Judas and Me

Posted on 07/27/2008 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)

Good morning, and welcome to Abundant Living Ministries CyberChurch!

*** listen to the audio to hear the introduction and announcements ***

*** listen to the audio to hear prayers for the following requests: ***

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PRAYER REQUESTS:

Hi everyone, Thank you to you all for praying for me. Well, The doctor says I have peripheral Neuropathy (nerve pain), joint hyper mobility syndrome- (over stretched joints) which causes alot of pain, and chronic pain syndrome (all over body pain). so needless to say I am in alot of pain. even doing the simplest thing around the house tires me out so I have to pace my self. I am not used to doing that, but I guess I have to. The doctor wants me to exercise so a couple times a week my Mom and I walk around our neighborhood. We don't walk very far yet but we are working up to it. Right now the doctor has me on Neurontin and extra strength Tylenol for the pain, we shall see how that works. I saw the doctor on 7/7 and nothing has changed; except that the vitamin D level in my body is low so he has me taking calcium and extra vitamin D. I assume to prevent me from getting Osteoporosis. It's really the pits getting old sometimes. I will be 50 in December and I used to think that was so old and now I am almost there. UGH ! Hope all is going well with all of you. I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Love and hugs, Karene
   –Karene


Pray GOD brings me my soulmate now. This is all I have been thinking about most of my waking hours, for 13 years...TORMENT
   –Phil

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Let's keep standing, and continue this time of worship.

Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.


Click the pulpit for a notecard, and let's enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise!


POWER IN THE BLOOD

Would you be free from the burden of sin?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you over evil a victory win?
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Come for a cleansing to Calvary's tide;
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Sin stains are lost in its life giving flow.
There's wonderful power in the blood.

Would you do service for Jesus your King?
There's power in the blood, power in the blood;
Would you live daily His praises to sing?
There's wonderful power in the blood.

There is power, power, wonder working power
In the blood of the Lamb;
There is power, power, wonder working power
In the precious blood of the Lamb.


TAKE A LITTLE TIME

Thank you,  Lord,
I   just want to thank you,
I   just want to thank You;
(repeat)

I just want to take,
    take a little time right now
to say thank you, Lord
for all you've done for me.
(repeat)


I SEE THE LORD

I see the Lord seated on the throne, exalted
And the train of His robe
Fills the temple with glory
And the whole earth is filled
The whole earth is filled
And the whole earth is filled
With His glory

Chorus

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord
Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

Verse

Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy
Holy is the Lord

*** listen to the audio to hear the message introduction ***


Today's message is titled, "Judas and Me." And as we take a look at the ministry and the end of Judas, I think we can all draw paralells between Judas and our own selves, as the Holy Spirit prepares to transform us to another level of the glory of the image of Jesus.

As you probably know, Judas is the disciple, one of the twelve, who betrayed Jesus. He was hand-picked by Jesus himself to travel with Jesus and the other eleven disciples. Judas was part of the "inner circle" of the Messiah.

And yet we know that even before the betrayal, Judas was a thief. And he did not just steal salesmen's ink pens, either. He stole out of the offering bag.

We see this in John chapter twelve, verses one through eight.

John 12:1-8

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.
2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.
3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

4 But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said,
5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"
6 This he said, not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

7 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.
8 For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."


So, not only did Jesus know he was going to betray him and yet made him one of the twelve disciples, but Jesus even put him in charge of the money box, knowing that he was a thief.

We don't see Judas saying much, but he speaks up here, as this costly ointment, one year's wages, was poured out. He says, "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"

And Jesus, knowing that Judas wanted the money for himself and really cared nothing about the poor, did not expose him or tell him off.

Instead, he says something very interesting. "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

You see, when Mary took out the oil and began to pour it out, Judas saw money that could be "going down the drain," so to speak. That's why he spoke up, completely beside himself that all that money he could have pilfered was "wasted" on Jesus' feet.

And so Jesus cuts right to the heart of the matter by saying, "Leave her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.
For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

With those words, I believe he was exposing to Judas his own self-centeredness and shallowness of character. And I have to wonder, after Judas betrayed Jesus, and after he threw the thirty pieces of silver on the temple floor, and as he was on his way to end his own life, is this one of the many scenes that flashed before his eyes?

After all, while his greedy eyes were on the supposedly-wasted money that he could have stolen, this costly ointment was being poured out upon the Savior of all mankind. Judas valued his own greedy desires over the life of the Son of God. And now, he has betrayed him to death. Perhaps he heard once more the words Jesus spoke to him, "The poor you have with you always, but you will not always have me."


So how does this tie in with my sermon title? Certainly I'm not a thief. I put money into the ministry, not take it out. But let's take a closer look.


I believe Mary knew full well the value of her costly oils. What's a year's salary today? $50,000? $75,000? $150,000? For some it's much less, maybe $24,000. But whatever your annual income is, if you had it in the form of costly oil, would you pour it out on the ground? Wouldn't you find some other way to worship Jesus than this?

I know I have. I've come up with reasons and excuses for giving less than my best. And it's not necessarily about money, either. Maybe I'd rather sleep a few minutes later rather than get up so early and give my first waking moments to worshiping Jesus. Or maybe if I have to choose between reading the Bible today or watching something on TV, what will I choose? You can fill in whatever applies to you.

Maybe it's not time, maybe it's effort, or money, or posessions, or comfort. But how many of us are like Mary? And how many of us are like Judas? When something we've really been wanting to do falls on the same night as our church's outreach night, are we disappointed? More than that, which one do we choose?

Don't worry, I'm stepping all over my own toes too. Am I like Mary, pouring out the most costly, precious things I posess on this earth in worship to him, or am I like Judas, looking for some other way to worship him besides my best, and instead pilfering from that which the Holy Spirit intended to be poured out completely in worship?

