I think one of the saddest moments in the life of Jesus was when Judas betrayed him with a kiss. Judas was privileged to be one of the twelve men closest to Jesus. Judas was there when Jesus healed the sick. He was there when Jesus fed thousands. He was even there when Jesus raised the dead. Yet, Judas chose to stab Jesus in the back. So today, I want to share three things I think we can glean from Judas’ behavior.
Gestures of kindness don’t equal trust. One of the first things we learn from Judas’ behavior is just because someone is friendly does not mean they are loyal. In fact, Luke 22:47-48 describes Judas actions in this manner, "While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, (48) but Jesus asked him, Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?" I have found out over the years that some people will only love you, as much as, they can use you. When your usefulness ends, so does their loyalty. Don’t be fooled by empty gestures of kindness.
Some people are just opportunist. An opportunist is basically a person who takes advantage of people and/or circumstances with little regard for principles, or the consequences others may incur. Opportunists are people who never call you until they need something. They are people who do not mind hurting others to get what they want. Judas was a classic opportunist. He reveals his true motives in Matthew 26:14-15, "Then one of the Twelve, the one called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests (15) and asked, what are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you? So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. (16)From then on Judas watched for an OPPORTUNITY to hand him over." Some people are simply opportunist. Their only loyalty is to themselves.
Backstabbing people will eventually self-destruct. Matthew 27:3-5 states, "When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. (4)I have sinned, he said, for I have betrayed innocent blood. What is that to us? They replied. That’s your responsibility. (5)So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."
You don’t have to be consumed with anger. You don’t have to seek revenge. Self-serving, backstabbing people will eventually cause their own demise.
The Bible says it best in Romans 12:19, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord." There is no need to retaliate, because God has your back.
It has been said that some people are not loyal to you; they are only loyal to their need of you.
Once their needs change, unfortunately, so does their loyalty. Yet, Proverbs 18:24 encourages us with these words, "…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."
His name is Jesus. He will be there for you when others walk away.