What an amazing experience to have been a follower of Christ during his earthly ministry. Imagine sitting in the crowd listening to him teach, counsel and correct the world in which you lived. Consider the enormous privilege of being able to ask your specific questions and having God’s perfect wisdom delivered to you by the mouth of Christ himself. But even with all of that, Judas proved to be a traitor. He was given every advantage, including daily, personal communication with the incarnate Creator; yet Judas callously turned on Christ and betrayed him for a few thousand dollars.
The Apostle John gives us some insight to Judas’ mind, as he recounts a scene from the defector’s life with Christ. He reveals that from the beginning Judas had been in it for all the wrong reasons (John 12:4-6). While at the time he seemed sincere enough to be trusted as the chief financial officer, and his loyalty was never doubted by the others (John 13:28-29), the truth was, he was a classic hypocrite. His goals were nefarious and his agenda was selfish. He did not have God’s interests in view, but instead he utilized his association with Christ as a means to his own self-serving ends.
That is a scary reality – intimately acquainted with Jesus, but never on the same page, constantly associated with Christ, but never truly aligned. Judas’ life, if nothing else, should serve as a clarion call for us to reconsider our motives. His betrayal should remind us to always make certain that we are “in this” for the right reasons.