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JUDAS ISCARIOT

Son of Simon, the only Apostle who did not come from Galilee. His special interest was money, so he was in charge of the common fund of the Apostles (John 13:29). It was an unfortunate assignment, according to John. He referred to Judas as "a thief . . . who used to help himself to the contributions" (John 12:6). Moreover, Judas remonstrated sharply with Jesus for allowing Mary Magdalene to anoint his feet with a costly ointment, arguing that the money should have gone to the poor (John 12:1-8). His inordinate greed motivated him to betray Jesus. He know that the high priest, Caiaphas, was anxious to arrest the Master, so he made a deal with the chief priests to identify Jesus at an opportune time for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16). The Apostles were startled at the Last Supper when Jesus said, "I tell you most solemnly, one of you will betray me" (John 13:21). Judas lived up to the terms of his agreement with Caiaphas by leading a number of armed men into Gethsemane and kissing Jesus as a symbol of identification, whereupon they arrested Jesus (Matthew 26:47-56). Scripture reports that when Judas learned that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse (Matthew 27:3-5). There is no way of knowing his motives. He returned the silver, protested that Jesus was innocent, and, when his protest was ignored, went out and hanged himself. The Gospel writers made no attempt to explore Judas' betrayal. They simply said that Satan had entered into him, and they all referred to his as the betrayer (Luke 22:3). His place in the Apostles was taken by Matthias (Acts 1:26). (Etym. Greek ioudas from Hebrew yehudhah, let him [God] be praised. Greek iskari_t_s.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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