Today’s Reading: John 13:2(NIV)
2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
I think we all probably have a little bit of Judas in us. Maybe it’s just me. I know I have my moments, when the words that spew from my mouth come quicker than I can catch and retain them. I attended a funeral service yesterday for a woman with whom I hold a great deal of respect. Sylvia lived her life by helping others. She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many. But the thing that made Sylvia so unique was how she never had a harsh word for anyone. She was truly kind-hearted person and never was cruel, especially with her words. What a testimony to a life well-lived! Sylvia emulated the spiritual gifts of kindness and goodness, patience and self-control, in every aspect of her living and dying.
I sometimes wonder about Judas’ motivation. Honestly, I don’t think he was trying to frame Jesus. I think Judas must have thought if he could just convince Jesus to confront the Roman authorities, He would speak and they would listen to Him and things would change. He was eager for Jesus to act, to overthrow Roman rule once and for all. Even after three years in His presence, Judas didn’t get it. He didn’t see the master plan. Judas couldn’t understand that even after he betrayed the Lord, there would have been forgiveness for him, had he asked and believed. It is an ongoing debate within theological circles about Judas’ intent and motivation. Yet, when I look at this man’s life and compare it to my own, I realize I could have been him.
Comedian Flip Wilson may have coined the phrase, “The devil made me do it!” but did you know it was Scriptural? Even during the evening meal, Satan was tempting Judas to betray the Lord. Judas knew he had a window of opportunity to connect the Roman guard with Jesus’ whereabouts. Did he want Jesus to die? Do you think he realized what was going to happen?
Today is a very good day to remember that the choices we make have lifelong consequences; not only for ourselves but for all those we know and love. We make decisions each day. We must remember just how easy it is to slip into sin, especially when we take our eyes off Jesus and focus on our own personal agenda and desires.
Don’t let the devil make you do it. Just say no, in Jesus’ name.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC -
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