Day 3: Judas Iscariot

Devotional by Shauna Wallace

Read Matthew 26:46-56

Matthew 26:46-56

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane

46 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” 47 While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” 49 And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. 50 Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. 51 And behold, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” 55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. 56 But all this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples left him and fled.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The ESV text may not be quoted in any publication made available to the public by a Creative Commons license. The ESV may not be translated in whole or in part into any other language.


Judas makes me uncomfortable. I want to peg his flaw as blindness to his atrocity, because how does a disciple, one of the twelve, a friend who had a seat at the table with Jesus and managed the ministry’s money, become memorialized as Jesus’ betrayer?

For three years, he walked with Jesus and saw a lot of the things he did. When he and his armed cohort of Jesus’ religious enemies approached Jesus in the Garden—a place Judas knew, “for Jesus often met there with his disciples” (John 18:2)—he greeted Jesus as Rabbi, then planted the kiss of death on Jesus’ face. It was the sign that sealed the deal he’d already made with the devil (see John 13:2 and 27), and it betrayed the truth about him.

That’s what betrayals do. They reveal the truth, and they start long before the acts that make them known. They start with our affections.

Judas may have looked the part of a Jesus follower, but he was an indignant thief who didn’t care about the poor (see Matthew 22:8 and John 12:4-6). He dipped his hand in the money bag long before he dipped it in the bowl with Jesus at the Last Supper, the very thing Jesus used to identify him as “My betrayer” (Matthew 26:46). Judas feared man and loved money, affections we may deem relatively harmless, along with ours. But here’s another truth: seemingly harmless affections eventually lead to painful betrayals.

Maybe you don’t struggle with fear of man or love of money. I do. Maybe you are honest and care for the poor. I’m not always great at this. Regardless of what may divide our loyalty to Jesus, we can all learn from Judas and from Jesus’ sobering words to His disciples after the Lord’s Supper just prior to the Garden scene: “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered’” (Matthew 26:31).

All fall away and go astray to our own way (see Isaiah 53:6).

They did.

We do.

When Judas called Jesus, “Rabbi” (or teacher), he left out, “Lord”. Judas’ kiss was the outward evidence of his inward loyalty to another master. Jesus may be a lot of things to us. If He is Lord, He desires and deserves to be our single affection. Lord of all.


  1. Is Jesus your Lord and master—is He Lord of all the affections of your heart?
  2. What affections trump your allegiance to Christ, even in ways the devil wants you to consider harmless?
  3. By the power of the Holy Spirit, what is one way you could surrender one of your divided affections to Jesus today?

Pray This

Lord, I am humbled by Judas and how alike we are. I am of all who fall away, and when my affections pledge allegiance to the world and its things, I am vulnerable to painful betrayals. Just like Judas. It could have been me who planted a kiss on Jesus’ face while I kicked up my heel against Him. But by Your grace, you saved me, redeemed me, and started a work in me that You are faithful to finish to the end. Please forgive me for the ways I have betrayed You or harmed others, and help me as I forgive those whose divided affections have hurt me. Lord, my heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Please forgive me for the wickedness in my own heart and accept the words of David in Psalm 19:12-13 as the cry of my heart today:

28 thoughts on “Judas Iscariot | Holy Week 2023

    1. Not here on earth. I believe things would have very different. Life would be different. We may have still be living like the 3rd world countries. Praise our Heavenly Father for his mercy and grace. Thank You for your compassion and forgiveness.,Thank for sending Jesus. Without Jesus, where would I be? I don’t care I’m just happy Jesus is a big part of my life.

  1. I am grateful for the greatest example of humility, obedience, and transparency coupled with faith. Thank you Jesus for showing me how to live out my calling.

  2. Thank you for my prayer group, because I can be transparent with them. They know me and I can ask for prayer when I fee I can’t. I really grateful for them.

  3. Is the correct devotional missing for day #3 because I think this is the same one from yesterday?

    1. Sorry about that, we had an issue this morning posting wrong devotional but have corrected it. Thank you.

  4. Thank Lord Jesus, that you made it possible for me to come in
    prayer anytime without calling. Prayer is and will be a priority
    in my life.

    1. Lord thank you for taking away all my sins. Lord no one can take your place from me. I will praise you and always be loyal to you. 🙏🏻🙌🏻✝💜

  5. Thank you lord for your grace and comfort when my affection is divided between you and the world. What a devotion this morning as I surrender my sins to the all powerful lord of heaven and earth, who loves me so much that he died for my sins and transgressions.

