Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

When I am Weak, than am I Strong

Meditation for the week of February 8, 2009

Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.  2 Corinthians 12:10 

We spend all of our life making sure that we are prepared to be strong when life throws curves at us.  As children, we take karate or boxing or we have wrestling matches with our family.  We do this so we are prepared to defend ourselves.  We don’t want to show weakness that encourages others to take advantage of us.  As we grow older, we prepare for careers so that we can “get ahead” and provide for a family.  If we go into business, we are taught that it is a “dog eat dog” world and that we we need to do unto others before they do unto us.  No one wants to be weak in this world.  That is the sign of a loser.  Of course, that gives us a problem because that makes the Lord a loser.  He could have called legions of angels and destroyed the world, but instead He allowed the self-assured Judas to betray him into the hands of a motley crowd who found comfort in numbers.  Judas was confident in his decision to betray the Lord.  After all, the Lord had delivered Himself from crowds before so He should be able to save Himself, so no harm should come from his decision.  Judas was not happy that a woman would waste ointment worth a great sum of money and use it to anoint the Lord.  To compensate himself for the loss of this money which he would have embezzled if it had been given to the work of the Lord, he sold the Lord for thirty pieces of silver.  Judas was strong and he identified with strong people.  But of course Judas ended up committing suicide when he realized he had betrayed the Lord to His death.

Poor Judas.  He was a thief and since there were thieves crucified with the Lord, he could easily have been on one of those crosses.  But he had a foolproof method of stealing.  He stole from One who couldn’t possibly be hurt by what he was doing.  After all the Lord had fed multitudes with five loaves and two small fishes.  He  had paid taxes by having Peter find the money in a fishes mouth.  So the Lord could easily find ways to replace the embezzled money.  And even if the Lord did know what Judas was doing, He was not likely to go to the authorities who were looking for Him and wanting to crucify Him.  As a matter of fact, at the Last Supper, the Lord told the disciples that one of them would betray Him (Matthew 26:21).  The other eleven asked if it was them.  They recognized their weakness and wondered if somehow someway it might be them.  Judas also asked if it was him and the Lord told him it was.  Judas didn’t ask because he wondered about his weakness.  Judas wanted to know if the Lord knew that it was him   The Lord knew but because Judas was self-willed and self-assured,  He carried out his plan anyway.  After all, how could he lose?

When Judas realized that his plan hadn’t worked the way he thought it would, he tried to give the money back.  But now he was on his own.  His dastardly deed was done, and the chief priests and elders were no longer his friend.  They basically laughed at him.  The Lord had said that it would be better for the man who betrayed him not to have been born (Matthew 26:24).  Now Judas understands what it is like to do the wrong thing just because you can and then to realize that there is no way to undo some decisions that are wrong, wrong, wrong! 

I am convinced that when we are most confident we are right, when popular opinion supports the decisions we are making, when every “sign” seems to confirm our decision and when any other decisions seems to put us into an impossible bind, then that is likely when we are about to do something foolish that cannot be undone later.  Often we make our decisions based on circumstances and popular opinion rather than the principles of the Word of God.  Of  course Judas was unsaved and this is the way an unsaved person makes decisions, but saved people can fall into the same trap.  When we make Godly decisions, we usually are making decisions that seem foolish, that seem to waste resources, that no one encourages, that require us to rely completely on the Lord.  That was the case with the woman who anointed the Lord with ointment in Matthew 26 before Judas betrayed the Lord in that same chapter.  Her name lives on in fragrant memory.  His name lives on in infamy.

Bruce Collins

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