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From Discipleship To A 'Betrayer- Guide': Judas !

"Men and brethren , this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a 'guide' to those who arrested Jesus" (Acts 1:16).



Introduction:

A guide typically is an officially assigned or a paid person to assist travelers, tourists, or strangers in unfamiliar areas, by accompanying or giving directions to the guests. The guide shows the guests points of interests and at the same time explains the meaning or significance of such places of interest.

In some cases, guides may be by private employ to provide security for their principal, and family members. One of the reasons for this type of guide is to ensure the safety of their principal and all the stakeholders in their lives, and by the same token, keep an eye on their properties and physical structures.

A disciple, on the other hand, in the christian context, is someone who follows the teachings, and lifestyle of Jesus Christ, with the sole purpose of becoming Christ-like in conducts and character. And by extension, such disciple makes his Christ-like life, a model for others.


Judas Iscariot: His Selection As A Disciple, His Ways & Other Disciples:

Judas Iscariot was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. The disciples were twelve in number. The disciples were chosen by the Master to be with Him, to see and testify of the miracles, signs, and wonders that trailed His ministry. He had a prayer session before finally selecting the disciples , "...He went out to the mountain to pray...and when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve among whom He also named apostles" (Lk.6: 12-13). In addition, they would be able to bear witnesses to others that He is the Son of God and Savior, and reveal His true identity to the world. On one occasion, He asked, "Who who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am ?" (Mt.16:13). In addition to this, He commissioned them to preach the gospel and heal the sick, simultaneously. And in all of these, He remained their dependable and unfailing last resort in cases where a healing or deliverance could not be effected through them. On one of such occasions, they asked , "why could we not cast it out", He responded, "because of your unbelief." (Mt.17:19 & 20).


The brief synopsis of discipleship above does not in any way indicate Jesus' disciples being called to be 'guides' or to be on payroll in His ministry , as such. Far from that! The simple motives of these called ones, were to be under the tutelage of the 'Caller', witness to His ministry, carry out all given assignments, and report to Him after each task was accomplished. In essence, the idea of Judas to later transit to "self-appointed guide" , was his personal choice and decision. A choice that was induced by 'ungodly' financial motivation, and technically woven into Jesus' passing reference to His imminent betrayal, "He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me." (Mat.26:23). Hence, Judas was simply acting a divine script foretold long before this time in discussion. It was going to be the end of his beginning. His part in ministry among his brethren was to be severed in the most unprecedented manner. His replacement was to be immediate since vacuum cannot be tolerated among the disciples. His continued stay in the fold would be an unmitigated risk. For this singular act, he already had a curse hanging on him, consequently, no going back for Judas to carry out his nefarious activity. The inglorious task was unavoidable. Judas has gone too far in the deal, to have change of heart. But not before a curse was placed on him, "but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed!" (Mt.26:24). His type of 'guide' was not for safety purposes in any way, for Jesus Christ and His ministry. So ironic and unfortunate it was a " betrayer-guide", to sell his Master into the hands of waiting enemies. These enemies happened to be just one-time pay master, of wages of 'iniquity' into his life- wages he never lived to spend ! He was more than happy to remove the esteemed garb of discipleship willingly, and almost immediately switched role to a demeaning level of perfidy. How humans can flip even for peanuts at the expense of fellow beings! Such attitude leaves much to be desired.


Judas' heartlessness is undoubtedly an unwarranted antecedent to similar occurrences that have bedeviled our contemporary world. Ours is a world characterized by spate of distrusts, disloyalties, betrayals, bloodsheds, lust of the flesh, inordinate ambitions. It is almost becoming practically difficult to trust even one's spouse. It's that gruesome. Foods, drinks, are carefully laced with poison by the hands of the most trusted right hand man of even the most anointed. Opposite sexes are paid, sponsored, and planted in strategic places by contemporaries in the faith against a co-vesels simply to applaud the accompanying stage-managed uproar of shame that might likely ensued, at the slightest infraction. The spirit of Judas breeds a high level of disheartening and broken morale. To say the spirit of Judas has subtly crept into the fold, is an understatement. That spirit is almost in control... , it is moving with high speed on a huge pedestal of mistrust. Mistrust among opposite genders, in offices, political circles, siblings, friends and associates , as well as business partners. It is appalling! Frightening too...there is palpable fear in the air . Did our world borrow a leaf from Judas? That obviously is a bad leaf, if we ever did!



