Why Did Judas Betray Jesus?

Today’s reading is Matthew 26.

Recently, I had the blessing of hearing an author’s take on why Judas betrayed Jesus. I got a great deal out of the presentation. However, his take was not quite the same as mine. In addition to that, I’ve heard from other people even different perspectives than these two. And so, reading of Judas’s betrayal again today has me asking, “Why?” What really prompted this betrayal? And why doesn’t God go ahead and specify? Then it hits me. I believe there is great benefit in thinking through the possible motivations. I’ve learned a great deal about Judas and also about me from the different perspectives. However, at the end of the day, what God demonstrates is the why is not nearly as important as the fact that he did. Whether Judas was trying to force Jesus’s hand to go ahead and establish the kingdom, whether he was disillusioned with Jesus’s kind of kingdom, whether he thought Jesus would not be condemned and so this was a great opportunity to get some money and no one would get hurt (my personal leaning), or some other motivation, Judas betrayed Jesus. That is the point that matters. We have all kinds of reasons for our sins. Some reasons seem rational, but none of them really are. Some reasons make sense to me on the surface, but really none of the reasons do. The point here is no matter the motivation, sin is never the right choice. Judas sinned and whether we can make psychological sense out of his motivation or not is in many ways beside the point. The same is true for our sins. Why did you sin? Why did I? Really, it doesn’t matter. We now need a Savior to forgive us and free us from them. I don’t know why you sinned, but I do know why you need Jesus. Let’s turn to Him today.

Tomorrow’s reading is Matthew 27.

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Why Judas?

Today’s reading is Mark 4.

Have you ever wondered why Jesus picked Judas as one of the twelve? He knew the future. He knew how it would end up. But He picked him anyway. Was Judas a bad guy and Jesus just needed a bad guy to make sure He got betrayed in the end? I don’t think so. Judas was apparently good enough that none of the rest had a problem with him being in charge of the money bag. He wasn’t an obviously bad, awful man filling a spot and biding time for Jesus. I suggest Judas was chosen because Judas was qualified. By God’s grace, he had everything he needed to be a great disciple of Jesus and a great apostle. However, at the same time, he also had everything he needed to be a betrayer. The fact is Judas is just like us. We have everything it takes to be a traitor, but by the grace of God we also have everything it takes to be great disciples and servants of Jesus. The question is which will we choose. Start today. Which will you choose today?

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 5.

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Not My Will, But Yours

Today’s reading is Mark 14.

Jesus expresses the heart of discipleship in His prayer. Not my will be done, but Yours. And this is the hardest part of growth. Far too often we read our will into every situation, into every Scripture, into every story. We don’t even realize we are doing it. Lo and behold, when it is all said and done, we end up exactly where we wanted to. This is not to say God’s will is always completely opposed to ours. But let us be cautious, and let us always strive to be like Jesus. May we always say, “Not my will, but Yours be done in my life.” That is discipleship.

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 15.

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