We all know Judas as a traitor because we all know how his story ends. But, what if you were in the middle of the story? What if you had just met Judas and were serving along side Judas while you followed Jesus? What would you think of him then?

(Matthew 26:21-22 “And while they were eating, he (Jesus) said, ‘Truly I tell you, one of you will betray Me.’ They were very sad and began to say to Him one after the other, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?’”)

They wouldn’t have wondered who was going to betray Jesus if they knew Judas’ heart. But all they could see was Judas’ actions. Judas had served faithfully, as far as they knew, up to this point. He had performed miracles with them when Jesus sent them out to “proclaim the kingdom of God” (see Luke chapter 9). He had given up his previous life whatever that was to be with them.

Jesus Himself said many would claim to know him. (Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name drive out demons and in Your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!’)

The people that Jesus said He did not know, drove out demons! They may have looked like followers of Christ, but Jesus will say He never knew them. Our relationship with Jesus is about so much more than just our actions. While actions may be a good indicator of what is going on inside of each one of us, it is certainly not the end all be all. God wants us to have a heart that desires Him.

Where is your heart with God today? Are you pursuing your relationship with Him? Or are you just going through the motions trying to follow the rules?

by Michael Hasty, Deacon

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