Loving the Judas in Your Life - Part Deux
"With him are strength and sound wisdom; the deceived and the deceiver are his." Job 12:16
Sometimes we fail to recognize the deceiver among us.
Going back to that night in the upper room so long ago, I just can't get past it. The disciples—other than Judas Iscariot—really had no clue who the devil was among them as they broke the bread and drank the wine, as Jesus washed their feet before his betrayal and crucifixion. This is so shocking on so many levels, but two big reasons stand out to me.
First, the disciples spent an awful lot of time together. I don't know about you, but when I spend a lot of time with someone, it doesn't take long for them to let their hair down and be seen in all of their imperfect glory. It is shocking that they didn't know who the traitor would be, even as Jesus dipped the bread and handed it to the guest of honor. It speaks to the wiles of the devil and the craftiness of his plans, his proficiency as designer of sheep clothing. And, it speaks to Jesus' knowledge of all things.
Second, and most amazing to me, is Jesus' demonstration of love to Judas throughout His ministry all-the-while knowing that Judas was a devil and would betray Him. As Judas followed Jesus with the other disciples, he was keeper of the money among them. Scripture tells us Judas often helped himself to what was put into the moneybag (John 12:6). They recognized that. Yet, Jesus continues to teach Judas Iscariot along with all of the other disciples, to demonstrate love, to serve even him—the betrayer.
God calls those of us who are His disciples to demonstrate our love and service to others, even to the betrayers—every day. Can you imagine the difference it would make if the world really saw us doing this?
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." Matthew 5:43-45