Jesus and Judas
Reading: Matt 26:47-50
Jesus had 12 key students.
Jesus chose each one of them one by one.
Jesus carefully chose one by one.
Then Jesus spent more times with these key students
Jesus prayed for them and about them.
Jesus chose Judas to be his disciple.
Jesus wanted to bring him into the fold.
Jesus chose him to be a key student and focused on teaching him.
Jesus started his ministry for him too.
Jesus wanted to build something for him.
For that purpose, Jesus moved a lot and taught a lot.
Jesus didn't choose new students continually.
Jesus limited himself to teach 12 key students well.
Then, Jesus promised that he would make them rule over Israel, if they left everything to follow Jesus.
And Judas was one of them.
So, Judas learned about the best lesson that he could have ever learned.
Jesus gave him special teachings and so on.
Jesus prepared him and equipped him to continue his ministry.
Jesus made him his disciple so that he could carry out his life.
Teaching him was a conscious decision for Jesus.
Jesus wanted to welcome him.
Judas saw Jesus moving various places to teach people and encourage them to experience God's power.
Judas saw Jesus healing people and teaching people.
Jesus knew that he was watching.
Jesus hoped that he would be empowered and would do what Jesus does.
First, Jesus teaches 12.
But through them Jesus was trying to make more disciples.
Jesus wanted them to reach out to help people understood God's love.
So, these 12 went out to teach others.
They need to make disciples by teaching what Jesus taught them.
This is the basic plan of Jesus.
In order to teach the world, Jesus needed Judas, as well.
So, Judas understood enough to teach others.
God is for Judas, too.
Jesus was very faithful to Judas.
God's salvation is available for Judas.
Jesus gave Judas the best he got.
Many knew that Judas was his disciple.
Many knew that Judas learned a lot.
Judas was able to teach others.
Judas preached about the Kingdom of God.
Judas’ mentor and teacher was Jesus himself.
Judas probably one time or another thought that Jesus might be the messiah.
So, Judas introduced Jesus to others as such.
Judas learned a lot from Jesus.
But then he misunderstood Jesus.
He was confused and thought he was not waiting for what Jesus was building.
Judas didn’t agree with the vision Jesus had.
Then Judas became someone else.
Judas wanted to say no to Jesus’ plan.
Judas thought that he didn’t want to follow Jesus anymore.
So, he decided to betray him and earn some money.
When Judas betrayed, how would Jesus have felt?
Was he really mad at him?
Was he angry?
But Jesus asked him:
“Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”
Even before this happened, Jesus imagined it all.
Jesus saw it all.
So, before all this happened, he wrote like this: (Psalm 41:9)
“Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.”
Even though Jesus knew it all, it was still painful.
Because Judas was his disciple, his friend, it was painful.
Jesus trusted him.
Jesus hoped for him.
Jesus wanted to preserve him.
But Judas betrayed his trust.
Judas betrayed Jesus who trusted him.
Then Jesus died.
Jesus died for Judas, too.
Even if Judas didn’t betray Jesus, Jesus would have died.
Then Jesus rose again.
Then many days later, Jesus gave his students the Holy Spirit.
Then the Holy Spirit led him and inspired him.
Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus created the church.
But then Judas was not there to see the power of the Holy Spirit.
When he realized what he had done, he could not take it.
He felt guilt and shame.
That was just too much.
So, he was not there anymore.
Maybe that is why Paul said to the church that he was most happy with: (Philippians 2:12)
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling.”
Judas betrayed Jesus when he didn’t know about Jesus’ resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Now we know the end result of the life of Jesus.
As we understand Jesus and his eternal quality, we will be able to follow him.
So, may we be faithful to Jesus.
May we always follow Jesus who lives in us.
May God help us to follow Jesus all the way.
Jesus, help us to be a faithful disciple forever.
Thank you for listening to our prayer.
In your name, amen.