If we choose to accept it

Encouragement Note for Feb. 2018, by Christopher Underwood

Two men with knowledge and the benefit of knowing Jesus Christ show us the power of mercy from the Lord if we choose to accept it.

Number 1: He had been angry enough to cut an ear off a man, scared enough to leave Jesus to face an angry mob, frightened enough to deny that he knew the Son of God, cursing loudly and profusely to convince everyone he was not a follower of the Lord. He was full of sorrow to see the face of the Lord, possibly embarrassed that he had gone to such extent to prove he was nothing like Jesus. He was miserable and crying with knowledge that his courage to be put along the side of the Lord had failed him – if only he had said “If you kill him, you have to kill me too” like he had said he would do before. Continue reading

#choice, #encouragement-note, #judas, #mercy, #peter

Every Judas is not the same

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: Continue reading

#judas, #judging-others, #spiritual-illustration


11-3-2016 What Is Betrayal Like

Judas Iscariot is forevermore labeled as the “betrayer” of Jesus Christ.  After Jesus called him to be one of His twelve disciples, he “became a traitor (Luke 6:16 NKJV), who “was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it” (John 12:6 NKJV).  In Jesus’ final week before dying, Judas “went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him” (Mark 14:10-11 NKJV).  After leading Jesus’ enemies to Him, he confessed “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” (Matthew 27:4 NKJV).  “Betrayal” consisted of leading enemies to Jesus for personal gain, not truth and right. Whether he paid from his pocket or some “foundation,” good works could not cancel the need for repentance!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#betrayer, #foundation, #judas


11-4-2016 A Worthless Life

“The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (Matthew 26:24 NKJV).  Jesus had stopped the Sadducees with: “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29 NKJV).  Jesus condemned the willful hypocrisy of the Pharisees with: “Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” (Matthew 23:33 NKJV).  But only of the betrayer, Judas Iscariot, did Jesus say, his life amounted to absolutely nothing!  Betrayal is the sin that made Judas’ life worthless.  When Jesus’ enemies came for Him, “Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them” (John 18:5 NKJV).  A betrayer has sided with enemies, not friends or family!

This is Johnny Polk, with “Words of Wisdom” brought to you by the Oneida church of Christ.

#betrayal, #judas

The context of this post is a recent…

The context of this post is a recent set of emails between myself and a friend who left the Lord some time back. He is, at the moment, reading Acts and reflecting on what is said in comparison with other matters in the New Testament. While he may have lost what he gained with his study of the New Testament, he is not uninformed and, consequently, not one to be lightly dismissed. I am glad for our connection one with another and, while I am convinced he is dead wrong, I am also glad he is calling on me to defend the faith. That measures me; I get the chance to see where I am at!

Here is his first email to me that started this conversation. “My New Years Resolution this year was to make a detailed study of Acts. Along those lines, I have a sincere question for you: How do you reconcile Acts 1:18 with Matthew 27:3-8? I don’t recollect ever analyzing these two contexts to the extent that I am now, and do not see how the two accounts can be reconciled. When you have time, please share your thoughts on this matter. “

I did, and he thought what I wrote was a stretch. So here we are. I wrote this based on that brief conversation.



Matthew 27:3-8.

  1. The money given Judas for his betrayal was returned (30 pieces of silver).
  2. The money Judas threw down was not received by the religious leaders.
  3. With that money, still belonging to Judas (as far as the “recipients” of the returned money was concerned) they purchased the potter’s field, also known as Field of Blood.
  4. Judas hanged himself.

Acts 1:18-19.

  1. Judas purchased a field named Akel Dama (Field of Blood) with his wages in iniquity.
  2. Without mentioning how he died, he fell headlong, his torso exploded.

Dave thinks there is no apparent harmony. The text says that Judas purchased the field, but he could not do so because he was dead, as one reads in Matthew. In addition to this, if one did not have Matthew’s account, how could a common reader think anything but that Judas purchased the field as it is recorded in Acts? Thus, we have in Matthew, someone purchasing the field other than Judas, but in Acts, it was Judas who purchased the field.

Irreconcilable? Dave said: “Therefore, I do not see how these accounts can be reconciled without stretching one to accommodate the other.”

When analyzing pieces of information, it is crucial to honest handling to take all the data, spread it out (so to speak), and put the pieces back together. This is the nature of reconciliation. This method is utilized in all areas of life, even by atheists, agnostics, and skeptics (AAS). It seems, however, that AAS wants to do this in all areas, but one. That one, of course, is when one deals with matters pertaining to God. Such a desire exists on the part of AAS to show incompatibility; there is no amount of evidence, or no proper handling of the material allowed wherein one can reasonably reconcile the accounts. This is nothing but prejudicial handling and rejection for the sole reason to promote the ideology of AAS.


Judas betrays Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. With guilt, Judas returns the money to those who gave it to him. This money was not received because it was blood money. In the meantime, Judas went out and hung himself. The period of time that Judas was hanging suspended is not recorded. The money returned was not kept, thus it still belonged to Judas. With that money, a parcel of ground was purchased. This purchase was, therefore, made in the name of Judas (because it was still belonging to him, and the religious leaders had no knowledge, presumably, of Judas’ actions or whereabouts when he left). Matthew and Acts records what Judas did to himself (suicide – Matthew) and what ultimately happened to the body (decomposition – Acts).

According to ancient tradition, Judas hanged himself above the Valley of Hinnom on the edge of a cliff. Eventually the rope snapped (or was cut or untied), thus causing Judas to fall headfirst into the field below, as Luke described. Matthew does not deny that Judas fell and had his entrails gush out, and Luke does not deny that Judas hanged himself. In short, Matthew records the method in which Judas attempted his death. Luke records the end result (The Anvil Rings, p. 202, emphasis in original).

Where is the incompatibility, or irreconcilable nature of this?

#bible-contradictions, #discrepancy, #field-of-blood, #judas, #reconciliation

Did Judas Know?

Matthew 26:21-25, ” Now as they were eating, He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.’ And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, ‘Lord, is it I?’ He answered and said, ‘He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me.’The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.’ Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, ‘Rabbi, is it I?’ He said to him, ‘You have said it.'”

Two things are curious about Judas.

First, it appears from this passage that  he did not know he would betray Jesus (Luke 22:3)

Second, none of the apostles thought Judas was capable of such evil (John 13:26-30).

What comments do you have?

#betrayal, #cross, #jesus, #judas

One example of self-destructive behavior…

One example of self-destructive behavior in the New Testament is Judas. He not only committed physical suicide, but spiritual suicide as well.

#behavior, #committed, #destructive, #judas, #physical, #self, #spiritual, #suicide