No one names their son Judas. It is one of the most infamous names in history because it is the name of the man who betrayed Jesus. Judas was one of the closest followers of Jesus, he was the one who took care of the money, he was heavily involved in the ministry of Jesus ... and he betrayed him. Even people that know very little about the Jesus story have heard of Judas. His name is synonymous with betrayal, hypocrisy, and greed.

Judas ended up committing suicide. I wonder why? Was he having second thoughts about what he had done? Maybe he did not really think the authorities would actually condemn Jesus to death. Perhaps he thought Jesus would save himself at the last instance. Or did reality set in when he realized he had betrayed the Son of God. I wonder if he belatedly realized that he believed in Jesus and was so horrified by what he had done that he could see no way out.

So here is my problem with Judas. How could he have spent so much time with Jesus and still not get it? If he was in trouble, Jesus would have helped him. Jesus would have forgiven the betrayal. Judas could have been saved. He could have lived forgiven. He could have lived forever. He just did not get it.

I wonder how many people are like that today ā€“ people who may not share the name of Judas, but who share the wrong understanding of Jesus. People who grew up believing in Jesus, but abandoned him years ago and now do not believe they can come back. People who were involved in church but surrendered to sin in their life and now do not think they can be forgiven.

The problem with Judas is not what he did ... it is what he did not do. He did not understand the message of Jesus. He never realized forgiveness was there for the asking. He missed the whole reason Jesus came to live among us.

The story of Judas should have had a different ending.
So if you are wondering if you can come back to Jesus, I have good news for you. Jesus is still the way back to God. I can help you find him again. Write me at steve@hopeforlife.org. Or join the blog discussion at www.hopeforlife.org.


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