No One Ever Told Me That!

A story about Judas and all of us

One of the most infamous persons in the Bible whose name is forever remembered in history is Judas Iscariot. He was a disciple and one of the original Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. He betrayed Jesus by handing Him to the hands of the Jewish chief priests and elders, leading to His death in the Calvary.

The Bible records very little about Judas, but we know from these notes that Judas was trusted to be the treasurer of the disciples, and he abused his position to get personal gain by stealing the money he had to keep.

The Bible never tells if Jesus ever rebuked Judas of his fault. There are only a few times of conversation between Jesus and Judas. The first was when Mary Magdalene poured an expensive bottle of perfume and washed Jesus’ feet with it, Judas showed his objection, saying Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” (John 12: 5, NIV)

His intention sounded pure, but John wrote further, “He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12: 6, NIV)

The second time was at the last supper, where Jesus told His disciples that there was one between the twelve that was going to betray him. Judas, along with all the disciples, asked Jesus, “Surely You don’t mean me, Rabbi?” (Matthew 26: 25, NIV)

The last time was at Jesus’ arrest, Judas came to Him, greeted and kissed Him – to identify Him out of the crowd and handed Him to the Roman soldiers. Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” (Matthew 26: 49 – 50, NIV)

Do what you want to do

There are many occasions where my children exercise their stubbornness, closing their ears to my instructions and deciding to keep doing what they want to do. You know, I’d really love to picture my children as angelic creatures, but unfortunately while they are not totally monstrous, they are often disobedient. I would also love to tell you that I’m a 100 percent composed and disciplined mom,  who always immediately tackles any issue and corrects my children’s understanding and behaviour. But no, I’m not. Unfortunately I’m not.

I’d love to be able to address every misbehaviour of theirs, but many times I don’t have any chance, opportunity or guts to do that. So in some circumstances, as they kept ignoring me and I was too tired to stand and fight, I silently said to them, “do what you want to do. I don’t care anymore.”

“Do what you want to do,” – this final sentence would usually make them silent, aware Mama was really upset this time. Or… still they didn’t listen (they were too busy doing their own things), and soon or later they got to meet the consequences for not listening to me: someone hurt himself, no food for dinner, they got into a fight, they got sick from eating too much candy, and so on.

Meeting the consequences

He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. (Ezekiel 33:5, NKJV)

The Bible tells us that even before the betrayal of Judas, he was all long busy helping himself to money that was trusted to him. I believe Judas did all those stealing because he was busy thinking about himself. Perhaps he was worried for his future as a disciple of Jesus – the same way we think that all people who give their life to serve Jesus are doomed with financial insecurity. Or maybe he simply loved the smell of money. But sure enough, he thought a lot for his personal gain instead of thinking about the ministry.

Perhaps Judas also didn’t think long when he agreed to help the chief priest to arrest Jesus. He was with his Rabbi long enough to see Jesus’ Godly power. Perhaps he thought that in one way or another, Jesus would manage to escape the arrest and avoid the death. No, Judas didn’t think long enough. Just like my children who don’t think long enough about the consequences that may come after some stupid actions.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself. (Matthew 27: 3 -5)

When my children chose to ignore me and later got to meet the consequences, what happened was they became frustrated, sad and angry. But they don’t always understand that the mishap they had to go through was actually an aftermath of their own mistakes. Sometimes they thought it was the mistake of the other (sibling), or perhaps my mistake because I didn’t tell them or didn’t warn them of what might happen.

Did Jesus really never warn Judas of his mistakes?

When I grew up and entered adulthood, I met a lot of hardship adjusting to life from being pampered and protected by my parents to trying to live on my own and being responsible for myself (I went to a university in another city apart from my family). Long story short, I fell into a lot of mistakes – failures that shaped me to what I am today, but also prevented me from being the best version of myself.

I can’t remember if I ever asked this question to my parents – directly or indirectly, but I can see that bearing the shame and burden of mistake can cause people to regret and blame other people in the effort to cope with the remorseful feeling. Why didn’t my parents ever tell me? Why didn’t they say no? Why did they let me do it when they could see I was going astray?

