Warning to us in various ways
Judas was one of the twelve disciples who was with Jesus for over three years, but in the end betrayed Him. His life is a warning to us in various ways:
• It is possible to follow Jesus outwardly, so that everybody thinks we are a Christian. But if we do not love Jesus with our hearts, we will not inherit eternal life.
• We read that Judas betrayed Jesus after Satan entered into Him (Luke 22:3). Satan tries to deceive all followers of Christ. We need to put on the armor of God and stand strong against the schemes of the devil.
• Some people say Judas betrayed Jesus because he was so disappointed that Jesus did not become king. But John 12:6 shows us that Judas was a thief. He was a hypocrite from the beginning. Love of money is a great evil that will draw us away from God. We cannot serve two masters, God and money. So let us put God in the first place in our lives!
Feeling sorry and responsible for our actions
• Judas changed his mind, brought back the money he got for his betrayal, and committed suicide. This is a lesson for us that being sorry is not the same as repentance. Being sorry makes us feel sorry for ourselves, and can either lead us to justifying our sins or to despair. Repentance makes us feel sorry that we have offended God and drives us to Him to receive His undeserved forgiveness.
• That Judas betrayed Jesus was God’s plan, but yet he was guilty, as we read in Luke 22:22: “For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” Even though everything happens according to God’s plan, we are responsible for our actions, because they flow from our own decisions.
Faithfully trusting in Him
Judas’ life is a sobering example. It should drive us to examine ourselves whether we are really in the faith. Yet is should not make us doubt the possibility to faithfully serve Jesus in our own lives. When we have put our trust in Him, nobody can snatch us from his hand. Jesus himself prayed in John 17:12: “I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” When we have become disciples of Jesus through a saving faith, He will guard us and lead us to eternal life.