I woke up this morning and started reading about Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and the man who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. Judas’ story has always puzzled me because he was with Jesus – as in he spent three years with him every day and saw Jesus perform many many miracles and healings. Judas heard everything Jesus said first-hand, yet this guy betrayed Jesus. (Luke 22)
Judas’ story highlights that even though Judas had been around Jesus, he didn’t necessarily understand Jesus or connect with him as he could have. As a result, he betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver. I think Judas had his own reasons for being around Jesus and presumed that he would overthrow the government if he was arrested so that he would then set up an earthly kingdom where Rome no longer ruled. However, Jesus did not do that and instead was crucified, which left Judas feeling so guilt-ridden that he committed suicide.
I’m sure Judas thought he knew Jesus – he’d certainly spent enough time being around him, but it seems he didn't really understand Jesus’ heart and, in betraying him, condemned an innocent man to death.
Many people, just like Judas, might hang around Jesus and say they are familiar with his ways and even do things presumably for him, but that doesn’t mean they know Jesus or are deeply connected to him. (John 15)
Jesus himself said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into heaven’s kingdom.” (Matthew 7:21 TPT)
Like Judas, you can call someone a friend, say you are in a relationship or claim to know someone and not really know them at all. That’s because knowing about someone is very different from actually knowing someone intimately. That takes sharing, openness and love, which Jesus has bucket loads of for us. He is still calling people to know and follow him and to drop our presumptions and defences and actively seek to know and be known both by Him and, as a result, by others.
I encourage you to seek to know Jesus today. He makes everything better, and you will discover Jesus and how to love and relate to others better too.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:11-12)
Prayer: Lord, thank you that you love me and want me to know you closely. Please help me be choose every day to seek after and follow you. In Jesus name Amen.