01 July, 2007

Are We Like Judas?


I came across this piece a while back and still cannot find the source. Given the content, I do not think the original source would mind not getting the credit for this poignant example of a hard truth we need to hear.
Have you noticed that we rarely hear examples of daily sin from the pulpit anymore? Is it any wonder we have trouble recognizing our total depravity? This piece was a sobering wake up call for me. I pray it is for you, too.
The sin in our lives is the kiss of death.

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him. Matthew 26: 14-16
It’s important to note that Judas did not publicly reject Jesus or even quietly resign his position as a disciple before opposing him. Instead he deceitfully USED his position as a cowardly cover for his wickedness. In other words, Judas betrayed Jesus while pretending to be His friend and ally.

In light of Pontius Pilate’s own declaration of Jesus' innocence and the agonizing crucifixion that followed, it’s very easy for us to sit back on our “blessed assurance” some two thousand years later and look repugnantly at a man like Judas as if we were somehow more honorable. But I would suggest to you that many of us who claim to be Disciples of Christ betray Him daily with a kiss.

Every time we seek wealth, riches and glory in the name of Christ, we betray Him with a kiss. Every time we endeavor to make a name for ourselves by using His, we betray Him with a kiss. Every time we seek, encourage and accept the praise and applause of others for what God has done through us, ESPECIALLY in a worship service, we betray Him with a kiss. Every time we exchange awards and accolades among ourselves for our “reasonable service” to God, we betray Him with a kiss.

Every time we, as believers, take advantage of another emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, sexually, financially or politically, at home, at church, at work or on the street, we betray Him with a kiss. Every time we use our talents, our gifts, our testimony, our career, our ministry, our credentials, our reputation, our church, our resources or our popularity to bring attention and recognition to ourselves instead of God, we betray Him with a kiss.

Every time we sit silent as a preacher, pastor, teacher, deacon, elder or lay leader deceives another with what we know to be false and unscriptural in the interest of peace and unity, we betray Him with a kiss. Every time we fill the ears of “seekers” with humorous anecdotes, seductive flattery, humanist psychology and 'creeker-speak' rather than risk offending them with the whole council of God, we betray Him with a kiss.

Every time we keep the gospel to ourselves for the sake of career, convenience, compromise, compatibility, camaraderie or political correctness, we betray Him with a kiss. Even one that does nothing worse than give lip service to God on Sunday morning betrays Him with a kiss.
I guess we’re not so different from Judas after all, are we?

We would do well to remember just how much we have in common with him as we stroll into church this Sunday. Let’s not, as my pastor so aptly put a few weeks ago, “Do not confuse God’s approval with God’s mercy”. It could be the kiss of death.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

Painting: Judas returns the silver by Alessandro Mantovani


4 comments:

Jen said...

Every time I wonder if I'm doing the right thing, God sends confirmation like this: "Every time we sit silent as a preacher, pastor, teacher, deacon, elder or lay leader deceives another with what we know to be false and unscriptural in the interest of peace and unity, we betray Him with a kiss."

Thanks for this post. It is really convicting and motivating.

Lindon said...

That is the hardest one to deal with...speaking up and contending for the truth of scripture. Following Christ is not easy... it is denying self daily.

Scott said...

I found the source:

http://www.crossroad.to/articles2/2002/proctor/judas.htm

It was a good read.

Mike Ratliff said...

Ouch! Thanks for posting this.