People of the Bible: Disciples Part 4: Judas, James the Younger, Jude/Thaddeus


Jesus chose 12 men to be his first disciples. They were normal people, with normal jobs, but God had a special plan for them. Jesus taught the disciples many things while on Earth. Let’s look into James the Younger, Jude/Thaddeus, and Judas Iscariot today.

The Call: Matthew 10:2-4- 2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him


James the Younger:

James the Younger is a disciple that the Bible does not talk about much. Because of this, there is a lot of ambiguity about him. He is certainly a different person from James the brother of John who was in Jesus’s inner circle. Some believe that he was the brother of the disciple Matthew, but more believe that he was actually a brother of Jesus himself.


The Bible tells us that Jesus’s brothers had a hard time believing he was the Messiah. They even mocked him at times. But after the crucifixion, it became clear to James and others that Jesus was truly the son of God. Most believe James went on to pastor the church of Jerusalem and become a main pillar in the 1st-century church along with Peter and Paul. The New Testament book of James is often attributed to him.


Jude/Thaddeus:

Like James the Younger, the Bible says little about the disciple Jude. Some believe he was given the nickname Thaddeus so people would not confuse him with Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Jesus. Because there is not much strong evidence as to who exactly Jude was there is a lot of speculation around him.


Some believe he was a son of James, others believe he was a brother of James, and others believe he was another one of Jesus’s brothers. If he was one of Jesus’s brothers along with James, it is likely that they were both skeptics at first. In hindsight, it is easy to ridicule their lack of belief, but if one of our siblings claimed to be the son of God we’d probably doubt them too.


The book of Jude is attributed to this disciple and many believe after the resurrection he became a firm believer and spread the good news of Jesus to the people around him.


Judas Iscariot:

Judas is by far the most infamous of Jesus’s 12 disciples. Judas was the treasurer of the group of disciples, meaning he took care of the money. Judas would have been responsible for collecting money that the other disciples earned or were given and he would distribute that money accordingly. It is no doubt that Jesus had a close relationship with Judas as they would have talked about ministry needs and how to fulfill them. Judas was one of Jesus’s closest followers, but he betrayed Jesus.


Before they all celebrated the Passover festival, Judas had gone to the chief officials and made an agreement with them to turn Jesus over to them for 30 pieces of silver. After the Last Supper, Judas found the officials and brought them to where Jesus was. Judas told the officials that he would show them who Jesus was by kissing him on the cheek. Once he did, Jesus was taken away and eventually crucified.

Some believe Judas was trying to push Jesus into overthrowing the Roman government by putting him in a corner. But to his surprise, Jesus did not fight back. Judas had read about the Messiah that instituted a new kingdom, and Jesus will do that one day. However, that was not the day, and Jesus was killed.


Jesus knew all along that Judas would betray him. He even called Judas his friend while he was betraying him. You may ask, why would Jesus allow Judas to follow him, and even call him a friend if he knew he would betray him. Well, the same can be said for us, we turn our backs on Jesus all the time, but he loves us anyway. There is a little part of Judas in all of us, but Jesus loves us enough to call us his friend and die for our sins.


Key Takeaways:

  • Jesus was doubted & betrayed

  • Jesus calls us his friend

  • Everyone needs Jesus


Parents, 3treesKIDS will also be learning about The Disciples Part 4 this Sunday, both in-person and online.

Be sure to check out their lesson at www.3trees.com/kids.

To find service times and locations, visit https://www.3trees.com/planyourvisit.