{this post is part of Five-Minute Friday at Lisa-Jo Baker}

How it works: Write on one word for five minutes. No editing. Then link up your post with the rest of the brave writers on Five-Minute Friday and encourage them by reading and commenting on what they’ve shared. {All the details for how to play along are here.}

Today’s word: Willing…

{Go}

1Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. 3Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” 6He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep itfor the day of my burial. 8For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.” John 12:1-11

Today, on the journey to Jerusalem, we stop in Bethany, the place where Lazarus lives. The Lazarus who lives because Jesus raised him from the dead. And so, I recline with Jesus and Lazarus at the table.

But my focus is not on Jesus as we sit around this table. It is on Judas Iscariot.

Who is this man that travels with Jesus? I know where some of the other disciples come from and remember how Jesus called them to follow him. But Judas? I don’t know much about him.

And so today I think about him. This man who has been in the company of Jesus for three years.

He was willing to follow Jesus.

He was willing to steal from Jesus.

He was willing to betray Jesus.

He was willing to risk so much to betray the One who loved him without condition. The One who loved him even though he knew what Judas would do.

selfish gain leads us away from the light photo courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski on stock.xchng
selfish gain leads us away from the light
(photo courtesy of Michal Zacharzewski on stock.xchng)

But that is not really my focus as I sit around this table. As I sit in the company of Jesus and watch the way Lazarus looks at him with love and gratitude. And watch the way Mary pours out the expensive, pure nard on the feet of Jesus. And watch the indifference that Judas seems to have toward Jesus.

How is it that Judas is in the presence of Jesus, not just around this table, but for three years now, and still his heart is not willing, or perhaps is not able, to embrace Jesus? To embrace love. To embrace hope? To embrace what Jesus is about.

And as I watch Judas, his indignation at the extravagant love poured out over Jesus’ feet by Mary and feel the overwhelming love that flows from my heart for this man and savior who loves me with all my flaws, I wonder.

How many times have I looked more to my gain than to the Savior?

How many times have I, like Judas, missed the opportunity set before me for the plans of my own messed up heart?

I am thankful as I sit at this table where Martha serves and Mary worships and Lazarus adores for an opportunity to examine my own heart and my own motivations.

Today, I am willing to look at the deep, dark places and ask Jesus to shine his light there. To seek forgiveness for the times I have put my desires for gain above my need for Jesus. Forgiveness for chasing personal gain instead of helping others.

Forgiveness for my Judas moments.

{stop}

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7 thoughts on “In the Company of Judas Iscariot

  1. Judith,
    Stopping by from FMF and saying thanks for popping over to my blog and for your kind words. I love that you used a story from the Bible to express the theme. Nicely done. Judas is an interesting choice because his heart was not willing to follow. This helps me as a reader to think of this word in terms of my commitment to follow Jesus. Am I truly willing?
    Thanks for the thoughtful words.
    Sara

    1. Hey, Sara ~

      I love visiting your blog and want to thank you for coming here to let me know your thoughts. I agree with your reflection: am I truly willing to follow Jesus?

      I wasn’t sure that the FMF prompt would work with the Lenten Scriptures I’m reading; but as I considered Judas today, the willingness thought jumped out at me.

      I’m glad you found this thought-provoking.

  2. I, too, have given much thought to Judas. He was so willing. I often wonder if he was just trying to “push” Jesus into being the king of the kingdom and then all of that just blew up in his face and he couldn’t bear it so he took his own life. How many times do I try to “rush” things, “push” things, make things happen instead of just letting God be God and doing it in His own time….How many times have I been a Judas?

    1. That’s an interesting point, that he was trying to force his own agenda with Jesus to be what he wanted and needed him to be. And, yes, the trying to rush things or push my own agenda or ideas ahead of God’s timing.

      Love hearing the thoughts others have. Thank you for stopping by from Five-Minute Friday and sharing your thoughts here.

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