During my Bible studies, I have enjoyed studying and researching biblical characters. For today’s devotional, I am choosing to teach two vital life lessons from the life of Judas Iscariot. All Christians know that Judas was one of the twelve disciples that Jesus chose himself. However, often times Christians just teach about how Judas betrayed Jesus Christ. This is very true, but the biblical principles that I want to share with you all today goes a little deeper than just simple betrayal.
The exact motivation behind Judas’s betrayal is not very important, because all people can do is speculate what was going through his head. Judas’s real problem was that he did not understand Jesus’ mission. Like many Jews of that time, Judas expected Jesus to make political and military moves against the Romans, however, Jesus kept teaching about his death. This could have discomforted Judas and even made him doubt that Jesus was really the Messiah.
It is written, “And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them,” (Luke 22:3-4, NASB).
The first lesson that I want to address is that Satan uses our doubt in Jesus to do horrible things. In the case of Judas, Judas betrayed Jesus. For many of us, when we do not understand Jesus’ mission in our lives and his love for each and every one of us, we can allow doubt to slip into our minds. This doubt can be used by Satan to make us do things that we would normally never do. It could be to betray the ones we love or commit a sin that we know we would normally not do. However, once the sin is committed, guilt starts to kick in. Like many believers, after Judas chose to sin against Jesus, he realized that he did the wrong thing. I can’t imagine what raced through his mind when he saw Jesus being surrounded in the garden of Gethsemane. Judas knew that very moment that his misunderstanding of Jesus’ mission caused him to be used by Satan. In fact, the Scriptures teach us that he ran back to the temple and cast down the pieces of silver and went and hung himself (Matthew 27:5).
The second lesson that I would like to address on the life of Judas is how he was remembered. He is called, “the one headed to destruction,” (John 17:12). But why is that? You see, when Judas ran off and hung himself, he did not repent to God nor did he seek forgiveness from Jesus himself for his actions. He choose not to enjoy the gift of forgiveness and he lost his relationship with Jesus Christ. In my opinion, this has to be the worst decision in history! This was a mistake because Judas thought he lost his relationship with Jesus. He felt such sorrow of never being able to be redeemed for his actions that he ended his life. Due to his choice, he died unsaved and could only head down to destruction.
We can learn a lot from Judas’s mistake though. The story of the life of Judas reminds us to take a second look at our hearts and reflect on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We are able to ask ourselves the question, are we true disciples of Jesus Christ, or just pretenders? Do we choose despair and death, or do we choose repentance, forgiveness, and hope through our faith in Jesus? Have we truly accepted the gift of Jesus Christ into our lives? Jesus wants our love to be Genuine (John 21:15-17). He also thought us that God seeks out those most alienated from Himself (Luke 15).
I am praying that everyone tonight take some time and reflect on their hearts. Think to yourself, “do I understand Jesus’ mission in my life?” Repent if you have any doubt in your heart before Satan can use it to control your actions like he did Judas. However, unlike Judas, we all have time to make the right decision and fully accept Christ into our hearts and minds. The mistakes that Judas did, allows us today to recognize how much we do not want to betray Jesus Christ. If you have drifted away from his love, please run back to him before you are also deemed, “headed for destruction.”
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all!