August 18, 2015
“A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways,” perfectly describes Judas Iscariot. He was torn between extremes. Jesus Himself had chosen Judas to be one of the twelve apostles. What a privilege! Only twelve people in all of history were in this elite group. With being chosen came promises, privileges, and power. Judas was blessed to have been in the band of men closest to the Lord during His earthly existence and ministry.
What did he get to see? He saw the Lord up close performing miracles! The blind, lame, and inferm were raised to a level of health and life they had never known. Dead people were brought back to life – in the presence of the apostles. Lepers, for example, were lost to their families forever – until Jesus touched the untouchable, and made their skin like that of a new-born babe. The Bible says that Christ performed so much that all the volumes of the world would not be able to contain it (John 21:25). Judas was a witness; he saw miracle after miracle.
He heard the greatest sermons ever preached. There were no doctrinal slips from the authoritative mouth of our Lord. Life-giving words were delivered with power from on high to the hungry ears of needy souls. When Jesus finished speaking, He did not have to think, “I forgot an important point I was going to say.” He said what He meant, and He meant what He said. He spoke the truth; the truth which can set the captive free.
Judas was not only witness to the power of God, but was given the ability to perform miracles and preach as well. Matthew 10:7-8: And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. I’ve been saved for 52 years, and I have never healed anyone, but Judas was told to and empowered to do so. Yes, he was privileged.
Judas was given a place of authority within the group of twelve. He was the only one chosen to be the treasurer. He was trusted enough to take care of the company books, even though he was the only one from “out of town.” One preacher said Judas was the most successful hypocrite of all time. He had everyone fooled that he traveled with every day for three years, all except one – Jesus. Jesus knew he was a betrayer all along.
Judas was conflicted to put it mildly. On the one hand, he had left his occupation to follow Christ. For three years he was an apostle. Whatever his business was prior to this, he forsook it. He looked like he was going along with “the program.” His true colors eventually, and in the end, came shining through.
Friend, Judas Iscariot can teach us much about ourselves. He is the extreme case, no doubt; but what are you pretending to be? Perhaps you go to church every Sunday, maybe even teach a class, or sing in the choir. Maybe you have been a church member for years and have a reputation as a faithful saint. But when push comes to shove, what would you do? Judas sold his soul for thirty pieces of silver – not even very much money. What does it take to lure you away from Christianity? Are you waiting for that opportunity?
Judas became angry when the Lord rebuked him for saying the perfume Mary was using in her worship should have been sold and the money given to the poor. Judas did not care about the poor; he cared about money. The Lord saw right through him, just as He does us. You cannot fool the Lord! Let me repeat that – YOU CANNOT FOOL THE LORD. You can fool a lot of people, maybe even yourself sometimes, but not our omniscient Savior. So many have one foot in the world and one foot in “Christianity.” There is, however, no such place. You cannot serve two masters.
The saddest part of the story of Judas is the end. He “got what he wanted, but lost what he had.” He got his money, his revenge, but he died and went to a Christless eternity. He gave a sad effort to undo his dastardly deed, but alas, to no avail.
Let us search our hearts. Am I double-minded; am I truly “in Christ?” If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. It is too late for Judas Iscariot, but while you still have time, “seek the Lord while He may be found.”