Jumping right back in!! Judas-the-very-poor-Priest did not have authentic relationships or discipleship within the Body of Believers and he was missing who Jesus was entirely because he was blinded by his own sin. None of us can relate I’m sure. Let’s see what else our ne’er do well never did well.
- He used his false servitude and false obedience to excuse himself from self-examination and more importantly, the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
He never had an ounce of true love for Christ. His heart had never been changed, and therefore the white, hot light of truth only hardened him. DO you know what kind of destruction befalls a hardened heart, according to Scripture? Think back to frogs, fleas, and a stoney hearted Pharaoh. He had a “hardened heart,” meaning he rejected the identity of God and resisted the authority of God. Whew, I would not have wanted to be a flie (or flea) on the palace wall come morning. Every knee will bow, friends. They can either be bent or broken.
Judas’ heart was even harder. Remember, Judas was there for every miracle, every sermon, and every prayer. He was an eyewitness to the saving knowledge of Christ and yet never let Truth wash over him. Judas listened to every parable, but in every teaching remain unmoved, and every lesson never applied. He was a master of deceit. Can you imagine being with Jesus and seeing someone healed or even Lazarus raised from the dead?
And while you feign rejoicing or praise, your heart whispers “I hate Him. I hate who He is and who I’m not.” “I deserve more, I deserve better.” Oh friends, see yourself for who and what all of us are. Filthy rags. None deserving anything. Our hypocrisy hides nothing from the Holy Spirit, haven’t you heard? He’s taken up residence, in you. He sees every blemish we try to cover, hears every angry word our heart speaks. And yet, He loves us. He died for us, knowing all of this. Knowing we are all capable of the sins of Judas. I know I am. Are you? All he did was what he wanted instead of what God wanted. All he did was resist heart change and opt for the easier habit change.
And finally, most importantly…
4. He didn’t have an authentic relationship with Christ.
When Jesus revealed that one of them would betray Him, no one suspected Judas. Judas had so mastered his deceit and hypocrisy that it didn’t even occur to them that he could betray Christ. But, it occurred to Christ alright. For three years, Christ knew every word out of Judas’ lying lips was bathed in hatred. He knew every offer of help or friendship, every prayer or “Amen” was given to conceal his hard heart.
As I think about it now, is it possible that none suspected Judas, not because of his skillful deceit, but because Christ consistently showed him such genuine love and kindness? Hmmmmm. What if none suspected Judas because Christ never treated him any differently or loved him any less? Hello, perfect model of obedience and self-control, welcome to our story!
Now really y’all, we all know we have avoided entire cities on the map because so and so may still live there and we may still be mad at them. But my word, as though the life and ministry of Christ weren’t difficult enough! To have to endure it with a person whom you know loathes and hates everything about you– right at your side?
And, not only that, you wash their feet! You calm their storms, you are their provision, you pour yourself into them, knowing they are set on a fixed course that will end in your death. And you love them anyway. Jesus kept hinting to the disciples about a “devil” among them and His impending death and betrayal, not to be mysterious or coy but, because He TRULY loved Judas and was trying to give him as many chances for redemption as He could. Oh Lord! That you show each of us that love!’
Surely, I can love my “neighbor” who only mildly annoys me!