“On Your Mark”
Two Ways – Two Ends (Chapter 14 Verses 12-26)
The Lord does not betray Judas (vv17-21), he merely reveals the act of treachery and its consequent effect upon Judas. No doubt in order that he would repudiate the devil, turn from his wicked intentions, and worship the Lord. All the way to the Garden the Lord’s desire and intention is the same, one of marvellous grace. The pronouncement was intended to shock the guilty Judas (v18), but of course it brought everyone in the room under the shadow of guilt and fetched a response of, surely not I (v19). It is of course always a good thing to know and understand our own weakness, and to have a thoroughly healthy mistrust of ourselves. And perhaps if Peter had been more realistic in this department he would not have tumbled in the way he did. The reiteration (v20), is followed by the awful declaration of the end of two men (v21), Jesus and Judas. There are two ways to live (Matthew 7.13-14), there are two ways to die (1Samuel 26.21), and there are two destinies, heaven and hell, both men were about to depart this life’s scene, Jesus to his Father (John 20.17), and Judas to his (John 8.44). But Jesus reminds us that it is all recorded in Scripture, planned down to last detail, even Judas’ betrayal, and the Son of Man’s death (Acts 2.23), Scripture is being authenticated, God is being vindicated, and our salvation was being worked out. Take note Jesus is by no means at the mercy of this vile, wretched and evil man, Judas, nor does he look for any sympathy from him.
Jesus turns to the awful out-working of Judas act (v21b). The utterance is a woe of deepest grief and pain, everything that causes the utmost wretchedness in time and eternity. The most excellent thing that could have happened with regards to this man Judas, says Jesus, is, that he had never been born (Matthew 26.25)! There is only one way to live. Righteously, in Christ. This means forsaking our sins and living believingly, repenting every day. Love righteousness, hate evil. Think of the Lord with a good, pure heart. Seek him while he may be found. For he will be found, and will reveal himself to those who trust him. Blessed are the pure in heart, they will see God. Commit your whole life to Jesus, maybe you need to do that again, do it now! Have a firm resolve to obey him in all things, carry your cross, and love him with all your heart, along with your fellow-men.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)