Are there lessons to learn from the actions of Judus? : LUSENET : A.M.E. Today Discussion : One Thread

As we approach holy week and we think about our lord and saviour Jesus Christ and what he did for us. I think it important to focus on the disciples also and there relationship with Christ. Last weeks scripture reading using the Lectionary was on John 12 the story of Mary pouring the expensive oil on Jesus. It was a rich text for sitting at the table with Jesus was Lazarous whom Jesus had brought back from the dead. And dear Mary showing her love for Jesus by giving her best to him. Judas had witnessed all the things that Jesus had done and he saw Lazarus brought back to life after three days of death, yet he turned his back on Jesus for money, what lessons are we to learn from Judas and how do we convey this message in Church? I think there is much to learn from all the disciples. What do you think?

-- Anonymous, April 05, 2001


Since I use the Lectionary to do youth messages, last week the Lord gave me an excellent one concerning Judas. I would like to share it with you. I must apologize for the length of it but I think it was meant to be shared.

I asked the kids what day it was and they knew right away that it was April Fool's Day. Then I told them I wanted to show them something to help them remember that day. Whereupon, I showed them an empty Valentine candy box. Of course they looked like, "what's up with you?" This gave me the opportunity to say, "Let me think out loud for you because church folk would never verbalize this to me but they sure would think it". (THOUGHT)--Today is April Fool's Day (not Valentine's Day) and you are the biggest one of all (April Fool that is). You are either two months too late or ten months too early.

Then I said, "But you see I don't know what will happen ten months from now, ten days from now, ten minutes form now, or even ten seconds from now. You have seen the tee shirts that read "Carpe Diem" - Seize the Moment. The only time I have to love you is right now. This moment is the only time I have, the only time that is given to me. For true love cannot wait".

Following this we read Saint John 12:1-8. After which I told them, Now Judas thought out loud and I, like him, have often thought the same thing. Like perhaps the other Apostles who said nothing, I too have said "what a waste", and I have said it even when I read this passage of Scripture. But, true love is Extravagant.

Today we celebrate Holy Communion and Jesus' death on the cross was Extravagant Love. Now, whatever you think about Judas know this: Judas wanted and sought the coming of the Kingdom of God. The fact that he followed Jesus proves this. He simply sought it in the wrong way as we ourselves often do. Unlike many of us Judas read and knew the Scriptures. So Jesus called him and us to reality check by using the Scriptures. Someone was always challenging Jesus and he simply brought him or her back to reality by quoting the Scriptures, which they knew.

A few minutes ago we did the Decalogue (we do it entirely on 1st Sundays). When a Pharisee once challenged Jesus about which was the greatest of the Commandments he quoted the Scripture, which in effect says, love God with all your being and love your neighbor just as you love yourself. So in this passage we just read from Saint John, Jesus is pointing out to Judas what it says in Deuteronomy, Chapter 15. This passage is about the nation of Israel in the Promised Land. It is among the passages of blessing and curses. It says one should lend to the poor and the poor "shall never cease out of your land". But, the 7th year is a Sabbath unto the Lord and in it all debts should be forgiven. So the tendency would be to become mean spirited and not lend to the poor as that year approaches. But God says do it anyway and you will be surely blessed.

So in effect Jesus told Judas that Love is URGENT, Love is EXTRAVAGANT, and Love CANNOT WAIT. Love, Joy, and Peace, Robert Matthews

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2001


I think the lesson of the Judas story teaches the pitfalls of "greed". Judas forgot his spiritual teachings, turning his back on his teacher and friend for material gain. After receiving the silver, which he thought would smoothe over his deeds---he was not happy. He ended his physical life because money nor material things secures happiness. This lesson has not been learned by many people of today. People are worried about their material worth, which is WORTHLESS in the spiritual plane.

