As the group of disciples huddle together in the upper room, awaiting the coming of the Holy Spirit, there is a piece of business they must discuss. “In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, ‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus’”(Acts 1:15-16). There is an elephant in the room. Luke alludes to it by listing all 11 apostles (Acts 1:13). Judas has betrayed Jesus. Peter asserts that this betrayal was foretold in the Psalms.
Peter’s next statement is pregnant with meaning. “For he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry”(Acts 1:17). Judas was one of us. He was one of 12 special people Jesus himself chose. He ministered alongside us when we went out two by two. He should be here now. Luke fills us in on the details: “Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out”(Acts 1:18). Just days later, he is already a cautionary tale, “known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem”(Acts 1:19). None of the apostles emerges from Jesus’ crucifixion innocent, yet Judas should be here.
Every ingredient in betrayal is staggering—the disloyalty, the evil motive, the willingness to sacrifice others for ourselves, and the ingratitude for others’ kindness and loyalty. Christians are occasionally tempted to betray—to betray spouses, fellow Christians, and even the Lord. We need to see this picture of the incomplete 11—bitter, frustrated, hurt, and sad. How can we leave those who love us most?
------------- One Thing to Think About: What is my “thirty pieces of silver”?
One Thing to Pray For: Faithfulness to Jesus, my brethren, and my family
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