Like Many of Us
Judas Iscariot was just like many of us; he was like me, he was like you. For instance, Luke 9:1-2 says that Judas was given power and authority to preach and teach, the gift of healing, and power over the demonic — like the other disciples.
He had encounters with real spirituality, had the presence of the Spirit in his life, and was fully aware of who Jesus was in an intimate way.
Thomas Goodwin, “Judas heard all of Christ’s sermons.” Think about the life of Judas: he was there for the miracles, the feedings, the preaching, the hearing. He followed Jesus for 3 years as with the other disciples, so much so, all of them asked, “is it I Lord?” at the betrayal!
We read in places like Luke 22 or John 13 that Satan entered into the heart of Judas. But let us remember, Judas was open to unrepentant sin: he would steal from the money bag of the disciples (John 12:6). Judas was a betrayer in the heart before he gave up Christ.
The Deceitfulness of Church-ianity
We would be prideful in our theology, in our self-confidence, and in our looking back at our Christian life to think: “I am exempt from this,” or, “Not me.” Apart from the grace of God, we are all to be likened unto Judas.
Judas had right doctrine, Satan had right doctrine, but he did not love the Lord. Judas had much knowledge, but he was no lover of Jesus Christ and enjoyed his secret sin more. One song writer put it this way: Judas sold him for thirty, we sell him for less.
It is not enough to think rightly about the world, to desire to come to church, or to claim a knowledge of Christ to be a convert. Perhaps the most staggering text in the entire Bible is Matthew 7:21-23, ESV:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”
The question we must ask ourselves is not “do I know Jesus?” but “does Jesus know me?”
The Litmus Test
Do you love Christ? The litmus test for our love of Christ must be found in the life we live, the things we say, the desires of our hearts, the faith we possess.
Robert Murray M’Cheyne said this, “It is the mark of a hypocrite, to be a Christian everywhere but home.” This was true of Judas. He was a Christian everywhere but home, everywhere but with the moneybag. If you have no love for Christ, by grace the Lord can give this to you.
Deuteronomy 30:6, ESV, says, “And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.”
There is only one truth that can warm cold hearts, that can soften the hardest hearts. There is one love that melts the heart of stone and gives life to a stiff-necked soul: the love of Christ.
In the new birth, God plants in us a love for Him by the work of the Spirit (Titus 3:3-5). He purifies us, gives us new hearts, opens our eyes to see, and gives us grace to repent and trust Christ.
By faith one is ravished with the excellency of the person of Christ and pursues Him as their treasure.
The only reason I am not like Judas is because of the grace of God in my heart to love and treasure Him. Apart from God’s overcoming power, I would be like Judas. The sovereign, electing love of God is my only hope and stay (Ephesians 1:3-5).