Am I a true disciple and follower of Christ, or am I an uncommitted pretender?
It has been over three painful, heart breaking, years since someone I love dearly has called me a hypocrite and other cutting hurtful words. As I unfolded the letter that this individual wrote, I was frozen. I could not believe that I was reading this type of letter from this individual. The words that were in this letter could not be from this person.
The cutting words not only stabbed my heart but it was the statement after the cutting words that have torn my heart into a million pieces. I was told that our relationship could not be restored. There was no explanation for either the cutting words or for our relationship to be cut.
Matthew 26: 20-30, v-25 – Then Judas, the one who would betray him said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus answered, “Yes, it is you.”
Jesus chose Judas to be His disciple, so why would Judas want to betray Jesus? Judas shared a persistent misunderstanding of Jesus’ mission. Judas expected Jesus to start a political rebellion and overthrow Rome, but when Judas finally realized that his greedy desire for money and status could not be fulfilled if he followed Jesus, he betrayed Jesus in exchange for money and favor from the religious leaders.
When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve to have “The Last Supper.” Judas had already determined to betray Jesus, but in cold-blooded hypocrisy he shared the fellowship of this meal.
How could someone who had been with Jesus daily betray Him? Judas chose to reject Christ’s warning as well as His offer of mercy. He hardened his heart and joined in the plot with Jesus’ enemies to put Him to death. Judas remained unrepentant to the end, and he finally committed suicide. This was Judas’ choice. Those privileged to be close to the truth are not necessarily committed to the truth.
As I have done exploratory surgery on my own heart, I have looked deep down into the core of my being. I have asked the painful heart questions of myself.
Do I truly love God with my heart or do I focus on outward appearance and ignore the inner condition of my heart? Does my service for the Lord come from a desire to be seen rather than from a pure heart and out of love for others? Do I abhor drunkenness but ignore gluttony? Do I despise promiscuity but tolerate prejudice? Do I pick and choose out of God’s Word what I want to follow?
Psalm 7:9a – O righteous God, who searches minds and hearts,
Nothing is hidden from God. Our thoughts are an open book to Him. Because He knows even our motives, we have no place to hide, no way to pretend we can get away with sin. However when we truly repent, to experience sorrow for and seek to change wrong behavior, we can trust God to help us work through our weaknesses in order to serve Him as He has planned. When we truly follow God, He rewards our effort.