Judas (Not Iscariot), Labbaeus (Matthew), Thaddeus (Mark), Judas, Son of James (Luke)

“Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?'” (John 14:22).

This follower of Christ was called TRINOMINUS, by Jerome, one of the early church fathers. The word means “the man with three names.”

The name Judas is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Judah. Jude is the Latin form of the name Judah.

Judas was an honorable name that went back to the founder of the tribe of Judah.

About 164 BC when Israel was occupied and the great tyranny that was manifest in that country was persecuting the people severely, the dominant ruler that possessed the land was named by himself Antichus Epiphanes which means the “great and mighty God.” He rededicated the house of God to the goddess Olympus Zeus. He profaned the house in so many ways and one way in which he did was he brought pigs into the house of God and had them sacrificed on the altar. To the Jewish people that was the most blasphemous degrading thing that could happen.

He then sent his soldiers out into the countryside to have the same thing done in the various villages. They went to one village just a short distance from Jerusalem in which there was an old retired priest of the temple living there. The soldier in charge of the battery of individuals assigned to enforce the law called this old priest out of the ranks and said you are to be the first to sacrifice the pig here in your village then you will be first to eat of its flesh. The old man stood there stony faced in defiance. Finally someone from the crowd stepped out knowing the age of the old retired priest and said, I will take his place. The old retired priest first attacked him then attacked the soldiers and his four sons got involved in the battle. One of those four sons was named Judas. They called him Judas Macabee which meant Judas the hammer. They were few in number with no reserves and no military strength and training. But in the weeks and months that followed their insurrection delivered the people from the bondage imposed upon them.

Unfortunately this admirable name was defamed by Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. Therefore, when this Judas is mentioned the gospel writer hastens to add, “Not Iscariot.”

To distinguish him from Judas Iscariot let’s refer to him as Jude.

Another of his names, Labbaeus, in Arabic means courageous, brave, or hearty. Thaddeus in Arabic means lively, vivacious. Names in the Biblical era were intended to reveal something of the personality or character of an individual. If so this Judas was a dynamic individual.

After having followed Christ as an apostle for three years, Jude, along with the other eleven, met with Christ for the last time in the upper room. The event is called the “Last Supper.” In reality it is the lasting supper.

There Jesus said to His beloved followers, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14: 1 – 3).

Then Jesus said, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).

There must have been comfort in the words that followed: “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19).

Then came this intriguing question: “Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, ‘Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?'” (John 14:22).

Jesus response forms a stable platform for life: “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).

Jesus did not deal directly with the “how.” Some things are too complex to have a simple answer. How does a computer chip work? There is no simple answer. I saw a cartoon of a child going through a grocery check-out line with his mother. There are chess sets on the counter as a special item for the day. As they are checking out the child asks, “How do you play that game?” There is no simple answer. Neither was there a simple answer to Jude’s question. There was however a wise response. Distilled, it is: Because you love Me, you will keep my word. Because you keep My word, I will reveal Myself to you.

This is an appeal to be steadfast. “Stead” means a place or position. A homestead is a home place. “Fast” means to be fixed unmovably in a place.

In a time of military conflict soldiers from North Carolina were called “Tar heels.” It was said they were so steadfast that it was as though they had tar on their heels and could not be moved. Jesus response to Thaddaeus’ question is an appeal to steadfastness.

There are three conditions for Christ fulfilling His promise in John 14: 21, “I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

1) We must have His “commandments” (Vs. 21a). By God’s grace Christ’s commandments are preserved in his Word.

2) We are to “keep them.” Obedience is the issue.

3) We are to love Him. Only when we love Him do we desire to know His commandments enough to search them out. Only when we love Him will we do what we know He has commanded us.

Commandants such as: a] love your enemies, b] love one another, c] be His witnesses unto the end of the earth.

There is a song with these words: “To know, know, know Him is to love, love, love Him.”

There is a book in our New Testament that bears his name, “Jude.” He may or may not have been the Jude who penned the book, but it speaks of steadfastness such as that for which an appeal is here made. In it he repetitiously appeals for steadfastness. He pleads:

Do not drift away from the truth as a result of personal indifference.

Do not be deceived into following false teachers. There are two types of false teachers:
1) Those who teach false doctrine.

2) Those who teach enough sound doctrine to maintain a good front, but who are themselves false. That is, hypocrites.

Do not be misdirected away from the basic gospel.

Do maintain the faith, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ: But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 3, 17, 20, 21).

One way to maintain the faith is to keep “praying in the Holy Spirit.”

After the appeal for us to “keep yourselves in the love of God,” Jude focuses on the resource for doing so: “Now to Him that is able to keep you from falling … the only wise God …” (Jude 24, 25).

Judas, not Iscariot, remained faithful. Legend says he later ministered in Armenia and Persia where he was martyred. He was faithful unto death.