“As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly’” (John 13:27).

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I came across the John Calvin meme, pictured below, earlier today, on social media, along with an eloquent explanation in the comments: “By human standards is does seem mind blowing. But when you dare to consider how infinite and beyond our comprehension God is, there is comfort that such a God actually wants our love and then would offer His only and perfect son as an atoning blood sacrifice for us to return to God’s presence for eternity.” After I read and considered the meme, and then considered the comment, Judas Iscariot came to mind. How did I not make the connection sooner? “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, ‘What you are about to do, do quickly’” (John 13:27).

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Churches are all over the news lately. Everything from pastors being fired, to communities and congregations all up in uproars, for one reason or the other. If anything in the Bible offends you, then Jesus offends you. If Jesus offends you, then to whom did you give your life? Perhaps not to Jesus after all. In a world slipping further and further into darkness, with much of the church enabling its descent, I take comfort in the fact that there’s nothing going on today that hasn’t already been foretold. It’s funny how God takes multiple moments, which seem at the time to be completely unrelated, and works them together. Much of the church has become more and more like Judas Iscariot. Much of the church steals what is God’s (John 12:6), much of the church doesn’t believe that Jesus is God (John 6:64), and much of the church is betraying the Lord, just as Judas betrayed him two thousand years ago (John 13:27). And we wonder to whom Christ is speaking when he says, “I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23). 

What if Paul and Barnabas had not brought the Gentiles into their Gospel message in fear of making the Jews jealous in Antioch? (Acts 13:42-48). What if Paul had left out that the Gentiles were worshiping false gods, when he preached the Good News to them? (Acts 17:15-34). Would they not have been as guilty of Judas? Would they not have betrayed Christ just the same? I wish that I had the courage to speak more boldly, with greater humility and patience, because then perhaps, I wouldn’t be so guilty of betrayal, myself. But happy am I that I can confess my error, and God will hear my plea. I can repent and receive God’s forgiveness, as well as his provision for whatever lies ahead. Amen!

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