A disciple out of step

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A disciple out of step           

John 12:4, 5 ‘But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages”’

Extra Reading: John 12:1-8

Jesus had so much confidence that, instead of him being on the fringe of the discipleship group, he was given the task of treasurer. Because of this important role Judas was brought into prominence and given a voice which otherwise he would not have had. John describes Judas as a thief because he took money from the common purse (v.6). Of this we can be sure: long before this occasion when Mary took a ‘pint of pure nard…poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair (v.3), Judas was separated in spirit from his Master. He lacked the insight or the will to read spiritual messages into events. Instead of being moved by the sight of the Lord’s anointing by Mary, he could only criticize. Had he simply discerned gratitude and adoration in Mary’s action it would have been sufficient; instead, he was concerned with material things and missed the inner truth. In fact, the spiritual message was far deeper than gratitude and adoration. Jesus perceived it as the preliminary anointing for his burial (v.7).

We do not know how badly Judas took the Master’s kindly rebuke, but he would be aware of the gulf between himself and the Lord. Would he be aware, also, of the fact that Jesus, who knew what lay in the hearts of men (2:24, 25), was sadly aware of the thoughts crystalizing in this disciple’s mind (6:70, 71)? How Christ must have labored for Judas in prayer! He would not easily surrender to Satan one who had shown such promise, and whom he had previously regarded with so much confidence.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep our hearts sensitive to your love and care. Keep us in step with the truth. In Jesus Christ’s name, we pray, Amen.   

Rev. Samuel N. Modise   

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