THE JUDAS SYNDROME
We know the story of Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 disciples of Jesus; and the person who, in an inconceivable act of betrayal, handed Jesus over to the Chief Priests, who ultimately had him crucified.
Now, just for clarification, the Chief Priests did not come to Judas seeking his help in capturing Jesus, Judas went to them to barter a trade for Jesus. He did it for money. As John 12:3-6 explains:
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. (John 12:3-6 KJV)
So his motivation was not only his gluttony for personal financial gain, but he simply had a very corrupt heart.
The passage that I want to focus on today is (Mark 14:17-20 KJV)
And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish.”
When I gave the title of this piece as The Judas Complex, and gave the intro, if the first person that came to any of our minds was anyone other than ourselves, then we already started off on the wrong foot.
When Jesus sat at the Passover table with the disciples and revealed to them that one of them- for it was only his disciples that were dining with him- I found it incredibly enlightening that none of them asked “who is it?” Or “is it…” Then insert one of the other disciples’ name. Instead, each one of them asked “Is it I”?
Before calling out another who appeared to fit the bill, they considered themselves. In the event that they fit the bill.
It’s always easy to point out the faults in others. But very rarely do we lift up that same magnifying glass of judgement & use it to examine ourselves.
Judas did not suddenly wake up one day & in a moment of weakness, suddenly decide to betray Jesus, Judas was a wicked man at heart.
For starters, he was a thief. He was in charge of the “mission purse” of the disciples, and on a regular basis, he helped himself to the money.
When Mary anointed Jesus with the oil, it was Judas who had the loudest protest, under the pretense that the money could be given to the poor. He had absolutely no interest in the poor. He just wanted the money put into the purse so he could steal it.
And it was this same wickedness, that drove Judas to seek out those who were plotting to kill the same person that he professed to love, to be devoted to, because even though his mouth spoke of love & devotion, his heart was selfish, gluttonous & wicked.
Psalms 139:23-24 says
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
The disciples asked “Is it I”?
Brethren, let us ask The Lord to search our hearts. Any one of us could be a Judas in some way. Just because we are in the company of Christ doesn’t mean that Christ is in us. I say that because many of us run to Christ for what we can get from Him; the healing, blessing, favor, protection, deliverance from our problems etc
But how many of us are here for Christ simply for change that he can work in us? Simply to be more like Him? Simply for the gift of salvation that He brought us?
Remember, Judas was one of the 12 disciples. He, too, was always in the presence of Christ. But he did not allow the presence of Christ change him.
He was not alone. Many people flocked to Jesus because He healed the sick, raised the dead, drove out demons. But how many of those people received Him in their hearts as Messiah? And allowed why He was really there to change them?
The answer is very few.
The story of the two thieves that were crucified with Jesus present this clear contrast of people who are in the presence of Jesus.
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43 NKJV)
One only believed in Him for the miracles that he could benefit from. The other believed in Him for the miracle of salvation. Which is the reason that Jesus came. And that is why that thief was saved.
What is that thing in our hearts that keeps us from being changed that we can’t seem to shake?
For Judas, it was his greed & love for money.
What is it for us?
Is it hatred, envy, anger, self-righteousness, a gossiping tongue, being overly ambitious, being overly competitive…
What is it?
We have to ask The Lord to reveal it to us, & more important, be ready to face what He reveals.
Because, guess what, it is this same area of weakness that Satan too will try to use against us and if we don’t identify it & commit it to God, we too could fall victim, as it states in (Luke 22:3, 4, 6 KJV):
Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.
Yes, Judas was remorseful at having betrayed the innocent Jesus. But by then, it was too late. The truth is that he’d had ample time and opportunity, while he was in the company of Jesus to repent of his heart’s ways. The teachings of Christ revealed them to him, but because he was so consumed & blinded by his own desires, he didn’t change when it mattered.
The Judas syndrome is something that can affect all of us, so let us be weary. Let us be mindful. Let us remain humble. Most importantly, let us allow Christ to work a change in us and remove anything that Satan too can use to rob us of that gift of eternal salvation.
Share your thoughts that you might encourage your brethren.
The handmaid at His feet.