If there is a way to spot a Judas it’s not found in results of ministry, it’s not found in eloquent speech, it’s not even found in what he/she appears to be treasuring. We are probably healthiest when we do not treat people with unwarranted suspicion but also when we aren’t surprised by depravity. True discernment will be grounded in hope instead of suspicion.
He appointed the twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons.
Be with Jesus.
Drive out demons.
Picture that ministry in your mind. What was the preaching like? What would you conclude about the powerful ministry where the works of darkness are being overturned? And what must we say about the preacher who has “been with Jesus”?
Now check out who appears in the list of those appointed by Jesus.
“…and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.”
Sit with that for a moment.
There is absolutely no indication that anything was “off” in Judas’ preaching ministry. No indication that he was the guy in the group who just couldn’t seem to drive out demons. And there’s no indication that he was always lurking in the shadows and being the weird guy in the group.
There is no indication that when Jesus said, “one of you will betray me” all eyes suddenly lit upon Judas. This means that his preaching was at least adequate. There was nothing that caused the other disciples to shake their head at his weird take upon the good news. Every sign pointed to Judas being one of the gang.
What Does This Mean?
A few weeks ago my wife and I stumbled upon this show on Peacock called Traitors. It’s a ridiculous show, honestly. But it hooked us and so we kept watching to the end.