You’ve seen the movie or the episode of that favorite series of yours, where the soon to be toppled hero is sold out by his closest confidant.
It’s unnerving. It’s wrong on so many levels. This friend of our hero is trying to save his own hide, by getting out ahead of the inevitable. He was all in as long as it was going the way he wanted it, but when he couldn’t see a way out, he was willing to do anything to make one.
Judas is that guy.
For Judas, Jesus is the Messiah bringing forth the Kingdom of God, back to Jerusalem! Until he sees it all crumbling before his very eyes. What was so promising, is now a mere formality till the doom of failure strikes them all!
“If Jesus goes down, we all go down”, is what he’s thinking!
So Judas, works a way out for himself. In the process, throwing that kingdom, and his cohorts, under the proverbial bus. Why? Was it really about thirty pieces of silver? Or was it something else?
In my Bible Study today, Journeying with Jesus, by Susan Narjala I read the following and it hit me over the head like Wile- E. Coyote being smashed by an ACME anvil!
Yet, I don’t believe that Judas was motivated solely by his love of money. He was, instead, prodded by his fear of man.
~ Journeying With Jesus, Susan Narjala
I’m a political creature, and this past political season stressed me in ways I didn’t think possible, but the point I wish to make is actually apolitical. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you find yourself, because the issue at hand is the same for both sides. That issue is, what are we fearing? Man or God. For my part, back in the election cycle, I found myself fearing man and what man could do to me and those I love, through the power of politics.
Guess what? That’s exactly where Judas found himself. What did Judas do? He sold out Jesus and the kingdom of God for thirty pieces of silver, in attempt to save himself. The anti-hero, all because he couldn’t see God’s vision for the kingdom. God’s Kingdom. Judas was pining away for a kingdom, that frankly, doesn’t exist in this world governed by mankind. Man somehow has hoodwinked himself into believing in sometype of Utopia, but this fails to address that one man’s Utopia is another man’s Hell.
I’m obviously a Christian, and I am remided this morning of a very recent comment by a national politician,
“…what any religious tradition ascribes as God’s will is no concern of this Congress.”~ Jerry Nadler (D.-NJ)
Now that’s disconcerting to me, and decisions being made and implemented to usher in a Utopian world, without any consideration of faith concerns, is certainly not Utopian at all. Now I’m not going to get all political with you, because that’s the business of man. Man trying to run the world as he sees fit. I’m more concerned with the spiritual view, where God’s in control, and not just any God. My God, and your God if you’re a Christian, and the one I hope you are considering as your God if you’re not a Christian yet.
Going back to Judas, he is Nadler, and other politicians that give no mind to God. He saw only what he wanted to see, which was his kingdom under Jesus falling to pieces. SO he acted in fear of what man could do to him. He tried to save himself, but destroyed himself in the attempt. But that was never Jesus’ design. It was never His plan. It may have been Judas, but that’s the thing God doesn’t do things as man does. As Judas thought. As we think.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,~ Isaiah 55:8-9
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Think about it. Judas wanted a kingdom on earth. How does that fair for mankind? Name one, just one kingdom that has stood the test of time. That encompassed multiple hundreds of million of people, and has not wavered throughout the ages. You can’t! The Egyptians, Persians, Greek, Romans, Huns, Turks all fell. All of mankind’s kingdoms come to a fitful end. Mankind comes to an end.
On his own, left his own means mankind comes to an end. We are already dead, we just don’t know it, unless we encounter God and agree with His assesment of our condition. Undestanding that physically you are alive but spiritually dead, until God brings you to spiritual life in faith through Jesus Christ. Once filled with that faith, you have the life that lives on through all eternity. Otherwise, when you die you lose the only life you ever had, your physical life.
You see Judas didn’t understand God’s Kingdom, many of us don’t either. It lives with us in this world, as believers, but is not of this world, not yet. Judas sold his eternal soul for thirty pieces of silver, to save his physical life. It didn’t take long for him to lose the only life he had.
Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”John 18:36-38
What is truth? Judas saw the end of a chance at a kingdom, Pilate saw his own kingdom of Rome, and many of us see the USA or wherever we live. Are these part of the truth? To be sure our countries are kingdoms but they, for sure, aren’t eternal and will never be Utopian, no matter how hard man tries.
What did Jesus see, what did He know that we so often overlook? “What is truth?” as Pilate said.
The Christian faith has how many adherents world wide? There are currently living 2.38 Billion citizens of the Kingdom of God, residing here on earth. A close second is Islam with 1.9 Billion members. China has 1.398 Billion people living in that kingdom, and America has 328.2 Million. But The Kingdom of Heaven just keeps on compounding it’s number, unlike the others, because the truth is that when you die here on earth, only citizen’s of the kingdom of Heaven continue to live on in their true kingdom. We live on spiritually in our Heavenly Kingdom. That’s what so many overlook, and at stressful times, in our current world, we bend to the physical reality and forget the spiritual.
Judas never saw that, Pilate never saw that, and so many of mankind never see that.
Oh how foolish I was and am when I allow the tiny insignificant rulers of this world to dominate my thoughts. When I allow them to fill my mind with worry and doubt. I was consumed during this past election cycle with worry of the present and future of my life, the lives of my family members, the life of my country. I was in mortal danger of pulling a Judas. Yet, none of that is the truth. The truth is The Kingdom of God, and it exists in our lives now as we are, and it will always be with us there in the end! Let that sink in.
The truth is The Kingdom of God, and it exists in our lives now as we are, and it will always be with us there in the end!
I don’t want thirty pieces of silver for my eternal soul. I don’t want a Utopia here. I want to go home to my Lord’s kingdom. It’s the one he always intended, and it’s inhabitants are way into the quadrillions by now.
If Jesus had opted for the kingdom Judas desired, or the one Jerry Nadler desires, how big would that kingdom be, would it even exist anymore? But thanks be to God, His ways are much, much, much higher than our ways.
If I could show Judas a Picture of the ruler he should be concerned with I’d show him this one. This is who I’m letting consume the worry I was feeling before. He’s big enough and he loves us, so be at peace.
“..,Be still and know I am God…”Psalm 46:10
And Don’t Be Judas!