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John 12 Part 2: The Crooked Path

Updated: Jun 20

"Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 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.

John 12: 5-6

It is always easy to look down on others. Sometimes we do this just to feel good about ourselves. We compare ourselves to others and think, "At least I'm not like ..." The Bible clearly tells us that such thinking is not wise. (2 Corinthians 10:12) Jesus pointed out the Pharisee who looked down on the tax collector to justify himself, but was not justified by God. (Luke 18:9-14) Self justification is self-delusion. Anyone is capable of any sin at any time.

Judas Iscariot is the one who betrayed Jesus. But how did he get to the place where he was able and willing to do this? We don't have many glimpses into his character. We do know that He was chosen by Jesus. (John 6:70) In the same place, Jesus refers to him as a devil, but perhaps a better interpretation of that word for our understanding might the literal definition of "one who opposes" or an "adversary". This was a revelation of his character and not a title. We also know that Judas was a thief. He had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

This is the crooked path. Judas walked and talked with Jesus and the other disciples. Judas was close to Jesus, but he walked in opposition to Jesus. He allowed his brokenness to be the primary focus of his life, and in the end that made him an adversary. Instead of getting better, he got worse. He stole the money that was for ministry. Who knows how this worked out. We see clearly here that he was so caught up in his sin that he got angry because his pleasure was denied. But it led to his downfall and death. He betrayed Jesus and then rejected God's forgiveness and grace and hung himself.

Before we look too far down on Judas, we need to remember that anyone of us capable of any sin at any moment. Have we ever gotten angry because we were denied our pleasure of sin? We often make excuses for our sins, while we point out the sins of others. That is exactly what the Pharisees did. We minimize our sin while we augment the sins of others. That attitude is the one Jesus addressed in the sermon on the mount when He told us to take the log out of our own eye. We fight against this deadly path with humility, openness and confession to God and others. (James 4:6-10; James 5:16) As we do so, we will find the strength to follow Him on the path of the just.

Blessings to you!

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