That disciple [John], leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” John 13:25
It is easy to picture Judas as some dark-eyed villain, but if we had to guess beforehand which disciple was most likely to betray Jesus, few, if any, of us would have guessed correctly. When Jesus said that one of His disciples would betray Him, they all said, “Lord, is it I?” None of them said, “Lord, is it Judas?”
Something was desperately wrong in Judas’ heart, but the only ones who knew were Judas and Jesus. Notice three privileges that Judas enjoyed.
He walked with Jesus
Judas was invited by Jesus to be one of His twelve closest companions. The first reason Jesus chose the twelve was not ministry, but friendship. “He appointed twelve…so that they might be with him” (Mark 3:14). Jesus called Judas His friend. Christ loved this man and enjoyed talking with him. Judas walked with Jesus Christ and yet he took a plunge to disaster.
He was trusted with responsibility
Jesus gave Judas significant responsibility. He was the one who managed the money that was given to Jesus and the disciples, presumably because Judas was the best man for the job. Peter was much too impulsive. He would have blown it all on one project. John was too sensitive, he would have given it all away. But Judas had the gifts and the temperament needed for the job, and Jesus put him in charge of the money.
He had spiritual gifts for ministry
Matthew tells us that Jesus called His twelve disciples to Him (that clearly included Judas) and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits, and to heal every disease and sickness (Mat. 10:1). Then just to make it doubly clear, Matthew records the names of those who were given this authority, and he ends his list by naming Judas Iscariot, “who betrayed Jesus.”
Which of Judas’ privileges can you identify with?