Hear the name Judas and I’d say the odds of you thinking about the apostate apostle from Iscariot are pretty good.
Despite the fact the name Judas (as well as Jude) is the New Testament translation of the memorable Old Testament name Judah (and that the name actually means, “he shall be praised”), when most people hear the name Judas, a negative connotation is made due to the actions of the aforementioned apostle.
But to subject all Judas’ to a negative mindset simply because of their name would be a big mistake. For one example (amongst several others), there is one Judas people probably rarely, if ever, remember at all, much less in a positive way:
“Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.” So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.”” (Acts 9:10-12)
When we think about Paul’s conversion we easily think of the Lord, Paul himself, Ananias, and maybe even the people traveling with Paul. But what about Judas? Do we ever think about him? Maybe it’s because he’s mentioned so quickly … or maybe with some of us, it’s because it’s difficult to connect the name in our memory to anything good in the New Testament.
Undeserving bias can be a deep-seeded and dangerous thing (John 1:45-46). It can lead to making a terrible judgment (John 7:19-24). It can paint with too broad of a brush (Acts 10:9-15). It can cause divisions that misrepresent the Lord’s way (James 2:1-5). And it can cause the faith of some to be severely weakened (Galatians 2:7-13).
As we deal with people from day to day, year to year, and decade to decade – let us keep in mind that an experience with one individual does not give us a right to judge everyone else because they sound the same, look the same, dress the same, come from the same place, or even have the same name. Every Judas in the Bible was not the same, and neither are people today.
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” (John 14:21-23 NKJV)