Monday, January 31, 2011
If you have read the Bible, you have probably heard about a man named Judas Iscariot. This man walked closely with Jesus Christ during His period of ministry on Earth. Judas was a man that learned and gleaned from Jesus Christ himself. Our Lord poured His word into Judas' life. Judas ate with Jesus, walked with Him, talked with Him, and traveled with Jesus all along seeing miracles like no other. Yet the one thing that is remembered of Judas was his ultimate betrayal of Jesus. Judas is known for being the one that handed over Jesus to the authorities of that day.
Matthew 26 tells the story a little bit more clearly:
14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
One of the most shocking details about this story is that Judas actually turned Jesus over to the government, then felt so badly that he tried to return the money. Judas eventually hung himself because he could not handle the weight of guilt for betraying a man who loved him so much.
It is more interesting to know that Jesus knew all along that Judas would be the one to betray Him, yet He still chose to share His life with Judas, and loved him unconditionally. WOW!
Looking more into the life of Judas we can see that in the story of the Mary, the woman who anointed Jesus with her perfume, Judas was upset because the perfume could have been sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor. John 12 tells the story, verse 6 tells us that that he actually had no concern for the poor but that he was a thief! All along Jesus knew that Judas would betry him and yet he still chose to make him a disciple. John 6:70-71 proves this, "Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?" Now he meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him." In John 13 we see that Jesus was talking to the disciples and told them that one of them would betray Him, verse 26-27 tells us exactly when Satan entered in Judas. "Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him."
Jesus knew fully that He would be betrayed but He still chose, loved, discipled and ministered to Judas. If we turn this over into modern day, we can all think of a few Judas experiences in our own lives. It makes no sense but they are living among us, in our churches, in our ministries, and even in our families. They may not even know that they are just like Judas, but they are. Even though we can clearly point out those Judas' we still must love them, not cast them out or away, but still minister to them, give them the opportunity to be changed and if in the end they still betray you, know that you have acted just like Jesus!
I am and have always been hurt and appalled at the fact that people can turn around and hurt you in an instant, but the fact is that even Jesus endured that and it turned out to be part of His destiny, something that had purpose in His life. Will you allow the Judas' in your life to help you fulfill your calling?!