Am I Any Better Than Judas?
Matthew 26:14-16 Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
The name Judas ranks up there with the great villains of history. He may not have the volume of blood on his hands that some tyrants do but he turned on the son of God and thus, his name has become synonymous with betrayal. No one names their child Judas as the name itself implies evil.
Judas, one of the twelve disciples, was hand-picked by Jesus. He participated in Christ’s ministry and could easily have a gospel named after him if he had not turned traitor. He presumably made great sacrifice to follow Christ and there is no doubt that he was one of his dedicated followers. Yet, something changed and he went to the chief priests agreeing to betray Christ for thirty pieces of silver.
I may think Judas to be a monster for betraying the son of God, but I have to ask myself, Which disciple do I resemble most? I would like to be like Peter, the rock, but I am afraid that if I had to examine my life and compare, I would be more akin to Judas.
It is not that I have literally betrayed Christ for money. I must however, ask myself what my price is for turning my back on him. I daily have this choice to pursue Christ or to follow my own desires. What do I usually choose? Am I one of the eleven, denying self daily, sacrificing all to follow him? Or, do I, like Judas, pursue silver, pride, lust, anger, or bitterness at the expense of the Christ?
Judas claimed to follow Christ but then betrayed him for money. I claim to follow Christ but then turn my back on him in pursuit of self. The moral difference between betrayal and hypocrisy is not as big as I would like it to be. Judas crime was that he claimed to follow Christ and then betrayed him for selfish gain. Mine is that I claim to follow Christ and then I pursue me.
The best thing that I can say about my contrast to Judas, is that I have returned to Christ and asked forgiveness for my wandering. Judas, in his guilt, killed himself and we have no record that he ever reconciled with Jesus. The greatest difference between Judas and me is not our crime, it is our fate. I cannot claim that I am better than Judas. I can only throw myself on the mercy of God and cling to his forgiveness.
Unlike Judas, I get a chance each day to do this over. I will never do it perfectly in this life, but every day, Jesus asks me to deny my selfish pursuits and follow him. So today, I must decide if I will play Judas or if I will follow Christ.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful or interesting, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.