The Demise of Judas: Acts 1:15-20
“15) At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, 16) “Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. 17) For he was counted among us and received his share in this ministry.” 18) (Now this man acquired a field with the price of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his intestines gushed out. 19) And it became known to all who were living in Jerusalem; so that in their own language that field was called Hakeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) 20) “For it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘Let his homestead be made desolate, And let no one dwell in it’; and, ‘Let another man take his office.’” Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭15‬-‭20‬
The name “Judas” was a popular name. It is from Greek origin and means “praised.” It fell from prominence for centuries because of the disciple who betrayed Jesus. Lady Gaga brought it back somewhat to popularity when she released the track Judas in 2011. Her use of the name was selected promote the dark side of Judas. The name is associated with insubordination, rebellion and ungodliness.
The actions of one man can stain and ruin a name. The same happened to the names “Benedict” and “Adolf.” Both abruptly dropped from popularity because of treacherous men who ruined their names. The name “Jezebel” suffered the same fate.
The opposite is true of good and godly people whose life adorned their names. Many biblical characters made their names popular for centuries for both women and men. Examples of popular names for women might be “Sarah”, “Rachel”, “Deborah”, “Esther”, “Ruth” and “Mary.” There are also many examples for men like “Joseph”, “David”, “Daniel”, “Isaiah”, “Peter”, “James”, “Mark”, “Paul” or “Timothy.” I might ask; “What are you doing to your name.”
The actions of Judas became well known. He was greedy and became a traitor. He became the guide to those who arrested Jesus. From verses 16 and 21 we discover that his actions fulfilled prophecy. This often feeds a lively discussion of human free will and the Sovereignty of God. I see them walking hand in hand through the pages of Scripture. Judas was responsible for his actions and yet God knew the end from the beginning.
The end result was Judas took his own life. He attempted to hang himself and evidently something went wrong to the point that he fell down a cliff and burst open so that his guts spilled out. It was a gruesome death. Satan always turns on those who side with him. John 10:10 says he is like a thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Judas is a sober warning to any who come close to Jesus only to turn their back on Him.
The monument of his life became the field of blood purchased in his name with the very money he received for betraying Jesus. It became a burial place for strangers. (Matthew 27:6-10) Money obtained by falsehood, fraud and corruption is never blessed. Proverbs 22:1 says; “A good name is more desirable than great riches.” You cannot buy salvation or a good reputation.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global