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3 Eye-Opening Things We Can Learn from Judas

  • Colin Smith UnlockingTheBible.org
3 Eye-Opening Things We Can Learn from Judas

Somewhere in your journey of faith you may be tempted to give up on Jesus Christ. Most Christians know someone who has abandoned the faith they once professed. I’m thinking of the young person brought up in a Christian home who now has very little interest in following Christ; the woman who extended herself in Christian ministry, but was disappointed and now is close to leaving the church; the couple for whom life has brought pain and perplexity to the point where, having once given testimony to God’s grace, they now wonder why they should believe in Christ at all.

The Bible gives us a powerful story of one man who gave up on Jesus. His name is Judas Iscariot, and his story is one of great and lasting loss.

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1. To the person thinking about walking away from Jesus, I say:

1. To the person thinking about walking away from Jesus, I say:

No one ever loved Judas as Jesus loved him.  The Chief Priests had no interest in him, and merely used him for their own ends.  When Judas told them he had sinned they could not have cared less.  “What is that to us?” (Matthew 27:4).

But even when Judas was about to betray Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was reaching out: “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48).  “Judas, don’t set yourself against me!  Forget the kiss.  Come under my protection.  Step over the line and take your stand again with me, and with my disciples.” 

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It is better to take your stand with Jesus Christ than to be against him.

It is better to take your stand with Jesus Christ than to be against him.

To the person thinking about abandoning your faith, I say – no one else can love you as Jesus Christ loves you.  Who else can say to you in life and in death, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5)?  Who else can say to you, “Come to me… and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)?

To walk away from Jesus is the greatest folly, because his love is the greatest love that you can ever know.  Why would you do that?  What do you gain from walking away from Jesus?  Learn from the story of Judas that to walk away from the greatest love is always the greatest folly.  Stay with Jesus and you will enjoy the greatest love.

2. Don’t try to resist the greatest power.

2. Don’t try to resist the greatest power.

More than anything else, the story of Judas shows the complete futility of opposing the Lord Jesus Christ.

The band of soldiers came to arrest Jesus with lanterns and torches (John 18:3), presumably thinking that Jesus would hide and that they would need to search for Him.  But when they arrived, He came out to meet them and identified himself: “I am he!” (18:8).  The arresting party brought Judas with them so that he could identify Jesus with the secret sign of a kiss, but before Judas could plant his kiss on the face of Jesus, our Lord had already identified himself.

Several hundred soldiers showed up, but Jesus was arrested, not because of their power, but because He gave Himself to those who came to bind him.  He died because He chose to lay down His life, and He rose because He chose to take it up again (John 10:18).   

It is better to take your stand with Jesus Christ than to be with a vast crowd who are against him.  Read forward to the end of the Bible story and you find that in the last times there will be vast armies arrayed against Christ and against his people.  These armies will be led by the antichrist, whose power will circle the globe.

It will seem like the antichrist has all the power on his side, as it seemed that the Roman soldiers had all the power in the garden.  But then Jesus Christ will come in His glory, and the Bible says, “The lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming” (2 Thessalonians 2:8).  Jesus blows on his enemies and they are gone!

When Christ comes in power and glory, I want to be among his friends, not among his enemies, and so do you.  Don’t try to resist the greatest power.  To resist the claim of God on your life is to take on a fight that you cannot possibly win.  Stay with Jesus and you will be kept by the greatest power.

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3. Don’t miss out on the greatest triumph.

3. Don’t miss out on the greatest triumph.

What did Judas gain from abandoning Jesus?  Absolutely nothing!  It was all loss.

When Jesus appeared to the disciples after the resurrection, Judas was not there.  When Christ ascended to heaven, with hands raised to bless his people, Judas was not there.  And when Christ stands before his Father and says, “Here I am and the children you have given me” (Hebrews 2:13), Judas will not be there. 

My hope and prayer is that you will be there.  Jesus welcomes all who come to Him.  He will guard and keep all who walk with Him.  Stay with Jesus and you will enjoy the greatest love, be kept by the greatest power, and share in the greatest triumph. 

 

Adapted from "Heaven, So near-So Far: The Story of Judas Iscariot" by Colin Smith

Adapted from "Heaven, So near-So Far: The Story of Judas Iscariot" by Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the Senior Pastor of The Orchard, a multi-campus church in the Chicago suburbs, and the teaching pastor for the daily radio program called, Unlocking the Bible. He is the author of the new book, Heaven, So Near - So Far: The Story of Judas Iscariot.

Judas, who betrayed Jesus, and Peter, who denied Jesus, both hit a low point in their lives when it looked as if they were done with Jesus forever. Yet these men responded in very different ways. Judas separated from the other disciples and gave up on faith in Christ completely. Peter chose a different and a better path.

 

 

 

 

 

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