John 12:1-8

What is the first thing that enters your mind if someone mentions the name of Judas to you?  If you are like me, you will think of how Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.

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In this passage, we see that did not just come from nowhere.  Judas had the bag and that means he was treasurer for Jesus and the disciples, and he stole from them.  Presumably, he was thought of as someone who could be trusted with money by them when in fact, he was betraying all of them from the start by stealing out of the bag.  It was what we would call embezzlement.

We now know that Jesus knew who would betray him for at the last supper he said that it would be he to whom he gave the sop (the piece of bread) to and he gave it to Judas.  I have to conclude that as Jesus knows the heart of everyone, he knew that Judas was stealing from the bag and had no concern for the poor. He wanted to sell expensive oil to get as much money as possible so that he could steal some of it.

Judas would have appeared to be just like the other disciples.  Totally devoted to Jesus.  When the disciples were sent out to deliver a message and to perform miracles, we are not told that Judas did not go out and do likewise, so I conclude that he did.  He would have fooled everyone, except Jesus and until that last supper, Jesus did not make the other disciples any the wiser. In fact, when Jesus said that one of them would betray him they said, “Is it I, Lord”?  They must have been searching their hearts as they asked that thinking that perhaps under some circumstances, they could betray him even if they could not conceive of it at the time.

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Jesus chose Judas to be among the disciples knowing that he would steal and betray him. What of us? Are our hearts pure toward Jesus? Do we do things to serve him, or do we do things that appear to serve him, but they are really for our own benefit just as Judas was a thief?  We need to examine our hearts to make sure that we follow him from the right motives and not for self-gain.  We should love him for what he has done for us and give him the glory and where we find sin in our hearts we should repent and turn to him and throw ourselves upon his mercy.   Judas did not do that. He was grieved at his betrayal, but he did not repent.  He hung himself in shame and he was called the son of perdition.

Let us not be like him. Let us take judas as a salutary warning and not deceive ourselves. There is work to be done that Jesus has entrusted us to do. Let us get on with it in his name.  Amen.

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