Weekly Devotion – John 6:70-71
By Mike Caton
John 6:70-71, “Then Jesus replied, ‘Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!’” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
Maybe Peter doesn’t speak for all of the Twelve. Jesus said he had chosen each of them, and yet one of them was a devil. Of course, we know that Judas would eventually betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and the signal of betrayal would be a kiss. If Jesus knew Judas was a devil, why did Jesus pick him to begin with? I don’t think I’d pick my betrayer to be one of my closest friends. And Judas was also a thief, helping himself to what was in the money bag. Why didn’t Jesus put a stop to that? Those are complicated questions, and are honestly beyond me.
But when God created us, he gave each of us free will, we get to make our own choices and go our own direction. Maybe the human part of Jesus was hoping Judas would see the error of his way and turn back. Maybe Jesus was showing us what grace really looks like. There is absolutely no evidence that Jesus ever treated Judas any differently than the rest of the disciples. In other words, he loved this thief and betrayer just like he loved the other eleven. And maybe there is a lesson there for us, we need to love the people that God allows into our paths, and we need to love them unconditionally, realizing that many of them will hurt us in the end.
Who is there in your life that you need to love like this? Maybe there is a name or a face that flashed across your mind. Or maybe it is someone you don’t know that well, but they just rub you wrong. Or maybe it is the person who is different from you. Honestly, the media is giving us plenty of people to hate right now; they and the politicians seem to be constantly stirring the pot to keep things agitated in our country. What if, instead of listening to them, we heeded to the words and actions of Jesus. Though Jesus must have hated what Judas did and was going to do, he still loved the man and gave him every opportunity to change his mind.
Father, help me love like Jesus. In His name, amen.
Mike Caton is the preacher at Mount Olive Church of Christ in Belhaven. He volunteers at the Ponzer Fire Department and works part time with Hyde County EMS. If you would like to receive daily devotions in your inbox, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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