“When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”” - Matthew 26:20-25 ESV
We often talk about Peter’s denial. We often will read where Jesus predicted Peter’s denial. We read about the rooster’s crow after the third denial. We will even take time to read how Jesus forgave & reinstated Peter (Feed my sheep).
However, on rare occasion do we spend much time on Judas Iscariot, the Betrayer.
We forget that Judas was one of the 12 that Jesus chose to be His disciples. He was the only non-Galilean. He was treasurer of the group and we know that greed was an issue for him. We don’t know a whole lot else about him.
It may have been confusion about what Jesus’ actual mission was. He could’ve been forcing Jesus hand to finally rebel against the Roman empire and be the “Warrior Messiah” that so many expected Him to be/become. Judas motives are not clear.
However, we do know that Judas allowed his desires (money, power...) to put him in a position where Satan could manipulate him.
Judas spent nearly every day and every hour for three years of his life with Jesus. Yet, he never knew Him as Savior. Never knew nor understood the hope, peace, grace, love, forgiveness that He brought to a dark world.
Our churches are filled with many who have grown up in the church, attending Sunday School, attending church events, giving tithes and offerings, maybe even taking leadership roles. Yet, they have never accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. Have never asked Him into their hearts or lives. They attend but have not known Him as Lord, nor understood His mission and the hope, peace, grace, love and forgiveness that He brings.
Going deeper, I have come to understand that I too have the ability to allow my desires to get in the way of my relationship with Jesus.
It’s far too easy to put Him on a shelf or ask Him to stay behind as I go chase my goals and dreams... or my desires of the moment.
Peter denied Jesus. The rest of the Disciples abandoned Jesus. Judas betrayed Jesus.
What would you call what I do... what we do?
Denial... Abandonment.... even Betrayal?
Jesus forgave Peter and the rest of the disciples just like He forgives us when, in brokenness, we ask Him for forgiveness
Jesus would’ve forgiven Judas, if Judas had given Jesus the opportunity.
He did not.
Come to Jesus, the risen Savior... the forgiving Lord.
Keep the Faith... Carpe Diem