“I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” Matthew 27:4
Judas walked with Jesus. He was trusted with responsibility, and he was given spiritual gifts for ministry. God used this man to release other people from the power of Satan. No doubt there will be people in heaven who say, “I came to faith through Judas’ ministry.”
The story of Judas warns us against becoming complacent in our privileges. Are you known to be a follower of Christ? Have you been trusted with responsibility in the church? Are you involved in serving Christ? Has God given you spiritual gifts? Have you seen evidence of God using you? Every one of these things was true of Judas, and yet he took a plunge to disaster.
The question is, how could that possibly happen? Judas made a series of choices that took him to the edge of disaster. This is important because some people are confused about Judas. They think he had no choice in the matter.
Here’s how the thinking goes: the Old Testament prophesied that someone would betray Jesus. So Judas must have been acting under some kind of compulsion. He didn’t have any choice. It’s as if he was preprogrammed to betray Jesus, and his actions were beyond his control.
That would be a complete misunderstanding of the Bible story. The story of Judas is not the story of an unfortunate man who was somehow manipulated into betraying Jesus. It is the story of a man who lost his way through a series of tragic choices.
Have you become complacent with your privileges? Sloppy with your choices?