Monday, November 17, 2014

Are you a Judas?

Of course not, you say! I would never betray my Lord! Really?  I'm pilfering part of my pastor's sermon from yesterday because it really spoke to me.  How often do you hear a sermon on Judas? Most of us just shake our head at him and write him off as just one evil dude: Heartless, self-centered, and greedy.  No doubt he was, but how different is he from any of us?

At the last supper when Jesus is reclining and eating with His disciples, He shares with them about His upcoming death, explains to them the meaning of the bread and wine, and then kneels before them to wash all their stinky feet. In those days washing someone's feet was the lowliest of jobs, but Jesus wants His disciples to experience what real love is. He even washed Judas's feet, knowing the man was going to betray Him that very night. Amazing.

When Jesus tells the disciples that one of them will betray Him, they are shocked and start looking around to try and figure out who it is. Even after Jesus points to Judas and tells him to get on with it, the disciples still don't believe Judas would do such a thing. When Judas left, John tells us they actually thought Jesus had sent him on an errand.

But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor.  John 13:28-29

You see Judas was in charge of their finances. So, naturally the disciples thought he was trustworthy.  Jesus wouldn't put a betrayer in charge of their finances!  Think about that for a minute. Jesus put Judas in charge of their money, knowing full well that the man was a cheat and liar.Why? My theory is that Jesus knew how much Judas valued money and was testing him, trying to get him to see his wicked heart and truly turn to Jesus. But Judas never did.

Think about what Judas saw and did when he was with Jesus.
Judas had 3 years of listening to the best sermons ever preached. He had 3 years 24-7 of hanging out with God, Himself, talking one on one with Him, asking Him questions, getting His advice, absorbing His wisdom. He had 3 years of being loved personally by God Himself.  How many of us would love to have that kind of personal intimate instruction and love from God in the flesh? (Me! Me! Waving my hand!)   Not only that, Judas experienced tons of miracles:  Bread multiplied, people healed, demons cast out, Jesus walking on water, etc.. etc..  And if that weren't enough, Judas also went out with the 12 and did most of those same miracles himself when Jesus sent them forth into the cities.

Judas experienced God and had knowledge of Scripture and knowledge of God more than any of us could even imagine. More than Billy Graham or any of the great preachers and theologians in the world.  Is it possible for someone to go to church every Sunday, attend 3 Bible studies a week, give to the poor, serve the needy, heal the sick and cast out demons in Jesus's name, even be a pastor or elder in a church but NOT be saved?  Apparently yes.

So, this made me wonder.... am I saved? Or am I just going through the motions? Am I just absorbing information about God but never knowing Him.  Jesus told Nicodemus that a man had to be born again to be saved. Born again in spirit, not body. That means God's Holy Spirit must come and dwell inside of us. But how do we know if He's there?

Check your fruit! If God's Spirit is living inside of you, you should be bearing some fruit. For those who are closely following God, there will be more fruit. For those who are struggling along, maybe less. But there still should be fruit. What is the fruit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control.  Galatians 5:22

If you aren't sure if you are bearing fruit, ask someone close to you who knows you well, like a spouse, parent, or child. If you've been walking with the Lord 10 years, are you more patient than you were 10 years ago? Do you have more joy in your life? Do you worry less? Are you kinder? Do you love people more?  Honestly, I wasn't completely sure, so I asked my hubby and he smiled and gave me a definite yes!  I guess I used to be pretty difficult to live with. LOL. 

I'm not trying to scare anyone or make anyone doubt their salvation, but even Paul told the Corinthians to check themselves and make sure they were saved. Jesus, Himself, said to look for fruit. So, don't be afraid to ask the question of yourselves. But once you know the answer, God tells us that nothing can pluck us from His hands. So, rest assured of that you are secure in His love. 

Have a wonderful week!!



  1. WOW!! Thank you for this insightful post, MaryLu!!

    As I ponder the increasing morality changes, rampant self-destruction, selfishness and loss of religious freedoms in the U.S. - I feel it's becoming easier for some people to lose their zeal for God. It's becoming even more necessary for us to continually surround ourselves with like-minded Christians, our minds and ears with things of God, and be fervent in prayer- to maintain the kind of relationship with God that we want, and need, to have.

    Let me assure you that you are still bearing fruit - your books and posts never cease to speak to me, and of Him!! I'm so grateful for the fruits of the Spirit that I see, and feel, in my own life!! Thank you for always being bold for Him and sharing those opportunities for us to "check" ourselves. We must be ever vigilant.

    Praying for you - love and hugs!!

    Shared post!!

    1. Amen, Bonnie! I believe Christians today must make a purposeful, conscious effort to keep moving in their walk with God. Thanks for the vote of confidence on the fruit.. but some of my fruit is a bit rotten, I'm afraid. :-)

  2. I definitely think your pastor is right about Judas and I think it's very eye-opening what he said afterword! I really appreciate you sharing these thoughts on Monday!

    1. Thanks Laura... I appreciate you coming by. I know we are all so busy.

  3. Piggybacking on Bonnie's comment -- DOUBLE WOW, girlfriend!!

    I have NEVER looked at Judas in this light before, so THANK YOU for sharing this powerful message!!

    I never question whether I am saved or not -- I have NO DOUBT Jesus is my Savior -- but the fruit part threw me for a loop. The only fruit that I can honestly say has grown more over the last ten years is my faith in God. Everything else I'm taking off the table. :|

    Love you!!

    1. Girlfriend, you have tons of fruit.. Kindness, goodness, patience... and that's just what I can tell over the net! :-)

  4. Call me crazy, but I don’t think the best way to give someone assurance of salvation is by looking inward. Any changes a Christian has made in their lives is only because of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit. I look to the promises Christ gave through His word and Sacraments as my assurance of salvation. If I look at the fruit I bear, it causes me to tremble, because I am never good enough. I am dust. I am wretched. But, when I look to Christ and the fruit he produced on my behalf, I find peace and assurance. If anything, Judas teaches me that salvation is of Christ, and only through the preaching of the word and the work of the Holy Spirit can a person be saved. Only God can take a dead man and make him alive.

  5. My Pastor just preached a sermon called A Few Chosen. It referred to the parable Jesus was telling the disciples Matthew 22:14, "Many are called, but few are chosen." She spoke the same thing about checking your faith, checking yourself, because you can be a church goer and believer doing the charities but you must make sure you are rooted. I mean rooted. Every day I pray and seek Jesus for understanding and to work on my faith because I know I want to make it. This is a bumpy journey but with the power of Jesus we shall get through. Keep spreading the Word of God because this world is falling further astray. They need people like us to encourage them to not be afraid to give up their ways and follow Jesus. He is the sure way. Thank you for your message. God Bless!

    1. Thank you so much. I think it was James or maybe Paul who said to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. We are not to take it lightly. My fear is for those in churches who think they are saved but aren't. My heart is to reach them because I think their situation is far more precarious than an atheist. God Bless!!

  6. I found the verse I was looking for. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it Amplified version