Weakness and wickedness - Hope 103.2

Weakness and wickedness

By David ReayWednesday 7 Jun 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Matthew 26:47-50

47 And even as Jesus said this, Judas, one of the twelve disciples, arrived with a crowd of men armed with swords and clubs. They had been sent by the leading priests and elders of the people. 48 The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” 49 So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.

50 Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.”

Then the others grabbed Jesus and arrested him. (NLT)

The name ‘Judas’ has come to signify betrayal and treachery. No-one calls their newborn Judas nowadays! And yet while he blatantly betrayed Jesus, one of his colleagues, Peter, also betrayed him in a different way. Judas went on to kill himself while Peter went on to be a great apostle and a founder of the early church.

The difference here is between weakness and wickedness. Peter showed all too human weakness which we know was somehow mixed in with genuine faith and courage. Judas was simply disillusioned with Jesus and let this drive him to his extreme act.

Peter repented of his failure, a repentance which was recognised by Jesus who saw beneath the imperfect veneer to a genuine disciple below. Judas never repented. He showed remorse at what he had done but remorse is not repentance. Remorse is merely sorrow for what has happened, a bitter realisation that things have not worked out as we want them to have done. Repentance opens the door to a better future; remorse merely results in being overcome by the bitter present.

We all fail to honour Jesus. The only issue is what we will do about that failure.

One more thing about this text. How typical of Jesus to call Judas ‘my friend’!

David Reay

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