“And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”
Luke 6:16 KJV
For years I have overlooked this scripture, from learning the 12 disciples at Sunday school to religious studies lessons in secondary school. I simply saw it as a spoiler alert, you know the trailer which gives a bit too much away. I knew for certain they had to be a reason why every time Judas Iscariot was mentioned in the scene where Jesus chooses the 12, traitor is attached to his name.
I had a few issues with this scripture. Okay, maybe not issues but I couldn’t wrap my head around why Jesus would spend all night in prayer and be led to pick a traitor as the 12. Another conundrum of mine was where was the grace when the writers of the gospels wrote about Judas in picking the 12, couldn’t they allow us to find out what he did at the end?
I accepted my ignorance. After all I can’t understand everything in this life and I can’t come and die on the hill of Judas being the traitor especially when it’s the truth, so as ignorance would have it I would turn a blind eye to it. My eyes would glance over to the next line but my heart was anchored on that verse, my fingers would turn over the page but my mind would hold up this particular verse like a rubikcube, trying to crack the code and as time would have it I would forget about it until we met again and the mystery cycle continued again. Obviously I was a terrible detective and this was clearly above and beyond my pay grade.
With 66 books in the Bible and thousands of verses all ready to convict the heart and revert the image, one could say I had bigger fishes to fry. However, the beauty of the Bible is this – scripture is alive, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth , reveals all things to us in due time. So here I’m one night having Bible study with my best bud and we casually take turns to read each verse like clock work and it hits me, as though this is what I have been lacking, like I had just completed a race and this was a cup of ice cold water to refresh my soul. I finally understood the importance of us knowing Judas Iscariot as the traitor and not because it’s a spoiler alert but the beauty of the gospel revealed!
For if Christ spent all night in prayer and knew the heart and fate of all 12 men, specifically that Judas would betray him and yet still choose him, demonstrates the love Christ has for us all!
Despite our shortcomings, he still chooses us over and over again. He didn’t die for us because we loved him, he loved us first! So yes as Judas is know as the traitor earlier on, we too were sinners before receiving the gospel. For Christ to choose his own and his own betrayed him is the purest form of love. If Judas had not killed himself (now this a spoiler alert) I am fully persuaded that Christ would have forgiven him for he knew Peter’s short comings and in Thomas doubts he anchored his faith; with his hand pierced for our sins.
Jesus knows all of our flaws and still chose us, for we have a high priest who was tempted and yet without sin.
In coming to him and living for him, we can look just like him!