Monday, March 7, 2011

Words of Encouragement

Judas in the midst

Theme Scripture ~ I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13

Have you ever had to deal with betrayal? Have you had a friend that you thought was true to you to find out that they were plotting your destruction? What are you suppose to do? Do you get back, do you retaliate or do you cut them off? Today let’s look at how Jesus handled betrayal.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?” 23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” 25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “You have said so.” – Matthew 26:20-25

Background ~ What’s taking place is the Lord is preparing the last supper, the Passover supper with his disciples. As he is seated he tells them that one of them will betray him. Judas, the one that betrayed him ask surely it couldn’t be me? Jesus’ response, you have said so.

What stood out to me is that Jesus is in fellowship and part of the godhead. Therefore he knows everything. Even when he picked Judas he knew he would betray him, yet he picked him anyway. He took the time to teach him, he allowed him into a close fellowship with him even though he knew he would betray him. Does that make senses?

Not to you and I, but to God it simply shows his character. God is ready to give every man the opportunity to live for Him. He turns no one away, the liar, the cheater, the killer, the rapist, the everyday sinner, no one. Some will not change, but no one will have the opportunity to say God did not give them the chance.

Sometimes God will require you and I to allow some Judas’ in our midst. We may even know going in that we shouldn’t trust them, or that they may hurt us, but we are still to offer them the same opportunity as everyone else to hear the about goodness of God.

Now before we move from this point, let me make it clear. I’m not talking about a false understanding. See Jesus was well aware of what he was dealing with. We have to deal with people with godly wisdom and insight. For example, we may try to help someone on drugs, but we are not foolish enough to think well I can trust them with everything I have. Jesus knew what Judas was doing. He knew his character.

The question you may have is, that’s too hard, how can I put up with a Judas in my midst? Well that goes back to our scripture theme. It is only through the strength of Jesus that we will be able to handle those Judas’ in our midst. Oh it’s hard. I had one myself. I knew the person was lying on me, they were telling people things about me and trying to destroy my name. Yet, when they were around me they acted like the loved me. But I was aware of what was going on. I wanted to get out, but God said, not yet. You need to be the one that offers repentance. I did, and I was only able to stand because of God strengthening me.

Do you need him to strengthen you today as you stand through and face your Judas in your midst?