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.
Scripture of the Week
“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.” — Psalm 37:39
Smile – God likes humor
POWER OF SCRIPTURE
The story has been told of a South Sea islander who proudly displayed the Bible to a G.I. during World War II. “We’ve outgrown that sort of thing,” the soldier said. The native smiled back and said, “It’s a good thing we haven’t. If it were not for this Book, you’d have been a meal by now!” – San Augustine church of Christ San Augustine, TX
Think About It
Do You Believe This?
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11:25-26)
When life is filled with good things and an easy life, keeping your faith poses little challenge; but when life is hard and painful, keeping of faith demands effort. We choose to believe in God and in Christ. The apostles and early evangelists proclaimed how Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies and was raised from the dead. They suffered for their preaching, but they would not take back their solid testimony that Jesus was Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).
We know the God who loves us, but we do not know what the future may bring. A fickle faith will not sustain us when the storms of life come crashing down. A fickle faith will not keep us strong and faithful to the truth, when others follow false religion. This is why we must continue to build our faith in God and in what He teaches.
If we do not believe what God says, we do not believe God. Jesus asked Martha if she believed what He promised. Martha confessed her faith, which included believing what He claimed about His coming into the world and life after death.
Because God gave us reasons to believe, we can confidently confess our faith in Christ. Because He arose from the dead, we can have confidence our sins are forgiven through His blood and we have a home with Him in eternity. ~~ Phil Sanders