‘But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed, but woe to that man who betrays him.” Luke 22:21-22 (NIV)
Judas, the one called Iscariot, is said to have been entered by Satan. He has walked with Jesus as the other followers have. Yet somehow his intentions get muddled up. He sets off on a different course that the one that the Saviour holds out for him. He falls to handing Jesus over to those who would get rid of his Master. He will betray the Son of Man. This one man stands with this immense guilt. Are we relieved to let Judas hold the blame by himself? When the Word says that the hand that will betray the Lord is on the table with His, are we happy to let those words point only to one man? When Jesus says that someone will let Him down, do we heave a sigh of relief and heap those words and all the guilt on Judas?
What about us? Have we also heard Jesus´ teachings? Have we come to follow Him? Have we spent time in His company? Have we seen Him perform wonderful things around us too? Has our hand been on the table along with those of our Lord? It is true that Judas planned and performed his terrible crime. It is true that he gave away the Son of God to be killed. But do we think that Satan is not trying to enter us today? Would we like to deceive ourselves into thinking that we are above letting our Lord down? How many times do we get side-tracked? How often do we get carried away with issues, interests and delights of our world? When Jesus asks us to make Him and His Kingdom important, do we follow along with Him faithfully? Or are we often distanced from the Lord by letting our interest shift to our busy and clamorous lives? Do we fall to considering more our own selves and desires? Would this be betraying in some way the Son of God?
Is it a neat little trick to make Judas carry the blame for a similar crime that we too may perform in so many little ways? Are we happy to let Him carry it alone? Or are we willing to bring the matter before the Lord? Can we get the consent of our own hearts to bow before Jesus and ask Him about the state of our hearts today? As we sit together at the table with our God, can we ask Him if it is us who are deceiving ourselves? Have we let the devil in somehow to lead us into treason? Have we focused too much on ourselves? Have we looked too often at our own lives and interests? Are we imitating Judas in any small way? Have we somehow become him without knowing it?
Jesus gives a warning to the hand of him who would let the Lord down. Are we going to blunder along in our ways? Or are we going to seek a heart of repentance while there is still time. The story of Judas is sad. But if it does not move us to seek the correct attitude and bring us to our God and to our knees, would the story become sadder still?
Dear Jesus, please show us if we have fallen into deceiving You or ourselves in any way. We know we are not yet perfect. Please help us find an attitude which will correct anything in us that might let You down today. Bring us so close to You in a loving relationship that our hearts are kept far from gratifying ourselves. Give us a heart bent on lifting You up always!