The Pastor spoke about the day Mary took an expensive bottle of perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus. While he read from the Bible these verses really caught my attention, “But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarius, and given to the poor?’ Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but that he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.” John 12:4-6
As soon as I heard this I thought, wait a minute, why did Jesus, knowing that Judas was a thief, allow him to hold the money box? I meditated on this for a few days, then Jesus revealed the answer to me, saying, “I trust God so much I will allow the thief to hold the money.” This revelation was so amazing to me that I could not think of anything else for a few days. I kept saying over and over, “Jesus trusted God so much He let the thief hold the money.”
Then I realized it’s not so much the money aspect of it but that Jesus trusted God for every area of His life on earth. He did not worry about where He would sleep, what He would eat or where the money or clothing would come from. He lived just like He said in Matthew 6:25-34, saying in verses 32-33, “For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek, for your heavenly Father knows you have need of all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you,”
I started to think even more about this to see what else I could learn, like why didn’t Jesus hold the money Himself? Which I believe is because He did not want to give the Devil opportunity. Many people are so consumed with money it keeps them from God. Back when I “Tried God” in my early twenties, I went to church for a few months, but because I was in love with my money, I did not keep going, saying the Pastor only talks about money. I know this was not true now, but at the time I could not hear anything else. Money had a deep hold on my life keeping me from God’s best. Jesus warns us in Matthew 6:24,”No one can serve two masters, either he will hate one and love the other, or he will hold onto one and despise the other, you cannot serve God and mammon.” Jesus knew the temptation for people, that it is difficult not to love money. He even said you will love one and hate the other. He chose to love God and hate money, not even carrying it, keeping temptation at bay.
I thought since Jesus knew Judas was a thief, why was he one of the twelve? I know if I knew someone was stealing the money we needed I wouldn’t keep him in the group. That’s exactly what God wanted me to see. Because He is not like us, when we see a problem in a person we usually kick them to the curb, having nothing to do with them. But God includes everyone making sure each and every person knows he is loved by Him and is given every opportunity to know the truth of His kingdom. At the beginning of Jesus ministry, He was reclining at the table, in Mark 2:15-17, and there were many tax gatherers and sinners dinning with Him. When the Pharisee’s saw this they asked, “Why is He eating and drinking with tax gathers and sinners?” Jesus responded by saying, “It is not those that are healthy who need a physician but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Today, Jesus’ group is the Church, and we sometimes forget that although we are graciously forgiven of all our past sins, that does not make us perfect, and we impose a sort of righteousness on ourselves and others, expecting the “Saved” never to sin again. Jesus understood this, never expecting His disciples not to sin. And the most impressive thing I learned was at the time Judas was betraying Him in the garden, Jesus called him “Friend.” Jesus truly is a friend of sinners.