I often wonder how Judas felt. I mean, we’ve all hated on the guy for two thousand years and I recently began to wonder how he might have felt. I have sort of an active imagination and so I wondered what might have been bouncing around in his head. I meet on a regular basis with a group of men and right now, we are discussing the book of John. We were talking recently about what we now refer to as The Last Supper. During that meal, that time with the disciples, Jesus is obviously troubled by what is about to happen. I began to wonder how Judas must have felt…
Why are we sitting here in this room? What is he doing with the water and towel thing here? What?! Why is he washing Peter’s feet? This is not the man I came to follow!! He’s too soft, too kind, too real. He’s looking at me...what’s he saying? Jesus tells Peter that if he doesn’t wash his feet then none of him belongs to him. That’s ridiculous, what is he talking about? Why would it matter if I belong to you or you wash my feet or whatever? I want a LEADER, a RULER, a KING!! You are not a king! You are acting like a servant! Why are you washing my feet now? Please, please don’t look at me!! I can see the pain in your eyes, it rushes right through me; shreds my heart and I feel…I feel…You. Inside my head, like you are in my soul, your voice in my heart. I can see it. Oh God of my fathers, he knows! I can see it in his eyes, he knows! He will tell the others and they will kill me. Don’t they understand, doesn’t he? I need a KING, not this lover of children, this healer of lepers, this man who will not fight!! He knows, he knows!! His eyes follow me, tearing into my mind. I have to get out of here, I have to do this, I have to stop this. Why is he hiding who he is?! If he is the Messiah, I have to do something, make him act! We need a king who will burn the Romans from among us, kill these godless traitors to our land!!
Jesus breaks the bread and says, “Take this and eat. This is my body, which is given for you. Every time you do this, remember me.”
Sacrilege! Heresy! What is he talking about? Eat his body?! I don’t want to eat, I want to have our own kingdom! What does that mean, remember me? Is he leaving us then to find our own way after we have left everything to follow him? Will he abandon us before he takes the throne? He’s trying to get rid of us, to replace us!! I can’t let that happen, I won’t!
Jesus pours the wine and tells them, “Take this cup and drink. This is my blood, which I shed freely for all mankind to forgive sins. Every time you do this, remember me.”
I can see his eyes so full of pain…is he crying? Why is he crying? Leaders don’t cry, kings don’t CRY!! God of my fathers, if you sent this man, change him! Help him to be who we need him to be. Not this weak, weeping pitiful man. Sins of the world, what does that mean? Does he really think he can forgive the sins of the world? Oh no, he’s talking about someone betraying him. He knows, he must know!! He’s looking at me, why is he looking at me like that? Does he know?
Jesus looks at Judas and says, “What you are about to do, do quickly.”
My heart just stopped beating, I cannot breathe!! He knows, he knows, he knows!! I have to do this…for us all, for you Jesus. You have to take control, you have to cast out the invaders in this land, you have to be KING!!! I have to do this…
I didn’t really think I had a point in all this until I just went back through and read this again and I’ve been dealt with on some things in my own life recently. So, I guess here’s my biggest point here. This is not about us, no matter how much we might want it to be. We keep making this faith, this journey, our worship, our lives about us. It’s not about us.
It’s about Jesus. It always has been.
He is the point. He created us for love…for His love. God sent his son, his only Son because He loves us. Jesus is the point here, people. Not our rules, our formulas, our denominations. We cannot bring enough to Him, we cannot be what He calls us to be without Him. We have nothing to offer Him.
I really believe that one of the reasons Judas betrayed Jesus was because Judas was like everybody else back then. Judas was like we are sometimes today. We are trying to fit Jesus into what we think He should do, into our little box of religion, our list of do’s and don’ts. If we have made our lives, our faith about anything other than Jesus, we are flat out wrong and missing the point. I really think this is one of the reasons Jesus got so frustrated with the disciples so much. Seriously, they spent three years with Him every day and they missed the point of the whole thing.
They just didn’t get it. Neither did Judas. Neither do we.
It’s about the love of Jesus for us. It always has been and it always will be. Until we get that right, we are going to be in the dark just as much as Judas was. We have the benefit of two thousand years of hindsight.
May we all make today the day that we change our focus; away from ourselves and our selfish desires and agendas, away from the labels of religion and denomination. May we all make today the day it becomes about the Son who came here to live and die because He loves us!