In Love and Light, Brenda

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2001

Robert thank you for sharing your wonderful children's moment. And Brenda I have missed you. I posed the question for I feel there is something to be learned from all the disciples. Robert is so right Judas had been with Jesus, yet he turned his back. One of the lessons I learn from Judas is "not to take my faith for granted." Faith to me is a muscle that has to be used everyday, reading scripture, thinking of others, serving others as Christ did and evangelism. When God is not in my life, I know it is because I WALKED AWAY, not God. When Mary poured the expensive oil on Jesus John 12 1-8 Lazarus was sitting alive at the table, but Judas saw only money. I think the bigger lesson to learn from Judas, is this: Have we truly given our hearts to Christ? For we cannot have one foot in this world and give the other to Christ, we must give all to Christ as Mary did and then Jesus will take care of our finances.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 2001

Could it be that America too, Like Judas in our greed, gives only lip service to caring for the poor and the needy among us? Could it be that like Judas, Jesus is calling us back to Deuteronomy Chapter 15-- That in this great "promised Land" in which we live the poor will never cease and it is a thing most holy, even a "Sabbath" unto the Lord, that we remember them?

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2001

I was having a discussion last night with a new member in our church about the "Poor" I said I did not want a church full of members but my prayers to God is that we would have a church full of disciples for Christ, the difference being that as disciples we are more intent on serving the poor and imitating the acts of love for Christ. I know for myself when I look at organizations that I have a membership with, clubs, gym, etc. I feel because I pay money that I am entitled to something and I am less likely to give because it is someone else's job. But if I and the congregation cultivate an attitude of discipleship then giving money is an opportunity to serve God. We have a partnership arrangement with our sister church Purity AME church in Namibia, there is so much for us to learn from Rev. Hanse and Purity AME. For like us they do not have a sanctuary, they have been in existence for 9 years and the love they have for the lord is incredible. Purity AME church is about discipleship. Judas does have a lot to teach us, gaining money for worldly comfort only, does not last. But when we focus on money to do God's work we will be blessed abundantly here on earth and in heaven. I listen to my small congregation and I hear there excitement, when they discuss ways to raise money for our sister church. The congregation wants to start a $25.00 a month mutual fund for mission projects. This will be in addition to what we regularly set aside for mission. And because they put Christ first, they were able to realize that they too needed to invest in mutual funds for themselves. As we talk about the poor we also must not forget the spiritually poor. Those that have money but do not know Christ, tell them the good news. And let's measure church success by the spiritual growth in our churches. Lastly, I encourage all of you to partner with one of our AME churches on the continent of Africa, you receive the blessing. I have watched one of our youth blossom because of our sister church. He is 13 and shy, and asked if he could research Namibia. Not only did he do that, but he spoke in church. The first time he has spoken in front of a crowd. He loves Purity Church so much. He is white and has informed me he has written a letter to our sister church. Miracles are happening in our church because our prayer time has increased because we are praying for others. We can help the poor especially the poor on the continent of Africa. Do this as Mary who poured the expensive oil on Jesus would do. If you need more info on how to partner with a church in Africa. Post on the discussion board you would like a partnership church and you will be richly blessed!!

-- Anonymous, April 07, 2001

We can also learn from the example of Judas the importance of asking Jesus' forgiveness. Peter also betrayed Jesus (though certainly not in as horrible a way) when he denied Him three times. Both Peter and Judas realized their sin, but Judas despaired of ever finding forgiveness, and he killed himself. He tried to escape his sin by escaping life.


-- Anonymous, April 07, 2001

Hannah I am so happy that you presented forgiveness in the discussion for that is why Christ went to the cross to forgive our sins. This week is such a powerful week spiritually as we think of all that God wants to give us. May you have a blesses Holy Week!

-- Anonymous, April 09, 2001

I've been away for a while,but wanted to say how blessed I've been by the remarks of this particular discussion. Robert's illustration with the children was wonderful. Easy to understand, but brought has a powerful convicting message. The remark (I'm sorry I fogot who made it) regarding the forgiving aspect by using the comparison between Peter and Judas just opened a whole new door. Forgiveness is so powerful. Last week in Bible Study someone, said how it seems just as hard for people to ask for forgiveness that to forgive. So true, especially for Judas.

Last night a thought came to me "What is behind the door"

Forgiveness was one of the first points made that was behind the door.

I'm praying and ask that you pray with me because I want to finish what is behind the door" Jesus is in front of the door and knocking and unless we let him in so much hurt is behind the door. What could be more tormenting than unforgiveness.

In Christ, Carmen

-- Anonymous, April 11, 2001

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