Judas, Son of James

The name Judas in and of itself is a fine name. It means “Jehovah leads.” But because of the treachery of Judas Iscariot, the name Judas will forever bear a negative connotation.

Judas the son of James, actually had three names. In Matthew 10:3, he is called “Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus.” Judas was probably the name given to him at birth. Lebbaeus and Thaddaeus were essentially nicknames. Thaddaeus means “breast child.” Perhaps he was the youngest in his family. His other name, Lebbaeus, is similar. It is from a Hebrew root that refers to the heart–liberally, “heart child.” Both names suggest he had a tender, childlike heart. 

In John 14:21, Jesus says, “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.” Then John adds, “Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?’” (v.22). His question is full of gentleness and meekness. He couldn’t believe that Jesus would manifest Himself to this group of eleven, and not to the whole world. The good news of forgiveness and salvation was certainly good news for all the world. And the disciples knew it well, but the rest of the world was still, by and large, clueless. So Lebbaeus Thaddaeus wanted to know, “Why are you going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the whole world?”

Jesus gave him a marvellous answer, and the answer was as tender as the question. “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: 23). Christ would manifest Himself to anyone who loves Him. 

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