What We Can Learn From Jesus Reaching Out To Judas

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It is written:

John 6:64-But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.


John 12:4-6-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 that 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.

While He was in the world, Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him. Yet it is amazing to see how Jesus responded to this! John tells us that Jesus assigned Judas to be in charge of the money box. This was a position of great trust in the early world. Jesus knew that Judas would betray him, yet continued to assign him opportunities and assignments of trust.

For years, I wondered why Jesus would assign this trust to Judas. It is the words of Barclay that unlocked the mystery for me.

“We see Jesus’ trust in Judas. As far back as John 6: 70–1, John shows us Jesus well aware that there was a traitor within the ranks. It may well be that he tried to touch Judas’ heart by making him the treasurer of the apostolic company. It may well be that he tried to appeal to his sense of honour. It may well be that he was saying in effect to him: ‘Judas, here’s something that you can do for me. Here is proof that I need you and want you.’ That appeal failed with Judas, but the fact remains that often the best way to reclaim someone who is on the wrong path is to treat them not with suspicion but with trust; not as if we expected the worst, but as if we expected the best.” (William Barclay, The Gospel of John, Volume Two (The New Daily Study Bible), 129 (Kindle Edition): Edinburgh, England: Saint Andrew Press)

In every way, Jesus teaches us how to appeal to the greater spirit and heart of man. While He could have approached Judas with distrust and anger, the Son of Man approached even the worst of the worst (Judas Iscariot) with a hope that this gesture would bring him to repentance.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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