Chances are that you have been betrayed by someone that you know well. Or, maybe you have betrayed a friend. Even Jesus Christ was betrayed by someone close.
Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, walked with Jesus for more than three years. In the end, Judas betrayed our Savior for 30 pieces of silver when he turned him in to Roman authorities. It seems almost incredible that someone who knew Jesus so well would betray him for money. This is the ultimate betrayal; the worse sin imaginable. And, Jesus Christ paid for Judas’ betrayal with his life.
As with everything else in Scripture, Judas’ betrayal contains in it very real life lessons. Here are 4 important things that Christians can learn from Judas.
#1 Your Vice Can Lead to Your Downfall
According to John 12:3-6, Judas liked to steal money when he could. Stealing was Judas’ vice, and it ultimately leads to his downfall.
Judas’ greed caused him to betray Jesus Christ – he did not forsake Jesus because he disagreed with his teachings. He betrayed him because of his love for money, as it says in Matthew 26:15 when Judas asked “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?’
This example should be a great reminder of why it is important to tackle temptations head-on. Don’t wait until your vice leads to your downfall to take action.
So, what can you do to avoid giving in to vice?
- Identify your vices.
- Admit to God that you have sinned.
- Ask the Lord to strengthen your resolve.
- Memorize scriptures that talk about temptation, such as Proverbs 31:26. Recite these to yourself when you are thinking of giving in to vice.
Doing the above things will equip you to get rid of your vices once and for all.
#2 Don’t Give Up On Yourself
After betraying Jesus Christ, Judas felt sorry for himself. He gave up too quickly on himself, and let his sins drive him to despair. Judas could have made things right after betraying Jesus. He could have repented, but he did not. He didn’t do the things that he needed to do at that moment in time to repent, such as devoting himself to God from that moment on. Instead, he hung himself.
Everyone has sinned. Many people have betrayed those they love. Whatever you are guilty of, you must not let it define you. A sin is only eternal if you don’t correct it. After all, repentance is an essential part of Christian life. Repentance literally means to restore something. When you repent, you recognized that you have sinned and take steps to right your wrong.
#3 Don’t Let Your Guard Down
Judas ate with Jesus, walked with Jesus and listened to the word of Christ for years. He even watched Jesus walk on water, cast out demons and heal the sick. Judas knew Jesus as well as anyone has ever known Him. This did not stop him from making the ultimate betrayal.
This shows that no matter how much you are devoted to serving God, you can still be led astray by the Devil. Even if you are a firm believer, sin can take hold if you let it. So, even if you have attended services twice a week for years, taught Bible classes or volunteered at your church, remember that you are not immune from Satanic influence.
This is why you must not let your guard down. You must constantly search your own heart. Practice healthy-self examination. Constantly rethink your commitment to Jesus and ask yourself “am I true believer, or have I been lead astray?” Prayer can help put you back on track.
#4 Consider The Consequences Before You Act
Many people are guilty of acting impulsively — of doing something without thinking about the consequences first. This is what happened with Judas, in part.
After he betrayed Jesus, he was regretful. He did not think through all of the consequences. Judas just assumed that Christ would come out of it as usual, and that he would have his 30 pieces of silver. He did not stop to think about what might happen if Jesus did not escape as he had before.
~ 1776 Christian