“So if you could meet anyone in the Bible, who would you like to meet?”
I was enjoying an evening with two of my friends and the topic of conversation turned religious. I had thought about this question in the past so I quickly answered, “That’s easy. Jesus Christ!”
My friend smiled and said, “Well, yes, that’s an obvious answer. But who would you choose if it wasn’t Jesus Christ?”
I was intrigued. So many great saints flashed through my mind. Abraham. David. Paul. Peter. Like Jesus Christ, they were somewhat obvious. No, my choice would be different. After a few moments, I offered my choice. “Judas.”
My friends were surprised. “You mean Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus Christ?”
I nodded. “Yup.”
“Why?” My friends were aghast.
“Well, I figured that someday in Heaven, I will meet all of the great saints who are mentioned in the Bible, but who would not be there? There are many evil people in the Bible but Judas would certainly be on the top of many people’s lists. I want to know why he would betray his Lord.”
Judas betrayed his Master for thirty pieces of silver. He was stealing money from the treasury of Jesus and His disciples. Is this not evil personified? Judas lived with Jesus Christ for three years, witnessed countless miracles, listened to numerous sermons, and was even given the power to cast out demons and heal the sick. Yet, in spite of all these experiences, in spite of all the reassurances that Jesus was the Messiah, his desire for money and power usurped his devotion to his Master. What was going through his mind? What turned his devotion? He loved the world more than he loved the living God. Why would I want to meet and have a conversation with Judas? There is an important lesson for all believers of Jesus Christ.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
1 John 2:15-17 (CSB)
Judas loved the world and the things of the world. It superseded any devotion he had for Jesus Christ. Judas succumbed to his own sins, causing him to betray His Master. Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Would I ever act in the same manner as Judas? Of course not! Yet, how often am I seduced by the lust of my flesh, the lust of my eyes, and the pride of my possessions? I may rationalize little indiscretions and overlook a snide comment that I utter, but all sin is an affront to God. It is not the magnitude of the sin. It is giving in to the sin. This is what Judas did and this can easily happen to me.
I want to meet Judas because he is a sober warning to all believers who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We can never take our faith or obedience for granted. Every moment of our lives, we must continue to abide in Jesus Christ and seek His sustenance. He is the living bread and water of God and we need to continually come to Him for sustenance.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.