I’ve wondered, at times, what kind of man this Judas was. What he looked like, how he acted, who his friends were. I guess, I’ve stereotyped him. I’ve always pictured him as a wiry, beady eyed, sly, wormy fellow, pointed beard and all. I’ve pictured him estranged from the other apostles. Friendless. Distant. Probably the result of a broken home. A juvenile delinquent in his youth. Yet I wonder if that is so true. We have no evidence (save Juda’s silence) that would suggest that he was isolated. At the Last Supper, when Jesus said that His betrayer would be at the table with Him, we don’t find the apostles immediately turning to Judas as the logical traitor. No, I think we’ve got Judas pegged wrong. Perhaps he was just the opposite. Instead of sly and wiry, maybe he was robust and jovial. Rather than quiet and introverted, he could have been outgoing and well-meaning. I just don’t know. But for all the things we don’t know about Judas, there is one thing we know for sure: he had no relationship with the Master. He had seen Jesus, but he did not know Him. He had heard Jesus, but he did not understand Him. He had religion, but no relationship. As Satan worked his way around the table in the Upper Room, he needed a special kind of man to betray the Lord. He needed a man who had seen Jesus, but who did not know Him. He needed a man who knew the actions of Jesus, but had missed out on the mission of Jesus. Judas was this man. He knew the empire, but he had never known the MAN. We learn this timeless lesson from the betrayer. Satan’s best tools of destruction are not from outside the church, they are within the church. It will die from corrosion within — from those who bear the name of Jesus but have never met Him, and from those who have religion, but no relationship. Judas bore the cloak of religion, but he never knew the heart of Christ. Let’s make it our goal to know Him — deeply.
Out of love for one another…….
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“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 ESV)
Scripture of the Week
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds. Because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~~ James 1:2-4
Something to Smile About
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
After tucking their three-year-old child Sammy in for bed one night, his parents heard sobbing coming from his room.
Rushing back in, they found him crying hysterically. He managed to tell them that he had swallowed a penny and he was sure he was going to die. No amount of talking was helping.
His father, in an attempt to calm him down, palmed a penny from his pocket and pretended to pull it from Sammy’s ear. Sammy was delighted.
In a flash, he snatched it from his father’s hand, swallowed, and then cheerfully demanded, “Do it again, Dad!”
Think About It
What is it Worth to You?
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “The wise man does not expose himself needlessly to danger, since there are few things for which he cares sufficiently; but he is willing, in great crises, to give even his life – knowing that under certain conditions it is not worthwhile to live.”
Jesus lived in word and deed by the principle, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13), and so He gave Himself on the cross for all of humanity (John 3:16). What do you care sufficiently for to expose yourself to danger? Give up for your fellow man? – Matt Clifton, Judsonia church of Christ, Judsonia, AR