Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Meditation for the week of May 18, 2008

Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
Matthew 10:1-5 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out.

The eleventh edition of the Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate dictionary says that a traitor is one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty. Judas was a traitor and yet the Lord appointed him a place with the twelve apostles. Didn’t the Lord know what Judas would do? Aren’t we told to separate from unbelievers which certainly would be the case with Judas? So why did the Lord allow him to be a part of that select group?

Even though the Lord knows what is in the heart, he judges righteous judgment and all judgment is based on outward actions. That is why works do not save and yet both believers and unbelievers have their works judged. Works are the evidence of what we are. Until Judas had actually betrayed the Lord, the Lord would not judge him for being a traitor—even though He knew Judas’ heart. I notice that the Lord did not try to entrap Judas so that He could be seen for what he was. He let Judas make His own mistakes and even told Judas what the consequences would be in an attempt to get Judas to change his mind.

Judas reminds us that we shouldn’t be surprised when someone who has seemed real and who has been a part of our work turns out to be a traitor to us and to the Lord. The people who are in the work of the Lord but who are not devoted to the Lord can be deadly enemies, but they wait until the time is right to show who they really are. Ahithophel appeared to be a friend of David’s but he bore a grudge. He waited until the time was right to make his real agenda known. Ahithophel had reason to be angry with David because David had defiled his granddaughter (see 2 Samuel 11:3 and 2 Samuel 23:34). But he was not pure in heart and as a result he destroyed himself.

We know that Judas was a thief and was embezzling funds from the treasury of the Lord and his band of disciples (John 12:6). Mary’s anointing of the Lord with ointment that was very costly was probably what finally sent Judas on his rampage. He didn’t understand that kind of devotion. In addition, he had been robbed of the money since in his mind the ointment had been wasted on the Lord.

Judas shows us that being a traitor is costly. When the Lord told His disciples one of them would betray Him, they all asked if it could be them including Judas (Matthew 26:25). Likely, eleven of them recognized the potential within themselves to be betrayers and wanted to be reassured that they would never do such a thing. Judas probably asked the question just to see if the Lord knew that he was intending to betray him. Ultimately, Judas realized he had made a mistake, but the mistake was in thinking that the Lord would use His powers to deliver Himself. Judas thought no one would be hurt by his betrayal, but he thought he would be richer. Judas ended up committing suicide when he realized he had made a mistake.

Being real and loyal to the Lord has its rewards. The pure in heart will see God. The Lord can depend on one who is pure in heart or loyal to Him. A traitor will just destroy himself and hurt everyone who has trusted him. It must thrill the Lord when He sees that we are loyal to Him.

Bruce Collins

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