31 March, Wednesday – Judas and Us

Wednesday of Holy Week

Isa 50:4-9
Mt 26:14-25

“What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?”

“What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you” – such cold words, bartering one’s soul for a few silver dollars. And then the feigned surprise, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” when confronted with the truth.

It’s easy to hate on Judas, and see him as that one-dimensional villain when we have history on our side. We know how his story ends. But being self-righteous about this is akin to obsessing over the speck of dust in our brother’s eye, while we miss the plank in our own. Let’s be honest, we have all danced with the Devil. Our language might not be as overt; we may not even have exchanged any words. But every time we’ve told a little lie to save ourselves, every time we’ve been sharp-tongued instead of compassionate, every time we’ve joined in the gossip instead of halting it — we’ve danced with the Devil.

“How is that the same?!”, you say. “I didn’t sell Jesus out to his enemies?!” Judas probably didn’t think Jesus was going to be crucified either. He failed to grasp the enormity of the moment and placed his trust in the wrong people. A fall from grace does not occur overnight. It is the result of countless bad decisions compounded over several years — the company we keep, how we choose to spend our time, our approach to money, how we treat the people in our lives. All these add up so that when crunch time comes, we make a fatal decision. “If you are faithful in the little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in the little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10). Sin is an innocuous thing. It starts off harmlessly; but when we get away with things often enough, a kind of carelessness sets in. And at the end of it, that’s what Judas was. He was careless, with the greatest living treasure no less.

This Holy Week, take some time to reflect on the ‘little things’ in your life. Could you be more kind, more humble, more patient, more compassionate, more honest? Is there a wrong that has been gnawing at you, that needs to be made right before the start of Easter? Judas wasn’t born evil — that behaviour was learned and conditioned into him. How are we conditioning ourselves? Are we setting ourselves up for a fall too?

(Today’s OXYGEN by Sharon Soo)

Prayer : We pray for the humility to recognize and change the things about ourselves that are not right with God.

Thanksgiving : We give thanks for those who remind us what right living should look like. We give thanks for all the positive role models that God sends our way. 

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