What was Judas thinking when he decided to hang himself? Did he regret that Jesus never told him to stop stealing? Did he regret that the other 11 disciples never reported him to the Teacher? Did he regret that no one ever rebuked him and told him the right way to go? Because apparently the Bible doesn’t write any of these events.

It’s not hard to believe that Jesus never rebuked Judas. Perhaps He really never did. Looking at how Judas was still looking ‘comfortable’ sitting around Him at the last supper. But does it mean that Judas was really clueless of what good and wrong is? I mean, can you really stay oblivious about what’s right and wrong when you spent 3,5 years living with the Lord Himself?

Even when there’s this possibility that Jesus never reprimanded Judas personally, but in the 3,5 years of His teaching, Jesus constantly showed His disciples and His followers what sins are and how they needed to repent and get into the Kingdom of God. How could have Judas missed all these teachings? What Jesus taught to all people, this should also be applicable to Judas as well.

It’s been preached, but we never listen

Many times we try to escape from the responsibility of our own mistakes that we look at others and put the blame on them. No one has ever told me! – says the anger inside our head ,when in fact, the rules and teachings are already there, scattered everywhere for us to read and to follow.

We do something we know is wrong but we proceed anyway because we just don’t want to miss the pleasure or the goodness we think we might gain in it. But in all truthfulness, God has given us conscience to give us warnings and discomfort but we don’t want to listen to it.

The Bible is full of teachings and wisdom and all the guidance we need to live a good life. Our parents constantly teach and remind us. The law and moral standards give us insight into what is good and right. Have we listened and paid attention?

When Mama gives in and let the children do what they want to do

God didn’t stop Judas from doing what he did for a complicated reason. It’s not because He didn’t care – but Judas was also there to complete the mission. Jesus had to die. He had to be sent to the Golgota. Otherwise we don’t get our happy ending and be able to reconcile with God if He didn’t pay for our sins on the cross.

But on the other hand, Judas has gotten all the chance to repent and change his ways. He got to live with the Lord Himself, witnessing the true Love saving His flocks and forgiving their sins. No, Judas had more than enough warnings and signs. He saw enough and yet he refused to change.

I remember an accident several months ago. My husband loves eating and dislikes exercise. Me and his parents have been warning him to take care of his health better, and he always shrugged us off, trusting that he knew better of himself and his ‘immortality’. This rolled up to a vicious circle and it got into my nerves so I decided to ignore him and let him do what he wanted to do. 

One day, he couldn’t get up from the bed from having a severe pain in his feet which disabling him from walking for two weeks. This happened several times, and it took the whole big family to convince him to go to the doctor and get tested. The blood result showed he has gout, which naturally requires him to take better care of his food intakes and to exercise.

Sometimes we don’t get a ‘personal’ warning from God to stop us being foolish. Oh well, we do get it. We read the Bible and it’s written there all over on how we should live. What do you want, actually? A tap on a shoulder coming straight from above? Or that heaven suddenly opens up with a deep voice like in the movie telling you: “I am God and I want you to do this and stop that”? 

Just like the time I stopped giving warnings to my husband, I often stop giving warnings to my children and let them learn by having the consequences of their wrongdoings. No, I don’t like that. I’m not enjoying the moment I let them do things that might harm them. My heart ached from thinking of the risks and the consequences they might meet – and the mess I need to fix. But sometimes, we parents must take this unpopular decision.

We can not always be there to correct our children – because we can’t. But even when we are able, there are times we have to let the children fly and let them try, even when it’s at the cost of failing and making mistakes. We hope that by enduring the troubles our children may learn to make better choices, to make better decisions.

Let’s not wait until troubles come!

In many stories in the Old Testament we can also see that sometimes God stopped sending prophets, stopped giving instructions and refraining from giving warning. And this can happen in our lives as well in this present time. But just like us being parents, we may now understand that those silent times don’t happen because He stops caring about us or because He loves letting us get into troubles. 

Just like our aching hearts watching our children going forward with their mistakes, God is grieving watching our waywards life. But nevertheless, let’s not wait until the troubles come! Let’s us all be vigilant and ready to listen to advice and instructions.

Listen to counsel and receive instruction, That you may be wise in your latter days. (Proverbs 19: 20, NKJV)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *