At first his heart was filled with excitement to simply be with Jesus. Like the rest of the disciples, the message appealed to him. He had grown up with the promise of a Messiah and this Jesus seemed to fill all the prophesies written about Him. Like many of his brothers in the faith, He didn’t fully understand God’s plan. Jesus’ words resonated with an authority that commanded their attention. Their world was full of rebellion over Roman rule. Poverty lined the streets of the common man. The time was ripe for these words. What Judas didn’t understand was that Jesus was not an ordinary man. He was the Son of God.
Being the treasurer of the group, Judas always had money on his mind. How would they feed all the people that had gathered? How would they supply themselves with the necessary gear to survive the elements? When Jesus had his feet washed with expensive nard, Judas considered it a waste of something that could easily be turned into quick cash.
We often look at Judas with disdain, but he was truly a product of his environment – as all of us sinners are. By being so focused on the material things he missed what was right in front of him. He had God with him – right in his midst – and he didn’t recognize. We aren’t much different. We may go through life without thinking about Jesus and the importance of what He did for us. We get wrapped up in the things of this world like money, politics, doctrine, government, material things and we simply put Jesus on the back burner, when He should be the main focus of our lives.
When the devil entered Judas’ thoughts, he was overtaken by greed and betrayed the One who had come to save the world. When Satan gets into our heads, we do the same. We need to put our total focus on the One who has already conquered sin and guilt instead of our own selfish needs. So, let’s cut Judas some slack. We aren’t much different than he was. We need Jesus to intercede for us.
Let’s remember our own daily betrayal of Jesus through our thoughts, words and deeds. Let’s ask God for forgiveness, and let’s be confident that our sins have already been forgiven. May He then give us strength to live our lives for Him.