In Jesus final week there were many who failed him. His disciples fled, The priests fumed, the crowds jeered, Pilate washed his hands of the whole deal, but there was only one who BETRAYED Jesus. When I think of the major players as the last week of Jesus on Earth played out.. Judas was the one who betrayed our Lord.
I wonder about Judas. He was one of the 12 disciples, he watched the same miracles, he listened to Jesus teach and disciple, and he witnessed Jesus compassion and love for the common man. So what went wrong in Judas mind? Was he ever truly a follower of Jesus? Why was he selected to be one of the 12 disciples?
We can all speculate about the condition of Judas heart, but in the end I find myself feeling empathy for him.
You see if my sins and failures were recorded in the Bible I would be embarrassed, but to be the one who betrayed Jesus… how could a person live with that? ..
and so Judas decided he could not and.. hung himself.
Once again, NOT FUNNY STUFF.. this Easter week. The Bible records the dinner at Simon’s when Mary bathed Jesus feet with expensive perfume, but Judas was upset with what he regarded an extravagant waste. This perfume could be sold and the money given to the poor!
Then the following week Judas conspires to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of sliver. This became his price for INFAMY.
So was Judas truly a bad man or simply a man that slid down the slippery slope of compromise? We will never be faced with an opportunity to 'directly' betray Jesus like Judas did, BUT.. I believe we should all beware of our own slippery slopes that we wander on to.
Our slippery slopes may never be recorded in a book, and certainly not the Bible, BUT.. if we are not careful we may betray Jesus in words and/or actions.
Like Jesus taught.. “What you did (good or bad) to the least of my family, you did it to me.” I believe the lesson Judas betrayal is infinitely sobering, BUT.. the lesson of Matthew 25:31-46 is just as sobering. Sobering, but so very encouraging too.
When our hearts are focused on Jesus first (not a cheap cliché), then our focus leaves ourselves, and what we do for the least in God’s family will make God smile. God’s plan is simple, we only make it complicated our compromised hearts.
Finally.. WHAT IS JUDAS REPENTED of this betrayal? He did not, and was lost in the despair of these dark moments, but WHAT IF? We will never know, but I believe God’s Grace would have saved Judas. There is no dark place, there is no wrong path we can take that can not be reached by God’s perfect love and forgiveness.
May God bless each of you this Easter season. May our lives make God smile! May we recognize that God's grace can rescue any of us no matter what dark path you find yourself on. There is no betrayal that God will not forgive and so there is hope for all of us. It is a hope for forgiveness and complete restoration for the repentant heart.. AND hope for a life yet to be realized and blessed by God.
Jeff (saved by Grace) Larson
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson