Judas-The “Best Friend” Of Jesus

It is written:

“I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS BREAD WITH ME HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’ (John 13:18)

Untold numbers of books have been written about Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus Christ to His crucifixion.

Many people are not aware, however, that Judas was in many ways the closest friend of Jesus Christ.

John 13:18 refers to the Book of Psalms in discussing Judas. The Psalm that Jesus quotes says:

Psalm 41:9-Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me.

The phrase “familiar friend” carries with it the idea of a friend who was intimately loved and trusted.

Other factors imply to us this special friendship between Jesus and Judas:

““But it is the place of Judas that is of special interest. It is quite clear that Jesus could speak to him privately without the others overhearing. If that is so, there is only one place Judas could have been occupying. He must have been on Jesus’ left, so that, just as John’s head was in Jesus’ breast, Jesus’ head was in Judas’. The revealing thing is that the place on the left of the host was the place of highest honour, kept for the most intimate friend. When that meal began, Jesus must have said to Judas: ‘Judas, come and sit beside me tonight; I want specially to talk to you.’ The very inviting of Judas to that seat was an appeal. But there is more. For the host to offer the guest a special titbit, a special morsel from the dish, was again a sign of special friendship. When Boaz wished to show how much he honoured Ruth, he invited her to come and dip her morsel in the wine (Ruth 2: 14). T. E. Lawrence, better known as Lawrence of Arabia, told how when he sat with the Arabs in their tents, sometimes the Arab chief would tear a choice piece of fat mutton from the whole sheep before them and hand it to him (often a most embarrassing favour to a western palate, for it had to be eaten!). When Jesus handed the morsel to Judas, again it was a mark of special affection. And we note that even when Jesus did this the disciples did not grasp the significance of his words. That surely shows that Jesus was so much in the habit of doing this that it seemed nothing unusual. Judas had always been picked out for special affection. There is tragedy here. Again and again Jesus appealed to that dark heart, and again and again Judas remained unmoved. God save us from being completely impervious to the appeal of love.” (William Barclay, The Gospel of John, Volume Two (The New Daily Study Bible), 169-170 (Kindle Edition); Edinburgh, England; Saint Andrews Press)

How tragic.

Jesus would have gladly accepted Judas back, yet he would not have it.

What about you?

Would you be a friend of Jesus?

John 15:14-You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

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