open to the idea of being involved in the kidnapping of the older daughter, so he could get back at the boss and get the money he wanted for his younger child’s private school tuition.
• Think about some of the dumb things we did in life, when we look back the ideas were dumb, but why were they not dumb to us at the time, it is because our focus was in the wrong place, so bad ides look good.
• This leads to something worse.
• Luke 22:3 3 Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.
II. The wrong focus presents an opportunity for Satan to enter.
• Now Judas is at a breaking point, Some point to the event at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus as the breaking point.
• Nonetheless, Judas is so out of whack, that Satan seizes the opening.
• Satan’s part in the betrayal of Jesus does not remove any of the responsibility from Judas. Disillusioned because Jesus was talking about dying rather than about setting up his kingdom, Judas may have been trying to force Jesus’ hand and make him use his power to prove he was the Messiah.
• Or possibly, Judas, not understanding Jesus’ mission, no longer believed that Jesus was God’s chosen one. Whatever Judas thought, Satan assumed that Jesus’ death would end Jesus’ mission and thwart God’s plan.
• Like Judas, Satan did not know that Jesus’ death and resurrection were the most important parts of God’s plan all along.
• When our focus is not in its proper place, we are open to bad ideas, and once our heart and mind are open to bad ideas, the door is propped wide open for Satan to enter the picture.
• When your focus in life is not right your heart will drift.
• I would imagine that Judas did not go into the Apostle thing thinking he was going to ultimately betray Jesus.
• I think he loved him and was excited to be with him.
• He was trusted, as shown by being the one who handled the money box for the group.
• I am sure for a long time, following Jesus was great; however, over time, his heart slowing drifted away.
• He had an agenda that was not the same as Jesus and that gap, that improper focus, led him to open to Satan entering into the picture with him.
• It was probably a slow drift.
• When I deal with problem marriages, the heart of one or both slowly drifts away from each other.
• One day, you do not wake up and just hate your spouse; usually, your heart has been drifting slowing away.
• Then as your heart drifts, you pull your investment, and then bad things start happening.
• The grass looks greener on the other side.
• Let’s look at verses 4-6.

• Luke 22:4–6 4 So he went his way and conferred with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray Him to them. 5 And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. 6 So he promised and sought opportunity to betray Him to them in the absence of the multitude.
III. The wrong focus leads the heart down the path of destruction.
• Once Judas opened the door to Satan, Judas’ heart was led down the path of destruction.
• Judas heads over to the Chief Priest and temple police to discuss how he could hand Jesus over to them.
• Judas was going to give the religious leaders a gift they had not expected, they were going to get Jesus without starting a riot!
• Judas agrees to sell out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver according to Matthew 26:15. 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
• Now, this sounds like a lot of money, but it actually was not.
• This was a relatively measly sum, being only about two- or three months' wages for an unskilled laborer or the price for injuring a common slave (Exodus 21:32). 32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.
• Judas could have embezzled considerably more than that over time by remaining the treasurer of the group.
• The heart of Judas drifted so far from Jesus that he sold Jesus out for the measly sum of 30 pieces of silver.
• Judas sowed his own seeds of destruction for about two months’ worth of common labor money.
• Skipping ahead, after Jesus was eventually arrested and was being beaten and finally crucified, Judas has a change of heart.

• Matthew 27:3–5 3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
• Judas sold out his soul for 30 pieces of silver. Judas allowed his heart to drift so far away from Jesus that he ended his own life in shame.
• In your life, what were you willing to sell out your husband, wife, children, friends, family, your very soul for?
• What were your 30 pieces of silver?
CONCLUSION
• How do I protect my heart from drifting? This week we learn that we need to make sure our heart is focused on the right thing, and that right thing is Jesus Christ!
• If you are having trouble in your life, quit placing your focus on what you perceive is the problem, focus on Jesus and ask Him to fight the battle with you and for you!
• Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:21, where your treasure is, your heart will also be.
• Where your investment is, your heart will also be!
• Invest your heart into Jesus, invest your heart into your family and see what miracles Jesus can perform in your life!
• In life, when there are issues in the marriage, focus on Jesus, focus on seeing your spouse as Jesus does, focus on treating them as Jesus would treat them.
• Trust Jesus to work the miracle you are seeking, just maybe that change you so desperately are asking for in the other person will happen in you.
• Keep your focus or risk seeing your heart drift away.

Based on a sermon given
By Jeffrey Anselmi

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