Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. (Mark 14:10)
Have you ever met someone named Judas?
Probably not. Many of the characters featured in the Bible are used in naming children—John, Mary, David, Elizabeth, and so forth—but, not Judas. That name will live in infamy. It is synonymous with treachery—sealed with a kiss!
The motives of this traitor are not stated emphatically, yet, may be deduced from the text. Judas’ reaction to the actions of Jesus was one of misunderstanding and a growing dissatisfaction. He had apparently followed Jesus due to the warped idea of Messiah so many of his generation possessed—expecting the overthrow of Rome and the glory days of Solomon restored. He saw the Kingdom of God in political rather than spiritual terms. The blessings Judas desired were not for eternity, but to experience on earth. Because of this Judas was associated with Christ, but never one with Christ. He was unconverted—not a believer, but a make-believer.
This thinking reached critical mass one day, when Mary is commended by Jesus for pouring expensive perfumed oil on Jesus—something Judas considered a “waste.” It was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Judas decided to cut his losses and get out of his three years of dashed dreams by betraying Jesus to the religious leaders who hated Him. Judas sold his soul to the devil for thirty pieces of silver.
This is surely one of the saddest stories in Scripture. Judas had such an opportunity. Think of the teaching he heard, the miracles he saw, and the love he received, yet the shine of silver captivated his heart more than the splendor of the Savior. Heaven slipped from his grasp and he slunk into the shadows—on to everlasting darkness. He felt remorse for what he did and the tortured wretch ended his life—temporal sorrow soon swallowed up in eternal grief. Will any weep, wail, and gnash their teeth more than that man? Jesus said that it would have been better for him not to have been born.
I have no intent to disturb your faith if it is real. Your faith in Christ may be small, but if it is genuine it is enough. We are not saved because of the amount of our faith, but the object of it—Christ alone saves us! My desire is that if you examine your faith and find it superficial that you become disturbed greatly! To be so close to being a follower of Christ and yet fail of salvation is most tragic. The story of Judas is to show us the reality of counterfeit Christianity. We may be identified with the church, yet not in Christ. We can be near the Kingdom of Heaven and still outside it. Judas is in hell and we do not want to join him there!
Give yourself unreservedly to Christ. Commit your all to Him. It will be His commitment to you that insures your safe arrival home.
Judas wanted no part of the cross. Only through that cross, however, can we be saved. Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand!