Of all the Bible characters, I must know Judas. I must know Judas because I fear I am like him. I carry a dark potential – we all do – and if one could walk so close to the Light of the world and die in outer darkness – who then is immune?
He saw miracles, heard Jesus teaching, and witnessed resurrection. Every time his eyes fell on Jesus he beheld the Truth! And yet, he fell with incredible haste and violence. Judas calls me to vigilance. I must close doors left ajar in my heart. I must post a guard over my desires lest in moments of sheer madness, I too, am guilty of betrayal. He is history’s most ridiculous gambler. He rolled the dice – and lost. There are some who argue that he was a victim of a cruel providence. How unfair that God would choose Judas to be the one to fulfill prophesy. Others argue that he was trying to force Jesus to seize power and reveal himself to the nations … but I can’t buy that. There is nothing noble to be found in the story of Judas. He sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, and when it was done he couldn’t live with himself. I must know this character, for he is a warning to all men.
God help us when our selfish allowances grow to maturity. God help us when unconfessed sins approach the finish line. God help us when thirty pieces of silver seems a reasonable price for integrity.