All too often, it's "Judas and Me."

Lord, break up our stony hearts, until we, like Mary, hold nothing back, no riches, no posessions, none of our time, but we give to you freely and without regret, knowing that your value is so much greater than anything we could lavish upon you in worship!


In Luke chapter 22, we read about the night Jesus was betrayed. His disciples followed him to the Mount of Olives. He told them to "pray, lest you enter into temptation," and then went a stone's throw away from them to be alone to pray.

He then is in anguish, sweating as it were great drops of blood, speaking those words we all know, "Not my will, buy thine be done."

When he came back to his disciples, he found them sleeping, and said, "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation."

Then in Luke chapter 22, starting with verse 47, we read,

47 And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him.
48 But Jesus said to him, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

Jesus knew what Judas was going to do before Judas even knew. Earlier, at what we call The Last Supper, Jesus said to him, "What you must do, do quickly," and satan entered into Judas. And now Judas betrays the Son of God with a kiss, and the soldiers and priests took Jesus away.

Judas betrayed Jesus, turning him over to die. But we're no better. Our sins are what nailed Jesus to the cross. It was because our sins were placed upon him and he became our sin, that God the Father turned his back on him.

So every single one of us have been a Judas, turning to our own desires for thirty pieces of silver, even though our doing so condemned Jesus to die.

But when we come to Jesus and ask forgiveness, accepting that, even though our sins crucified Jesus, his sacrifice was a priceless gift to us, then he will come inside and make us a brand new creation, and will take us from a Judas to a Peter, as he refines us into a Mary, so that we willingly pour out our very best in worship to the Risen Lamb of God.


Now earlier that night, Peter had proclaimed that even if everyone else were to run away from Jesus, he would stay with him, even unto death. And Jesus told him that this very night, Peter would deny three times that he even knew him.

Let's read this in Luke 22, starting with verse 54.

54 Having arrested Him, they led Him and brought Him into the high priest’s house. But Peter followed at a distance.
55 Now when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat among them.
56 And a certain servant girl, seeing him as he sat by the fire, looked intently at him and said, "This man was also with Him."

57 But he denied Him, saying, "Woman, I do not know Him."

58 And after a little while another saw him and said, "You also are of them." But Peter said, "Man, I am not!"
 
59 Then after about an hour had passed, another confidently affirmed, saying, "Surely this fellow also was with Him, for he is a Galilean."

60 But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are saying!" Immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed.
61 And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said to him, "Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times."
62 So Peter went out and wept bitterly.


So Peter and Judas both would fail that night. Jesus foretold that it would be so. Both of them had weaknesses -- Judas had a weakness for money, and Peter had a weakness of over-confidence and fear. But Peter's heart was sincere, while Judas had a heart filled with self-seeking and deceit.

I believe that between the two of them, your hearts are like Peter's heart. You want to do the right thing. You are adamant in your declaration that even if you must die with him, you would never deny him.

And while Peter did indeed deny he knew Jesus, his heart was broken. Does your heart break when you realize you've failed? I believe it does.

Jesus looked at Judas as he betrayed him, and Jesus looked at Peter as he denied him. To Judas, he asked a question, "Do you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" but to Peter, he said nothing.

Judas had the ministry of giving physical sustinance to the poor. Peter was given the ministry of giving spiritual sustinance to Jesus' sheep.

Judas committed suicide. Peter wept bitterly, and went back to the disciples.

Where is your heart today? Do you want to obey Jesus and stand with him no matter what? Then don't let your human frailty discourage you, but rest instead in the transformative power of God, and in his unfailing ability to use your mistakes for good.

Mary poured out her costly perfume on Jesus' feet, and Peter poured out his tears of anguish for failing the one who was his master and his hope.

And I believe this experience and these tears changed Peter inside. I think he learned some humility. I think he realized how much he really loved Jesus. And in this state of brokenness and humility, I think he came to the place in which he too could pour out his costly oil, the deepest part of him that meant so much to him, he could pour out his oil in worship, eventually giving his life as a martyr for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


I don't know how you've failed the Lord. I have too many of my own failures to be looking for yours. But as Philippians 1:6 says, He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.

God's not done with you yet. And no matter what you've done, even if you've denied the Son of God, you can still come to the place in which you love Jesus so much that you are willing and ready to pour out everything you have, even your own life, to worship him.

And just as the scent of Mary's perfume filled the whole house, the sweet aroma of your worship from a heart that has been broken and longs after the presence of God, will fill the house where you are, as you are lost in the presence and the glory of God.


The ministry team can come to the front now.


This altar is open. If you want to draw closer to God, you're invited to get out of your seat and come to the front, and just spend some time in the presence of the Lord.

If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, even if you've been a Judas and have been a liar, a theif, and full of deceit, your time has not come to an end. In fact, your life can truly begin today.

Jesus didn't wait for you to pour your best out for him. He has already poured out his very life, his very blood, for you. All you have to do is accept him as your Lord and Savior, and he will wash your sins away and give you a brand new start.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

Just accept him right now, right where you are. Ask him to forgive you for your sins, and to be the Lord of your life and save you. And as you give your life to him, he will come into your heart, and your burden of sin will roll away.

The ministry team is here to talk and pray with you, just send one of us an instant message. And if you want to give your life to Jesus, please talk with us right now, or if you're listening to the podcast later, go to almcyberchurch.org, enter one of the pastors' offices, and send us a message.

If you need to go, you're dismissed, but if you can stay and pray and worship with us, please do. You're also invited to join us in the room to your left for a time of fellowship, and we'll meet you over there after the altar ministry. If you're new here or want to know more about Jesus, please meet us over there in a few minutes.

Come, and let's pour out our life and our praise on him like costly oil.