“When Jesus had thus spoken, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another…” (John 13:21-22)
God sees our hearts. Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.” Judas Iscariot ought to have asked himself: “How did he know?” He did not realize that Jesus was giving him his last chance to repent. Desiring not to look good before the others, Judas joined in the chorus: “Is it I, Master?” John tells that as soon as Judas ate the morsel of bread, Satan entered him, meaning that his mind was made up. He had chosen money over God.
Long before we fall into any sin, there is usually a very long period of internal negotiation. At times, this internal battle rages on for days, months, and even weeks. The longer we spend negotiating with the devil, the more likely we are to fall into sin. No wonder, immediately after the third temptation, Jesus quickly said: “Begone, Satan!” (Matthew 4:10).
The moment Judas walked out, Jesus knew exactly what would happen next but He decided to focus on the brighter side saying: “Now, the Son of Man is glorified and in him, God is glorified.” Jesus told his disciples that he was going somewhere but they could not come immediately.
Peter began to boast: “I will lay down my life for you.” It was only after the cock crowed that Peter remembered what Jesus predicted. Like Judas, Peter was very concerned about maintaining a positive image before the others. He promised to lay his life down for Jesus but deep down within him, he did not mean it.
A lot of us Christians today behave like Peter and Judas Iscariot. We are more concerned about what people think of us than what God thinks of us. When we are in the church, we make all kinds of promises to God. We hardly reflect on the promises we make or the meaning of the songs we sing – worship for many Christians today is just entertainment. The moment we step out of the church, our true colours are revealed.
Judas ate from the same dish with Jesus but stood up and walked out immediately to betray Jesus. What Judas did can be likened to one who receives Holy Communion in the Church only to walk out immediately after mass to commit a mortal sin. Let us examine our hearts. Never assume you have time. Today may just be your last chance to repent.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me to re-write my destiny by making the right choices. Amen.
Bible Study: Isaiah 49:1-6, Ps. 71:1-6,15,17, John 13:21-33,36-38).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu