Jesus was betrayed by an overwrought follower. Judas reacted to his sin in the wrong way. He was overcome with grief – Mt 27:3 “Then when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,”. He took the wrong course of action by hanging himself – Mt 27:5 “And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, he departed, and he went and hanged himself.”
We can react to our sins the same way. There are two kinds of sorrow – 2 Co 7:10 “For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.” Sorrow of the world produces death. Godly sorrow produces repentance. — The first sorrow is preoccupied with self; the second is sorrow for sinning against God. It is natural to be sorrowful for our sins. But we should not wallow in our grief, but repent, as did Peter who denied Christ. Paul is another example of one who did not let sins of the past hinder service in the present. He focused on God’s grace which gave him another chance – 1 Co 15:9-10 “For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” He directed his attention on striving for the upward call of God – Ph 3:12-14 “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
While Jesus was betrayed by all these things, let’s not forget the influence of Satan… Satan used Judas to betray Jesus – Lk 22:3-4 “Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them.” Satan put it in Judas’ heart to betray Jesus – Jn 13:2 “During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him,”. — For this reason Jesus referred to Judas as “a devil” – Jn 6:70-71 “Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the Twelve, was going to betray him.” Yet how did Satan influence Judas? By some of the very things we’ve noticed… Through his love of money; through his emotionalism; through his mistaken ideas and through his preoccupation with self. — Even Peter was influenced by Satan through some of these things (Mt 16:23 “But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”‘) And so while we may decry the treachery of Judas, we should humbly learn from his mistakes, taking to heart the words of Peter:
“ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” – 1 Pe 5:9-10
The purpose in my posting these segments was that of introspect for asking, “Am I betraying Jesus unknowingly by not looking into myself?” I have, Will you do the same? We need to take the possibility seriously.