Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back to Judas...and temptation

I think I'm going to start looking for references to Judas in the New Testament. My faulty memory tells me that, other than when the disciples are listed by name, we don't know that we encounter him, except at the Lord's supper and the betrayal.

I wonder why it has been so hard to accept the fact that Satan could enter into a follower of Christ. Satan tempted Christ Himself. He tempts us all, each and every day. I thought back to the first mention of temptation, when Satan tempted Eve. Remember how she told him that they had been forbidden to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil? Up until that moment, everything they had done had been good, no question about it--because they didn't have a clue what "good" meant! Everything in that garden was put there for their benefit and enjoyment. God had given them one rule--just one. "Don't eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil." Until that moment, there had been no reason for 10 commandments, Mosaic law, or codes of Hammurabi--that was it. One rule.

And Eve broke it. Why? Because Satan tempted her into using her human brain (also a gift of God, by the way) to try to think through a situation that didn't need thought. She did not need to think about this, folks. God told her, very simply, "Don't do it." But just like a child, she had to try to figure out WHY God had told her this, and WHY shouldn't she do it. She probably already had learned that if you ate too many kumquats, you didn't feel good the next day--natural consequences. If you ate too many persimmons, you couldn't whistle. If you took a nap in the poison ivy--oh, wait, maybe there wasn't any poison ivy in the garden. So Eve probably already knew a few things she shouldn't do.

But this one thing that God had told her she MUST not do--that was a different matter. 'I wonder why I shouldn't do that. I wonder what that fruit makes you do. It looks good--I've recovered from the kumquats and the persimmons--I didn't die. And then Satan told me, surely I won't die--what's death, anyway?' And Eve chose (remember she had the freedom to choose--she probably chose to eat that last kumquat that day) to eat of the tree. Her curiosity got the better of her. And then she told Adam to try it. And he chose to do that.

So why is it difficult to believe that a Christ-follower couldn't be tempted? We don't know the specifics of Judas' temptation, like we do about Christ and Eve. Think, folks. There are ways that we as Christ-followers could be tempted to do what Satan suggests. What if he were told that by the betrayal, he could further Christ's kingdom? Remember, he knew those scriptures...or at least he may have. He probably had at least heard that the Christ must be betrayed, that the Christ must die...and he may not have come to grasp the fact that Christ's kingdom would not be earthly. I believe there might have been a way that I could have been tempted...how about you? Talk amongst yourselves, and share your thoughts on this. Love to all, and God bless.

1 comment:

Mrs. Allroro said...

You can go to Biblegateway.com and enter Judas and it works like a concordance.