A couple of weeks ago I shared a meme I had seen on Facebook posted by a colleague of mine. It said, “The true test of Christianity isn’t loving Jesus… it’s loving Judas.” That has been rolling around in my head ever since and I can’t stop thinking about it. Maybe you have as well. I’d like to share my thoughts about it.
First, why is it hard to love Judas? Yes, he betrayed Jesus, so he was arrested and handed over to be crucified for thirty pieces of silver. That was horrible… how could Judas do such a thing? Hadn’t he just spent 3 years as one of Jesus’ closest friends? In the end Judas felt guilty and tried to give back the money but it was too late. Jesus was dead. So, Judas went out and took his own life. He couldn’t bear the guilt of what he had done. Judas gets a really bad rap. But is what Judas did really any different than any other sin? We all sin every day... every day. It might be something as seemingly insignificant as gossiping about someone. But it’s still sin. God doesn’t categorize sin. They aren’t BIG sins and little sins. Sin is sin. So, what Judas did really isn’t any different than what we do every day is it?
Second, why do we judge people? Why do we stand there, point our finger, and say, “you are Judas” when we in fact our Judas ourselves? Remember Jesus saying we shouldn’t worry about the speck in our neighbor’s eye when we have a log in our own? Physically when we point our finger at someone, there are three more pointing right back at us! In other words, we have no business worrying about how others live their lives. Remember the woman who was going to be stoned because she committed adultery? Jesus didn’t judge her even if she was guilty. Instead, he judged the crowd and encouraged the ones that had no sin to throw the first stone. They all walked away, and Jesus told the woman her sin was forgiven.
And lastly, how is the world going to know about the love of God if we don’t show it? Shunning people because they aren’t like us is not loving like God does. The fact is we are all in the same boat. We all sin. BUT God loved us so much that he sent his Son to be the sacrifice for that sin. All of it… for everyone… even Judas... even us.
See you Sunday!