“While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.”Matthew 26:47 ESV
Judas’ story of betrayal is well known.
Judas went from walking with Jesus to leading a crowd with clubs and swords to arrest Him.
While we tend to judge Judas as a villain, I cannot help noticing that in several ways, Judas is like me.
Somedays, I witness God moving; other days, I lose focus on the Way leading to life. Just like Judas, I am not immune to distraction or temptation.
When we take our eyes off Jesus, His life-giving hope is replaced with the brokenness of the world (1 John 2:15-16). Judas lost his focus, and the world stepped in with a poor substitute: thirty silver pieces.
We often ask, “How could Judas betray Jesus?” The question is not, “How could Judas betray Jesus?” The question is, “Why did Judas take His focus off Jesus?”
Moreover, how can we not do the same? Here are some things we can learn from Judas betraying Jesus.
Keeping Our Focus on Jesus: What Can we Learn from Judas’ Betrayal?
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A Life Focused on Christ Requires Heart Transformation
Judas knew the scriptures and who Jesus was.
Many scholars believe he spent at least two years with Jesus, if not three years since he was the caretaker of the money.
However, knowing the scriptures and Jesus is only valuable with heart transformation.
Ultimately, Jesus is the one who searches our hearts and knows the actual state of our being (Jeremiah 17:10).
Jesus told His disciples that some did not believe (John 6:64).
Judas missed the transformative power of accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. Belief and a relationship-based faith are two different things.
The demons believe in God (James 2:19), and Judas believed in Jesus. However, Judas lacked heart-transforming faith grounded in love and obedience.
Eternity Needs to Be Kept in Mind
As we go through life, it is important to remember eternity and consider how our actions might impact others (2 Corinthians 4:18).
We should be careful not to let selfish desires lead us astray from following God wholeheartedly.
The devil presented Jesus with temptations that Jesus overcame, as they were contrary to His mission.
Judas gave in to the temptation of money, but in the end, it proved destructive.
As believers, God’s guidance is necessary to help us see beyond immediate gratification. When we follow God and the scriptures, we can make wise decisions leading to a more abundant future.
We Are Only One Choice Away
Every day, we face choices that bring us closer to God or lead us away from Him.
We are only one choice away from turning our backs on God and rejecting His plan for our lives.
Despite our past successes and achievements in following Christ, we must remain vigilant and self-aware of the impact of every choice we make.
These daily decisions allow us to continue toward spiritual growth and conformity to Christ’s example.
Therefore, let us strive to choose wisely and live a life that reflects our commitment to following God’s will.