Becoming Judas Was A Decision

Posted: January 24, 2008 in Judas, witness
Tags: , , , , ,

Judas HangingJudas is one of the saddest people in the Bible, maybe in all of time. He walked with the Son of God for three years. He saw all those miracles. He saw all those mighty displays of power over earth wind and sky. He saw all the lives that were healed and made whole. He saw Lazarus walk out of that tomb. Yet his heart became harder and harder to the Son of God, as his greed and lust for the things of this world hardened his heart and soul to the King of Glory.

The truth of Judas is that we can have no effective or powerful witness for Jesus if our heart is set on the riches of this world. In Acts 1:6 the disciples were still curious to know when the Kingdom would be restored. Jesus quickly pointed them in the right direction. He said don’t worry about the Kingdom to come, worry about your purpose on earth-to witness to the world about me.

You make a choice everyday of your life. Is it more important to be comfortable in your home and your possessions, or do you stretch yourself, do you get out of the boat and tell others about Jesus. If the things of this world are more important to you than the power of Jesus, you might as well join Judas in the field of blood. You have the presence and the power of God in your life, and yet you are too busy chasing 30 pieces of silver to witness to your friends and family about this LIFE you supposedly have.

More than once I’ve heard people ask, “How could Judas betray Jesus? Do you think he went to heaven or hell?”

Judas Kisses Jesus

Those are not the questions we should be asking. We should be asking ourselves: Have I betrayed Jesus by not telling someone about Him? Is Jesus really my Lord and Savior? Am I really a child of God? Do I want Jesus in my life to the point that nothing in this world matters? Is anything in this world so important to me that I would choose it rather than Jesus?

We pity Judas and pat ourselves on the back. We could never have done what he did. But the truth is that many Christians are doing the very same thing. They are choosing possessions or pleasure or fame rather than being a witness to the Living Power of the Resurrected Savior. And when we choose that, instead of a river of living water flowing from our innermost being (John 7:37,38), we become bloated and are in danger of bursting, spilling our putrid guts over our worthless possessions. The picture of Judas and how his life ended should serve as a reminder that none of us are so spiritual that we could never be wooed away from following Jesus. Judas lived and preached and witnessed with Jesus Christ for three years! Yet he failed miserably.

We each make a decision to live for Jesus Christ. Justas Daniel purposed in his heart as a young boy, so we must purpose to always be a witness for Jesus.

Read this illustration, and then ask your self, what kind of witness for Christ will I decide to be?

 

A few years ago a man was waiting for a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon. He wrote in to an internet site to record an experience that changed his life.

As he was straining to locate his friend among the passengers leaving the plane, he noticed a man coming toward him carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to our visitor to greet his family. First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, the father said, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!” Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug. While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment. After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last,” and proceeded to give his wife a long, passionate kiss. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed, “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands. For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but it was obvious by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be.

Our bystander puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed he was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from him. He suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if he was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear his own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?”

“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those,” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face.

“Well, then, how long have you been away?” the bystander asked.

“Two whole days!” came the reply

Two days? Our bystander was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, our bystander assumed the man had been gone for at least several weeks, if not months. Almost offhandedly, hoping to end his intrusion with some semblance of grace the bystander said, “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling. He looked the bystander straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into his soul, said something that left the bystander a different person. He said, “Don’t hope, friend … decide!”

Then he flashed his wonderful smile again, shook the bystander’s hand and said, “God bless!” With that, he and his family turned and strode away together.

What love for Christ will you decide to have? What kind of witness will you be?

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Comments
  1. Tom Burns says:

    Mud Preacher:

    Do you have the larger bitmap or jpeg of the Judas hanging depiction on this page? I am from St. Bede’s parish in Holland, Pa. We put on the passion play every year. We want to briefly project the image of Judas hanging in the play. The thumbnail above is perfect for what we want. If you have it, can you email it to me?

    Thank you.

    Tom Burns

  2. RobynAnn says:

    Blog 10/01/08

    Powerful blog! Many Chrisitians are selling their souls and losing their salvation like Judas, because they are more concerned with setting political affairs straight on earth and getting power into the hands of the church/Christians, than humbly serving the least of these.

    Jesus never came to setup an institution. In fact, the Jews were so tired of the Romans oppressing them, and so consumed with taking back political authority that they thought Jesus would surely help them in this mission. Anxious that Jesus had not yet done anything to change the political atmosphere when He announced His departure they asked, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). But Jesus quickly corrected them that their power does not come from earthly governments, but instead “you will receive power from on high.. and be witnesses to Me.”

    And Hallelujah for that! I’ll choose the Holy Spirit power vs. the republican/democratic power anyday! More of us Christians should become more amazed and consumed with what has already been given to us freely.. if we seek after Him with all our heart. Let’s not follow Judas’ footsteps.. it only leads to a fatal end.

    –the disciple whom Jesus loved.

  3. sonya says:

    Without Judas, there’d be no sacrifice, no resurrection, no Christianity. Judas was doing God’s Will. To Love God’s Will, to Love Jesus’s Sacrifice, we must Love Judas.

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