It is Lenten time. I am reading a book for Lent this year. It is designed to help you focus on Christ, not just during Easter. We do that, don’t we? Only focus on Christ during the two major holidays surrounding him.
My reading for today was John 12:1-11. This is where Mary anointed Christ with expensive perfume, then used her hair as a towel. The setting is Lazarus’ house. The host was reclining and enjoying a conversation with his friends. I can place myself there. I unfortunately would place myself with Martha. Serving and preparing for the feast, my love language. I would like to think I would be at the feet of my Savior, but I know myself and in the kitchen I would be.
After Mary washed his feet in the expensive perfume, Judas Iscariot asked “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” (verse 6). On the surface this looks like a great question, but in verse 7 we learn the motive of his heart. “He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. I remember the question in the story, but never remembered hearing the thief part until today.
It got me to thinking abut Judas. Fun fact and a brief pause before I continue my blog, one of my strongest Spiritual Gifts is Mercy. I have an over-abundance of mercy. I want to help to the point of taking on your problems as if they were mine. I once loaned a boss money because I felt it was the right thing to do. (Don’t ask me for a loan, can’t do it). So, when I read about Judas, my heart breaks for him.
Here is a man who travels with Jesus but is clueless as to who he really is. Did he even listen to all those lessons? Did he not see all those miracles? He is a man who is all about money, sadly this applies to a lot of us today. Here is a man who will end up betraying Jesus. When we look at Judas, we do not see a man of honor. We see someone who is untrustworthy. How man anyone sympathize or have compassion for a man such as this?
Matthew 27:1-10 tells of the aftermath of what Judas did and how the story ends for him. “Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elder. Saying, ‘I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? See thou to that.’ And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, ad departed, and went and hanged himself.” (verses 3-5). Judas realized what he had done, repented, tried to return the blood money and failed. Seeing no other way out of what he had done, ended his life. How can you not have compassion for a man who has no hope?
Judas is us. We betray God with our thoughts and actions every day. We sin, we repent and then repeat. The difference between us and Judas is that we KNOW who Christ was and WHAT He did for us. None of us want to think of ourselves as Judas, we would never sell someone else out for money, right? Maybe not, but when we give into sin, we are selling ourselves out for that sin. What is your sin? What is that guilty pleasure you sell yourself out for? Lenten is a season of 40 days of sacrifice, the author of my book says that our “sacrifice is mild”. By the example Christ set, it is! Forty days in the wilderness with out food to sustain himself,
Christ shows us an example of a true Lenten season. He was there to be with God. That is where we need to be every single day. To purify our hearts and see with God, commune with Him and to just be in the moment with Him. Glorious worship!
So, instead of thinking of Judas as the ultimate traitor, maybe show a little of God’s Grace towards him. He repented just as we repent. Day one of Lent...