Read John Ch 13:18-30, John 20:24-29
Currently, I am reading a book called Iscariot by Tosca Lee. It recounts the Gospel story through Judas Iscariot’s point of view. Personally, I never wondered what Judas’ life might have been like. I couldn’t understand why he would betray Jesus like he did. To have followed Jesus so faithfully before, that he was called a friend of Jesus, only to deny the life that Jesus was offering.
Before reading this book, I had always put a distance between Judas and myself. In a way, it was almost as if Judas was far from human because of the evil that seemed to reside in the one who betrayed Jesus. I don’t think anyone wants to identify with Judas. But after reading some of this book, I realized that we are ALL exactly like Judas.
We might think this is a crazy notion because we think that we could never turn away from God. But the truth is we have all turned away from God. We have done things thinking that God will forgive us for our sins. Maybe we don’t even see these actions as sins. Maybe because we don’t want to believe them to be. We have all said, “this is the last time” but that never seems to be the case. We might not have betrayed Jesus in the flesh by trading Him in for thirty silver shekels but every time we lie, steal, cheat we become just like Judas. Every time we turn away from someone in need, every time we don’t take that step of faith and just trust God, every time we deny God, we are just as sinful as Judas.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God ~ Romans 3:23
Likewise, there are times where we are just like Thomas. We doubt. We don’t trust God as much as we should.
All of this might sound extreme, but it might be something we need to hear. Nobody wants to be told they have fallen short or sinned because we don’t want to be told that we are anything less than perfect. We want to feel like we are good people. But, the fact is Judas and Thomas were only human like the rest of us. Our human nature means that we are going to fail sometimes. We are going to have regrets and mistakes but God through his mercy has forgiven us. He sent His son for us, to die for us, so that we may be forgiven.
While God forgives our sins, it is important that we recognize our own short comings so that we can better prevent them next time. We need to understand what tempts us, so we can overcome the desire when it hits.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13
All in all, God loves us despite every sin we commit. He forgives us when we repent. He never stops loving us!