  6. Lord God, please forgive me for any betrayal I have committed against You. Please remove anything that takes my love and affection away from You. Help me to recognize these things and to give You Your rightful place on the throne of my life today and forever. Make me Your faithful servant and do not allow me to fall away from You. You are my Savior and Lord and I am so grateful for Jesus and His obedience even to death. I truly love you and my heart’s desire is to give You alone all praise and honor. And all my love.

  7. Lord, you know the things that distract my affection from you. Forgive me. As you love me, strengthen my love for you, then nothing would distract , or steal, my praise that your deserve. When I lose focus, remind me that you are my first love, you are my Lord and savior.

  8. How blessed I am to have a Heavenly Father Who loves me, understands me, and will forgive me when I fail Him!

  9. Lord, May my words, thoughts, actions today be a reflection of my trust in You. Open my spiritual eyes, and heart to what it is I may value more than I value YOU. May my day today be pleasing to Your eyes Lord.

  10. Jesus’s astounding, magnificent, all-encompassing love is displayed here by Him calling His betrayer, a key player in the instigation of His horrible suffering, “friend.” I think this is the His greatest example to us of loving our enemies.

  11. Father, help my first instinct to always be prayer and not be quick to draw my sword like Peter. I desire always to grow closer to You and stand firm in Your will and not my own.

  12. I’m humbled to understan and see how much my life relates to the life of Judah. This devotion allows you to take a real look at who you are and who and what your affections are geared towards. Thank God for the cross and for Jesus saving grace for me. I am so reminded of the song that says “All of my life God has been faithful”, ” All my life He’s been good.* i just want to be faithful and loyal to Him. Be blessed church.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I too love that song. Every time I hear it I cry, because His mercy has been abundant over my life.

  13. Lord….we pray that the way of escape will always be seen in our heart, not our eyes. that we may always be faithful to You, our Redeemer!

  14. Really good topic for me to read today. I spent almost thirteen years in spiritual communities, practicing a variety of healing modalities and “magic”, and last night I was invited to a hypnosis session to strengthen my process as I embarked on a 10-day cleanse. Well I wasn’t sure if I should attend, but I thought it would just be innocent affirmations to reassure my process. Unfortunately, the facilitator did (towards the end of the session) bring up visualizing a “spirit guide” coming towards us to help us. I know this is where the loose spirits show up and basically you’re inviting them in, so I immediately prayed to Jesus instead. I ended the session, and I felt a sadness come over me. I felt like I had betrayed my faith in Him. I prayed before bed to ask for forgiveness for relying on another to give me strength or help me with my cleanse. I’m not surprised this message came in our devotional today, as I do believe God always communicates with me to confirm His will upon my life. Thank you!

  15. Thank You Lord for your grace and mercy that abounds. I place my trust in you to see me through the day. As I go about my daily life help me to crucify my flesh in all its desires and passions, filling me with the Holy Spirit that I may be less like Judas in this passage and more like you. Thank You Jesus for my salvation I trust in you alone and entrust my life unto you for every good thing. In Jesus name I pray

  16. If you had someone in your group and he/she betrayed you and you meet them later would you greet them as friend as Jesus did to Judas?

  17. “If He is Lord, He desires and deserves to be our single affection. ” Whew… So true! Incredible devotional today!

  18. Jesus’s reaction to Judas was exemplary. But then, it shouldn’t be surprising because He was an exemplary human. He helped me to understand that even in the face of trials, you can still be in control because God is with you.

  19. What the enemy meant for evil God turned it around for our good.Judas had to betray Jesus in order for the Bible to fulfill its self. Thank God for the blood of Jesus Christ! I’m

  20. Judas is a great example of why there is always hope in the most desperate situations we may find ourselves in this world. Judas Iscariot, common criminal and complete narcissist. Even Judas realized the enormity of the crime he had committed by his betrayal of the Son of God. He tries to give the 30 pieces of silver back but that doesn’t work. He commits suicide. All Judas had to do was to say he was sorry and ask for forgiveness. Judas understood that he had done a major wrong but he was so desperate that he gave up all hope. One of the real tragedies that can befall anyone of us is that feeling of hopelessness. The life of Jesus is full of paradox. He would have forgiven Judas in the blink of an eye in the same manner that he forgave that murderer/robber who hung on a cross next to Him. In the same manner that he forgives you and me. Even though I have lost count of the times that I have betrayed him, He is my hope. He is our hope.

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