“As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out.
And it was night.”
Judas stands in stark contrast to the woman who anointed Jesus. Both are remembered but for very different reasons.
Judas was one of the Twelve – apostles chosen and appointed by Jesus after a night of prayer. At that stage there was no higher calling. This was a select group of disciples on whose shoulders would rest the main responsibility for the continuation of the ministry that Jesus had begun. For them was reserved a special appointment and honour in the coming Kingdom. And Judas not only walked away from it but he sold Jesus to His enemies. He received thirty pieces of silver for this betrayal that he would complete when he identified Jesus with a kiss. His final reward was the desolation that within days would lead him to kill himself.
Different reasons have been suggested for this betrayal. Scripture tells us that Judas was in charge of the group’s money and that he would sometimes help himself to some of it. It has also been suggested that he was fixated on the idea of the Messiah as a military king who would re-establish Israel as an independent and powerful kingdom in its own right, having driven out the Roman oppressors – and that he was attempting to stir Jesus into action. Whatever the true reason or reasons, Judas was motivated by his own vision and desires which were enflamed by Satan. He was not prepared to allow Jesus to be Himself and to do His ministry in His own way – which according to Jesus was in direct obedience to God.
To become a follower of Jesus can only be done in one way. It is to acknowledge that He is Lord and Saviour. There is only one way to walk and it is His way, there is only one truth and it is His truth, and there is only one life and it is His life. No one can come to the Father except through Him. He is the only Way, the only Truth and the only Life – and His is the way in which we walk the Way, discern the Truth and live the Life.
To try and do it in any other way, following our own ideas and desires, leads only into darkness. He is the only true light – and what a glorious, liberating and life-giving light it is when accepted.
Judas received the Lord’s love and the special portion handed to Him by Jesus at the last meal. Jesus loved Him and held His hand out to him until the end. But Judas walked away from Him into the night.
Is Jesus really Lord of my life – or do I only look on Him as a helper?
Lord Jesus please help me to turn more fully to You in love and trust. Amen.