Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Judas Within Us

In the Bible there is a story of a man named Judas, who was a follower of Jesus Christ. Near the end of Jesus' ministry, Judas was not happy with the way Jesus was handling things, and so he decided to help the religious leaders capture Jesus so that Jesus could be put on trial for heresy. For 30 pieces of silver Judas gave up Jesus' whereabouts so that Jesus could be taken into custody. When the guards came to arrest Jesus, Jesus saw Judas there. Let's pick up the story in the gospel of Luke 22:47-48, "While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48but Jesus asked him, 'Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?'" Not only did Judas betray Jesus, but he did it with a kiss; a sign of affection. An "in your face" betrayal.
If you are like me, you have a tendency to judge Judas for this act of betrayal. And yet, in judging Judas, we forget that we have the same tendencies as well. Meaning that you and I betray Jesus all the time. This idea might flabbergast you, but it is true.
So let's ask ourselves the question: How do we betray Jesus? There is a book called "My Heart, Christ's Home," where our bodies and lives are likened to a house. As a house has many rooms, so does our lives. If Christ is going to take up residence in our house (our lives), then we have to prepare it so that Jesus will feel comfortable. But as we try to "clean it up," we find that it is difficult to do. So ultimately we need to let Jesus do the cleaning up. So, the story goes, that Jesus proceeds to clean up our house.
One day we are going to go out, and Jesus asks if He can go with us. We think for a moment, and then realize that Jesus wouldn't be comfortable going where we are going and doing what we are doing, so we say "no." As we leave the house, we realize that our lives are not what Christ would desire of us. There are many things that we do that Christ would not approve of. There are many times in our lives when we don't lift Christ up, or tell others about Christ. In this way, and many others, we let Christ down and betray Him.
The truth is, we have sin in our lives. We let our sinful desires guide us many times. We struggle to make the "right" decisions. In doing this, we let Christ down, and we can let others down. We all have a "Judas" within us. A thinking and acting that Jesus is holding us back. If we want to get rid of this Judas, then we must give Jesus total control over our minds and actions. Only then can we hope to fully live for Jesus; fully live the life we are called to live.
The choice is yours and mine. Do we sell Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver? Or, do we walk with Jesus in the spiritual battles of life? I hope my life shows my desire to walk with Jesus. Tell me what you think.