Anglican Morning Devotion for 6 August 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“. . . Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 25:30)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 23Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. 25He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 26Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. 28Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 29For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.” (John 13:21-30; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
For some reason unknown to me, I have heard many ministers try to defend Judas Iscariot in his betrayal of the Lord. Perhaps, they believe if God laid no guilt to the actions of Judas for his betrayal, He will also overlook the guilt of these ministers in their betrayal of the truth of the Gospel. Such an argument betrays the very words of our Lord, Himself: “Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve. 21And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 22And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I? 23And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. 24The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:20-24) You may say, “But Judas had no choice, so he could not be held guilty!” Were it not so dangerously implausible, it would be humorous to claim so. Is a devil guiltless? See what Jesus says: “Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” (John 6:70) This referred to Judas Iscariot.
Judas was filled with greed and false expectations. He was, as Scripture clearly declares, a thief! When our Lord Jesus was at Bethany before His Passion, Mary of Bethany came to Him with expensive ointment and anointed His feet and dried them with her hair. “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him, 5Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? 6This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” (John 12:4-6)
Now, after the Words of our Lord at the Last Supper recorded in the introductory text, we see that Judas is present at the Table. Interestingly, after Jesus had said “…that one of you shall betray me,” (Mattew 26:21) each of those of His disciples present, including Judas, asked, “…Lord, is it I?” (Matthew 26:22) Da Vinci captures the moment in perfect spirit in His painting of the Last Supper. You can see the shock and amazement on the faces of the disciples at that captured moment in the painting. They wondered if it were themselves to whom He referred. Why? Because the Lord knows the secrets of our hearts even better than we know them ourselves. Each of us, in some way or another, has betrayed the Lord in some way or another by our sins of denial of Him by our pride, actions, and cowardly testimony. But there was one there who would, with decisive treachery, betray Christ to the enemy.
It is a fearful thing to betray the Lord Jesus Christ by either open, or passive, denial of Him. Peter, in a moment of cowardly abandon, denied Him three times in one night and wept bitterly in his repentance. The Lord knows our frailty and weakness, and He forgives those sins of which we are heartily sorry. But Judas will receive no such forgiveness, neither did he seek it. “And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” Judas was Satan’s man, and it was Satan to whom he owed allegiance. He did not become a child of the devil on that night, but was so from the beginning. It is interesting to note that Judas immediately arose and “…went immediately out: and it was night.” (John 13:30) This would be the last night of Judas in his earthly life for he would commit suicide by hanging himself early next morning. He went out from the Lord into an eternal night!
We learn from this account the foreknowledge and predestinate will of God in the lives of men – both of the elect and the incorrigibly lost. We learn that the Lord knows the mysteries of our hearts better than we know them ourselves. He sees our hidden motives, our fears and weaknesses, and the wickedness that lies deep in the heart of man. Our only Anchor of Hope is in Christ to remit our sins and call us into His merciful presence forevermore. The only remaining destiny is that which you must share with Judas.