Grace is Greater
Twelve disciples have been called and left everything. They have stayed by Jesus’s side when times were good and public approval was high, and at times when the crowds began to turn against Jesus. They followed Jesus when there was imminent danger. They have all heard the things that Jesus taught with authority. They have witnessed Jesus’ healing and other miracles. For three years they have followed Jesus. If Judas leaves the fold here, it is not because he has seen or experienced anything less than the other disciples. If he chooses to walk away, it is not because Jesus has loved him any less than he loved the other disciples.
It is a mystery why Judas would betray Jesus when he received so much from Jesus. But we should not overlook the fact that Peter also made a disastrous decision when Jesus was arrested. However Peter was restored to relationship with the resurrected Jesus; while Judas, in despair, took his own life.
As followers of Jesus in our lifetimes, even when we have received much from Jesus, sometimes we make decisions that betray or deny the commitment we once made to follow. The question perhaps isn’t so much why we make these kinds of decisions, but what will we do next? Will we return and seek forgiveness and restoration?
For centuries, Christians have prayed this simple prayer: “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Although this prayer admits our sinfulness, it places the emphasis where it belongs – on God’s great mercy. Try repeating this prayer a few times throughout the day. As you pray, allow yourself to believe that God’s grace that is greater than all of your sin.
Amanda Hecht is pastor at Faith Community Church, in Wakaw, SK, Canada. Affiliated with the Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, Faith Community is nestled on the Canadian Prairies.
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