Judas' craving for the one-time monetary compensation from his accomplices was occasioned by his confirmed and established greed that had eaten deep into him from the days of his stealing from the 'money box', "but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it." (John 12:6). He stole to a level such that the thought of betraying his LORD for a token was inconsequential to him. It was only a step further to attaining a higher rank in the ministry of stealing and greed. An undisputed champion and a trailblazer, he was, in this self-fabricated calling.


Judas: A Very Inglorious Guide!

There are guides and there are guides ! There are people that guide others to their destinies, while some guides take delight in guiding people out of destruction into safety and exalted places. The former was such of Saul's servant , the first king of Israel. He guided Saul to his destiny before Saul made a mess of the throne. On the flip side are guides that guide other people to destructions and misfortunes. Their stock in trade is to use all means possible to see the end of their principal. Judas belonged to the latter group of guides. These guides, like the former, know the ins and outs of their targets. Where he stays, does, his movement and daily itineraries and activities, at every point in time. They know their preferred meals, drinks, past-times, including their places and times of relaxation. For Judas, it was NOT an exemption. He had all these close affinities with Jesus Christ, so much that he sold Him off with a free and cheap kiss, after a verbal sign to his accomplices, "Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him." (Mt.26:48). Two striking things to note here:


-Betrayers have sign(s). Unique signs that cannot be missed, and peculiar only to their circle, and;

-In this particular case, Judas emphasized the need to 'seize' Jesus, ostensibly in case he might not be able to do it again, should the initial opportunity be missed. Also that he was dead sure that he spotted the right victim, among the rest of the disciples since there was no way to differentiate Jesus Christ and His disciples.


It does not matter how good the principal is, to them, they (the ungodly guides), don't rest until they carry out their heinous act. Sadly, they do this for peanuts, and to the detriment of their souls. If at all they realize their folly, on the long-run, it is always usually late, as it was with Judas. For a pre-paid token as meagre as thirty pieces of silver, he put himself on a personal and uncomfortable lookout, for only God knows how long, for an infamous opportunity to betray Jesus. He obviously placed himself under a heavy burden of sleeplessness till the ugly deed was done. Beloved, it was not easy for Judas doing this ! From the moment he was given advanced payment, he literally transitioned from his cherished status of a disciple, to an unprecedented guide in Christendom that championed a historically speaking, an unenviable task.


Needless to say he brought a curse on himself having bitten the finger that ordained him. Most unfortunate that Judas did not live to enjoy the investment he made with the paltry sum his gang paid him from the illicit trade. He committed suicide. His shame, failure, ridicule were colossal that he came on bended knees to his shrewd business partners to return the 'blood money'. His effort at this was to no avail! The joy and expectations of betrayers and traitors are always short-lived, anyway. It may look promising, interesting, and enviable at the beginning, but truth is that, it does not last long. No! The ripple effects run down the lineage of such people. Our bother Gehazi, cannot go unreferenced at times like this.


Conclusion:

It's a privilege -a rare one at that, to be chosen or called disciples. As disciples, it is quite honorable and loyal to stay true to our callings. Such loyalty should not be jeopardized. Be wary of the antics of the accuser of the brethren . Given the least opportunity, he's looking for whom to draw to his side. Such victims automatically have the door shut against them almost immediately. Connections with the heavens are lost.


Whatever will make us transition from discipleship to an unneeded and unnecessary 'guide' must be avoided like a plague. Ironically, the packages that lure disciples into 'destructive guides' are subtly wrapped in enticing and deceptive promises. It's nothing but a path to destruction.


Truth be said, for Judas, his joy, glory, lofty dreams, and expectations of living a larger than life, after the mission, were not only short-lived, they all left his life in mirage, and ultimately a miserable ending. The catalogue of woes that befell him found semblance in the destruction of Eli's lineage. His dwelling became desolate, his office was taken, and invariably, became unnumbered in the ministry. Had Judas known, he would not have ventured into such an infamous deal, "for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory." (1 Cor. 2:18). In all, for every Judas, there is always a Matthias in waiting. Blessings !


Prayers:

LORD, I pray the spirit of betrayer shall NOT enter me.

LORD, help me not to transition from discipleship to betrayer-guide status.

LORD, I pray I shall NOT be enticed by any worldly renumeration away from You. Amen!



© February 2024

Being A Monthly Scripture Nugget

From The Desk Of

Olusegun A Emosu

The Redeemed Christian Church Of God,

Rehoboth Parish

2244, Panola Rd, Suite 2, Lithonia GA 30058, (404 644 4127)


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