I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled…
The history of Judas is but the record of a human life. He was a man like ourselves, subject therefore to temptation and struggle, and one with the freedom and responsibility which belong to us all. This will save us from fatalism, and in the face of many dark problems here is our safe starting point. Learn that —
I. MEN MAY FRUSTRATE CHRIST'S PURPOSES CONCERNING THEM. Christ gave Judas responsible work and a noble calling, and educated him for it all. But the training was worse than useless, the privileges were abused, and the sacred trust betrayed. Yet Christ would have had delight in Judas's wellbeing and success. But all was frustrated, and the bitter lament over Jerusalem had its reference to Judas. We all share this terrible power, and could we see how we have used it we should live much nearer to Him for the rest of our lives.
II. THE MERCY OR GOD WHICH WOULD SAVE US MAY RUIN US. Judas had gifts: Christ employed them. His very position brought its dangers: Christ trusted him. Not indeed without warning him (John 6:70, 71). And as the besetting sin was yielded to, and the downward course became more and more marked, where was Judas so likely to be kept from evil as in Christ's company. Accordingly he was retained at his post and was still trusted. Yet the mercy which would have saved ruined him. For, turning from the source of Goodness, he said, "Evil, be thou my good." Each of us may apply this principle.
III. MAN'S SIN IS OVERRULED TO DISPLAY THE DIVINE GOODNESS. Thomas doubted: We obtain an additional proof of Christ's resurrection. Judas betrayed: Jesus died. It did not require a Judas to save the world, or the hatred of the Sanhedrim to fulfil God's promises. Yet the sin of the world runs up into typical acts, and in a profoundly representative sense the sin of Judas was ours. This sin was overruled for God's glory and man's good. And through it all Judas was free, as is every sinner, as proved from common consent, conscience, and such words as "can," "ought," etc. Christ too is free and maketh the wrath of man to praise Him.
IV. THE BEARING OF ALL THIS ON THE PRESENCE OF JUDAS IN THE CHURCH. Men may know not that they are there: but Christ knows them. Each service in the upper room repeated. John is there, and it may be Judas, so is Christ. If so the love that spares is the love that would save. How must Christ have looked on Judas, yet he went out madly from that saving Presence. "And I saw there was a way to hell from the gate of heaven." Two apostles sinned grossly. Judas went out from the presence of Christ to meet the night; Peter, broken-hearted, to meet the dawn. Which will you follow?
(G. T. Keeble.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.