Secret Deeds of Darkness
Matthew 26:48,49 Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him.
I may have been mistaken to previously assume that everyone knew of Judas’ treachery as it happened. It appears, in this passage at least, that Judas’ deception was designed to keep his dark deeds a secret. Not only did he succumb to his greed and betray the son of God, he tried to retain his status as one of the twelve. He thought he could get away with it. Working in the dark, masquerading as a friend, he was too cowardly to say, That’s him! Instead, he walked up to Jesus, greeted him as a teacher and then betrayed him with a kiss.
It is easy to judge Judas for his treachery and greed. He was a thief (John 12:6) who fed his own nature to the point where it consumed him. In the end, he hated and hanged himself (Matthew 27:5). He was a tragic, despicable figure who met his deserved end.
Still, it is difficult for me to read his story without feeling uncomfortable with the details. I honestly had a hard time writing this entry, not because I felt bad for Judas, but because his corrupt behavior reflected mine. How often do I think that I can get away with it? What if I were remembered for the worst behavior of my life? What if all of my evil motives and deeds were on display for the world to see?
It is convenient to point back three years ago and say that is all in the past, but in reading Judas’ story, I am introspective enough to ask what I am doing now that I would prefer stay in the dark. Stopping off at the grocery store for a donut run and discarding the evidence before I get home may be funny to you but it can lead to a mindset of doing what I want because I can get away with it.
When I speak evil of another, do I say it aloud for that person to hear or do I whisper it in the dark? Would I be completely comfortable with everyone knowing exactly what I look at on my computer? I may insist that my business is my business, but it is a good exercise to ask myself if I would be content with my wife and children observing all of my behavior. If I am engaging in conduct that I need to keep in the dark and cover with a facade, then I am likely sowing seeds of corruption.
I remember losing much sleep over my destructive behavior and I remember not wanting to even look at God. In my darkness, I could not look in the mirror, much less at the Father. I very much like being able to look in the mirror now. I love being able to go to the Father with a clean conscious every day. I am far from perfect but I have found that if I want to enjoy the light, I cannot dwell in the dark.