Morning by Morning, June 21 - More Like Jesus than Judas
Good morning, Lord Jesus. I worship You and welcome You, here in my heart and every moment of my day -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit of God. ...
"When it was evening, He took His place with the twelve; and while they were eating, He said, 'Truly I tell you, one of you will betray Me.' And they became greatly distressed and began to say to Him one after another, 'Sure not I, Lord?' He answered, 'The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with Me will betray Me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of Him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born.' Judas, who betrayed Him, said, 'Surely not I, Rabbi?' He replied, 'You have said so'" (Matthew 26:20-25).
Sometimes I wonder what happened to Judas. Did he get too close to the money? (John 6:29) With his hand in Your bowl, did he become presumptuous of his access to Your greatness or begin to take his invitation to Your intimacy and his acceptance of Your grace for granted? Did being one of the Big Twelve give him the big head? Or did the seeds of sin and self-seeking sown into his fallen soul finally grow to full harvest in his heart of betrayal? In any event, somehow Satan himself entered his soul to consume his thoughts and influence his choices (Luke 22:3).
You know every choice we will ever make, seeing the end from the beginning and the beginning from the end (Isaiah 46:10). You know every heart and every motive of every choice (Acts 1:24; Jeremiah 17:10). Yet, the choices are ours in the freedom of will that a true relationship of love requires (Joshua 14:15; Deuteronomy 30:14-15; John 7:17).
And what if Judas had made better choices with all that was entrusted to him? Surely Your Word was true of him as It is with us all: "For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope" (Jeremiah 29:11). "As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of wicked people. I only want them to turn from their wicked ways so they can live" (Ezekiel 33:11 NLT).
Judas was not born a traitor, but he "became a traitor" (Luke 6:16). And by the time it was time for Judas to choose blessing or curse, life or death, "the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas son of Simon Iscariot to betray (You)" (John 13:2). In the end, "Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place" (Acts 1:25 NKJV).
But what if instead of becoming "the one destined to be lost," Judas would have humbled himself in repentance and faith, seeking You healing and freedom of all that would hold him back of being a faithful follower instead of a condemned traitor (John 17:12)? His confession and repentance came too late when finally acknowledged, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood!" (Matthew 27:3) What if he could have become a son of God instead of the "son of perdition" (John 17:12 NKJV)? What if he was to spill out his heart to lead others to Christ instead of spilling out his guts after hanging himself on a tree (Matthew 27:5; Acts 1:18)? What if even the Book of Jude could have been the Book of Judas, sharing words of encouragement and exhortation from a life that was changed and surrendered to God to fulfill a destiny to honor Christ (Jude 1)?
You are "longsuffering toward us (all), not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9). So before I judge Judas for the speck in his eye, give me a humble and teachable heart to see the log in my own eye (Matthew 7:5). Let me "judge not," so that by the measure I judge I will not also be judged and that very thing come up me (Matthew 7:1). Let me never take my grace for granted or presume upon my place of intimacy with You. Convict me of my sins and keep me sensitive in my heart to the leading of Your Spirit, so that it's never too late to choose well and live well in the destiny You desire for me (Ephesians 1:11). By the power of Your grace, may I grow to be much more like Jesus than Judas (Romans 8:29). In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Be encouraged today! In the Love of Jesus, Tommy Hays