Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.” Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, “Friend, why have you come?” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and took Him. (Matthew 26:48-50)
One of the darkest moments in history occurred in the passage above when Judas Iscariot, a chosen disciple of Christ, betrayed Jesus with a kiss. I was reminded of this passage a couple of weeks ago, and couldn’t get the thought out of my mind. How could Judas have betrayed Christ?
Betrayal is an ugly word. It conjures up images of backstabbing friends, cheating spouses and other untrustworthy people that most of us have had the displeasure of dealing with at some point or another.
But how could a man chosen by Jesus Christ – a man who walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him and even served with Him – betray Him?
The truth is that even though Judas was following Him, everything I’ve read in the gospels points to the fact that Judas never believed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God. Judas referred to Jesus as “Rabbi” (which means teacher) and not as “Lord” as the other disciples did. He was willing to accept Him as a teacher, but nothing more than that. While the other disciples declared their loyalty and love for Him, Judas appears to have been silent on the subject. While Judas followed Christ, he was motivated to gain something for himself while doing so. In the end, he was willing to betray Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver.
What does 30 pieces of silver buy? A slave. A small plot of land. It wasn’t a life changing amount of money, but it’s what Judas accepted in exchange for betraying Jesus – God, the Son. Unbelievable right?
We look at Judas’s life and can easily judge him for what he did, but if we take a step back and really evaluate our own lives, we might find some similarities.
Some questions for you: Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ personally? You’ve accepted Him as your personal Savior and acknowledge Him as the Lord of your life right? Do you spend time with Him? What motivates you to participate in the “Christian” activities that you are involved in? Is He truly your Lord, or do you accept Him only as a teacher?
Not all those who say “you are our Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven. The only people who will enter the kingdom of heaven are those who do what my Father in heaven wants. On the last day, many people will say to me “Lord, Lord we spoke for you and through you we forced out demons and did many miracles.” Then I will tell them clearly “get away from me you who do evil. I never knew you” (Matthew 7: 21-23)
These verses are so scary because the people described in them honestly thought that they were true Christians, but on judgment day when they present their list of things that they did for the Lord, He tells them that He never knew them.
These people were calling Jesus “Lord” even before judgment day, but it’s not the words that come out of our mouths that prove that He is our Lord. If our hearts don’t match up with our words, if we do not know the Lord personally and do what the Father in heaven wants us to do – on that day, He will reject us and we will be cast out of His presence and into hell.
Take a close look at some of the accomplishments of the so-called Christians in the verses above. They were able to force out demons and do miracles in Jesus name, but on the day of judgment, they are told that He never knew them. For some Christians in the church today, their failure is not one of inactivity. It’s not that they’re not DOING anything in the church, but that they are involved in those activities to please themselves or others. They don’t personally know the Lord who they claim saved them from their sins. And sadly, they are just like Judas. They betray the Lord for worldly treasures that seem to bring joy and fulfillment, but are never worth it in the end. These “treasures” could be anything – a relationship, money, cars, homes, jobs, time, your studies, the praises you get for all your public ministries…anything that is more important to you than God.
Are you a Christian from the inside out? or does your spirituality only extend from your head to lips and cut off? Are you a cold hearted Christian who has never truly been touched by the gospel, but have been teaching it to your Sunday school kids for years? It sounds silly, but the fact is that there are people who believe themselves that they are true Christians who on the day of judgment will come before the Lord with their list of accomplishments, and He will tell them that He does not know them.
For many Christians today, almost all their Christianity comes from Christian songs, wristbands, and Christian t-shirts. Do yourself a favor and read the Bible and see it for what it is. Stop comparing your life to others who call themselves Christians and start comparing it to the Word of God.
I know that comparing ourselves to Judas seems harsh, but reality is this: The Bible says that we are all foreigners while we’re here on earth. That’s it. We can give the world all our time and energy, and make a name for ourselves. We can become experts in our field and make a lot of money. And then one day – maybe tomorrow or maybe in 60 years, we’ll be done with our journey here and all wealth we’ve accumulated, and the names we’ve made for ourselves will be left. right. here. And each and every one of us will stand alone before the God of heaven.
When you call Him “Lord”, will He know you? Or will you have been a “follower of Christ” who only went along with the crowd never having believed in your heart?
Pretending to be a Christian doesn’t give you any real satisfaction on earth, and will give you even more to regret in hell.