September 17

Text: Matthew 26:23-25

And He answered and said, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.  The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born."  And Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, "Surely it is not I, Rabbi?" He *said to him, "You have said it yourself."  (NASB)

To me, Judas is a scary person.  He is scary, not because he is unlike most people.  He is scary because he is like too many of us.  If your reaction to Judas is, “He is unlike anyone I know!  I certainly have NOTHING in common with him!” then he teaches you nothing about people or yourself.  If that is true, he likely is nothing but an object of your contempt.  If that is true, what a waste!

First, people exist who refuse to be touched by good influences.  No matter how much “good” surrounds the person, he/she is not touched.  He/she has a personal agenda that is kept very secretive and private.  No one is allowed “inside” that person.

Second, the person is an expert at playing the “God game.”  They love being around godly people.  Why?  That environment contains so much opportunity.  Unsuspecting godly people are easily exploited by godless pretenders with a godless agenda.  This type of person can be a popular leader or seem to be a devout follower.  The more “faithful” he/she seems to be the better it is for his/her purposes. The person can “out religion” the best “religionist.”  He/she knows what to do and when to do it.

Third, this person is brazen and seemingly without conscience.  Who gets hurt is unimportant as long as the internal objective is accomplished.  Always, the means are justified by the objective.  Often the unsuspecting godly will support this person.

Judas was a deceitful person who was never suspected by the other 11.  Nothing Jesus did influenced him.  His agenda never changed.  He was so brazen that—even though Jesus “saw through him”—Jesus’   knowledge did not alter his plans.  Judas loved Judas above anyone else.

Suggestion for reflection: Distinguish between true loyalty and pretended loyalty.  (Read Jude 1:12-16.)

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