Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Could I be Judas? More to the point, could I do what Judas did and choose to betray my Lord?
This thought was rolling around in my head recently after my pastor had been reviewing Judas' betrayal of Jesus. (sidebar - I always wondered why it was necessary for Judas to identify Jesus with a kiss, or at all for that matter. You would think that the people who hated him so passionately would at least know what he looked like, though this was before the time of mass media. They had to have sent others to do their dirty work for them so that they could keep themselves "clean".)

One would assume that Judas was at one time a believer in Jesus' teaching since he appeared to have accepted the call of Christ. Yet somewhere along the way he appears to have decided that Jesus wasn't who he wanted him to be, or that his passion became sidetracked. As the money handler, maybe Judas preferred the idea of running with the privelaged to serving the poor and helpless. This idea isn't so strange, look at how much energy we put into drawing favor from our well-to-do or well-connected friends in relation to how we interact with those who are not blessed in these ways.

Maybe Judas was disappointed that Jesus wasn't establishing an earthly kingdom immediately or tired of focusing on the needs of others. Whatever his reason(s) he ultimately decided that 30 pieces of silver were worth more than his relationship with the Son of God and he not only turned his back on him but betrayed him with a kiss.

What would buy my betrayal? Could a desire to follow Him really wear thin if He were to take me down a road I don't like? Could I tire of serving the needs of others if I am sincerely seeking to serve Christ? Or could I find the offer of money, position or things too compelling to resist and with a kiss, or a half-hearted apology turn from Him -- or on Him?

Judas walked with Christ when He was in a physical form, beside Him on a daily basis seeing Him perform miracles, yet he betrayed him. I can see the majesty of Christ all around me and in the actions and words of people around me; He has given me His word in scriptures but that physical element is "missing". Could I betray him?

While we don't want to believe that we could do so we saw it in Judas' life and we see it happen in the lives of others around us. We must stay focused on His word, on His call for our lives and not let the fruit of the world draw us away from drawing closer to Him. We must not lose heart when evil seems to be winning and we must not lose heart if we lose focus because He will not turn his back on us when we come humbly back to Him seeking forgiveness with only a broken spirit to give in return.

After his betrayal of Christ Judas gave into his despair in a tragic way. Do not despair if you feel that you have betrayed Him, instead, return to Him and learn the depths of His grace.



At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful and eloquent post today, Brad. It reminds me that even those that on the outside may seem to have a Christ-centered life and a heart full of His Spirit-- only the ONE really knows. Daily we can choose the worldly way, or His way. I know I will waiver at times, but I also know He will wecome me when I come to my true senses and focus on Him and His will for me.

At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I often wondered why a kiss too. But as I think of retreats in the dark woods, the dancing light from even the brightest campfires, it's difficult to see people's faces. I imagine it was very dark that night in the garden. Probably difficult to see faces. They wanted to make sure they had the right man. He had managed to escape every other time they tried to grab him. Judas was just trying to make sure that the Master was the one taken and not his friends. The night the light of the world was arrested surely was a very dark night. \o/


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