Our pastor sent out a tremendous devotional this week entitled “What are you becoming?” It read, in part, like this: It is insightful to me that when Luke listed the twelve apostles, when he came to Judas Iscariot, he identified him as the apostle "who became a traitor" (Luke 6:16).
Let me start with a question, a sincere question that may be the most important question you can ask yourself: What are you becoming? Judas Iscariot was an apostle "who became a traitor." This was a man who had been used mightily by the Lord to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers [and] cast out demons" (Matt. 10:8). Judas knew the excitement, joy and power of personally walking with Jesus. He saw miracles, signs and wonders.
Yet Judas had a serious character flaw, a moral weakness. The Scripture reveals that, despite the fact that God was using him, Judas "was a thief" (John 12:6). He used to pilfer the money box. It is significant, my friend, that Jesus allowed a thief to carry the money box. Sometimes we think the Lord is going to challenge us on every issue, but there are times when His silence about our repeated sin is His rebuke. Judas knew what he was doing was wrong, but since Jesus didn't directly confront him, Judas minimized the severity of his iniquity. Perhaps he rationalized that if pilfering was truly bad, God would not still be using him to work miracles.
How a little leaven leavens the whole lump! A relatively minor sin that we do not attend to can lead to a major sin that destroys our lives. The Bible says that Judas "became a traitor." He started out in ministry loyal to Jesus, but then he began lying about the finances until his deceitful exterior completely hid a very corrupt and darkened heart. Judas was a thief who became a traitor, eventually taking his own life. His compromise with sin went from bad to worse and it destroyed him.
As I think about this, I wonder, “What am I becoming? A negative person? An angry person? A vengeful person?” Or am I becoming more positive, more giving, more loving? See, these things begin with a small step toward something – something that seems harmless at the moment. It reminds me of this great sermon one of our preachers preached about a snapping turtle he had found once. He put it into the trunk of his car to take home to show his boys, and before he got home, it had weaseled its way through his trunk, through the back seats, and latched on to the back of his heel as he was driving! He described it as an example of sin that we pick up, just thinking it’s kind of interesting, and before we know it, we’ve become attached to it and it is driving us rather than us driving it.
I will be honest – I do not like complainers, negative people that just suck the life out of you. And I struggle with how to deal with them – remove myself totally or try to counter their negativity with something positive. And you and I both know that the second choice is so much more exhausting than the first. Wonder if Jesus knew all along that Judas would be the one? Wouldn’t our Lord have the discernment to see inside a person, to the condition of their heart? Would He have prayed that the situation wouldn’t turn out as He suspected? Or He knew where He was headed, through prophecy, and just knew it was another piece of the puzzle? Did He remove himself from him emotionally, or did He dive into that relationship, while it lasted? Oh, if we could only see the dynamics of that group of disciples – were they cliquish? Did they talk about each other behind the other’s back? We know from some scripture that they did. And oh, how human they were but just supernaturally empowered to go on to change the world! I want that!
I would ask you this morning – take a good look at your life, at your private thoughts, at your wants and desires – WHAT ARE YOU BECOMING?
My name is Teresa Evans. I am a wife to Tom, a retired Circuit Judge, and I am a court reporter by trade, a mother by God's grace and a lover of Jesus Christ. I've grown up in a family blessed with many miracles, and have received multiple miracles myself.