Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sympathy for Judas

  It has been quite some time since I last wrote.  To quickly recap - I lost my job in February due to unexpected circumstances at my former job.  They let me go and for 3 months we struggled to make the most of my meagre savings to get by.

   I finally got a job at a good engineering company.  A place, God willing, i will be at for some years to come.  In the meantime, we are still just barely getting by with our finances.  Fortunately, God is faithful and has always provided just enough for us to get by.  I am learning a great deal of humility and to be content with what we have.  I've been extremely spoiled living with the abundance my wife and I have had in the past.  Now we must pay for the mistakes we made then - and continue to learn, and be sufficient with what we have.

  Cassidy, my daughter, is growing by leaps and bounds.  She'll be starting pre-school this fall.  Where has time gone by?

Sympathy for

  Of all the disciples in the New Testament, Judas is the most complex.  For the length of his ministry, Jesus knew who Judas was.  Little is written about his experiences among the 12.  All that we know is that he was likely related to High Priest in Jerusalem.  He managed the financial affairs of Jesus' band of 12.  In fact, if he hadn't played such a pivotal role in Jesus' walk to Calvary, we would barely take notice of this man.

   I listened to an excellent series by Clyde Pilkington this past week.  It was entirely about Judas and who he was. You can find them here

   By the time it was done, my heart was utterly broken for Judas.  Here's a guy who's destiny was written about him LONG before he was born.  You know how the Psalmist writes 

"Your eyes saw my unformed body;

    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be."

  For Judas it was more than Psalm and it was more than academic.   Prophecies such as Psalm 41:9,  Psalm 55, Zech 11:12-13, and finally Jesus himself acknowledged Judas' doom in his own words "When I was with them in the world, I kept those whom Thou hast given Me in Thy name, and I guard them, and not one of them perished, except the son of destruction, that the scripture may be fulfilled." (John 17:12)

   Think about it, if it was any of us - do you think you could do different?  When God himself sets your path and dooms you to walk it.  Not only that, but Satan entered into Judas to ensure success.  "27 And after the morsel, then, Satan entered into that man. Jesus, then, is saying to him, "What you are doing, do more quickly."" John 13:27

   Not only that, but Jesus says "get it done quickly!" he's not only acquiescing to Judas' betrayal but encouraging it!

    The other day I googled "Judas' Sorrow" the results showed frequently what the evangelical world thought of Judas.  The typical article that search showed as "Peter's Godly sorrow VS. Judas' worldly sorrow" which only ticked me off.

   There is a great deal of difference between Peter and Judas.  Comparing their experiences is so offensive to me because both of their roles were necessary and both could not be more different.

   Peter was a blue collar working fisherman, honored by God and crafted to become the herald of the Kingdom.  Judas was rich, used to politics and the circumstances of the wealthy.  Peter was protected and shaped to his charge.  Judas was not protected but rather almost completely discarded to the purpose of Satan which fit God's plan for him.

    Peter was warned when Jesus said "Tonight before the cock crows, you will betray me 3 times.  Be forewarned Satan desires to sift you as wheat." (Paraphrased) whereas no such warnings were given to Judas.

   I loved that Clyde pointed out.  In Old Testament worship, if a man touched the sacrifice, his sins were atoned for.  When Judas kissed Jesus before he was lead away - his sins were atoned for.

   If only he had waited 3 days!  3 days and the guilt and self-reproach for having given up his friend to death, would've changed to joy and gratitude.  However it is consoling to note that the very first sight he will see when he rises from his centuries long slumber will be the face of the one he thought he had doomed.

   Praise God that even Judas will experience the wide and abundant love of Father!

Travis Penner

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