Just Like Judas

Judas has been on my mind lately. Maybe it has something to do with Easter behind us, and the fact that he was the one who set Jesus’ walk to the cross in motion. I don’t want to give too much credit to Judas because ultimately the Lord’s plan would’ve played out with or without Judas, but his role is pivotal in the most amazing story ever.

I often wonder if I’m like Judas. Would I betray Jesus to the point of death? Would the lures of this world be enough to entice me to deny my Lord? Would I sacrifice my beloved to receive glory? My body wells up with goosebumps when I think about such things, but something inside me can’t help but ask these questions. Am I really like Judas?
I think about all the time Judas spent with Jesus. He was with him throughout the three years of Jesus’ ministry. He dined with Jesus, he walked with Jesus, he listened to Jesus’ sermons, he witnessed Jesus perform miracles, and he allowed Jesus to wash his feet. You would think after all this time Judas would’ve come to really know and love Jesus. Judas was Jesus’ disciple, follower, and friend. I want to ask Judas after all he and Jesus had been through why he’d give Jesus up like that. Did he not realize what the ramifications of his actions would be? Did he not realize he was turning Jesus over to be killed? The ultimate betrayal.

“Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.’" Matthew 26:48

So surely I’m better than Judas, right?

Here’s the thing, my flesh desires the trappings of this world just as Judas did, praise for my writing and all the time I put into it, accolades for being a good mom and a good wife. I get sucked into believing if my clothes, my home, my life looked a certain way, then I’d be satisfied. Most days I would rather succumb to the pleasures and comforts of the world than fight the good fight because life is hard. Maybe that was Judas. He was at the point where he just needed 30 pieces of silver. So he thought, I’ll just tell these “important people” where Jesus is. It’s not that big of a deal, really. How many times have I said those same words? It’s not that big of a deal, really.

But it is that big of a deal. Anything I do that is not with God makes me just like Judas. I choose to let my flesh win. While I haven’t surrendered Jesus to anybody for 30 pieces of silver, I betray him everyday, letting my pride, my accomplishments, and my covetousness become my idols. And if I’m real honest, I have given Jesus up for cravings that probably cost less than 30 pieces of silver.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

Most mornings the first thing I do is scroll social media, checking my likes and comments (or lack there of). And most mornings I feel a nudge right before I click the app on my phone. I know this nudge is the Holy Spirit, and I know he’s wooing me anywhere but there, beckoning me to come and sit with him, allowing him to fill me up for the day. A bible verse, a song, silence before the kids wake, anything but Instagram or Facebook. Instead I give in to my cravings of desiring approval from others, and by the end I feel empty. My joy is stolen as I compare my life to the beautiful—and sometimes deceiving—images of others. And every time I feel like I betrayed a friend and what little time I do have to spend with Him.

My heart goes out to Judas with compassion. He grieved after what he did. He felt shame, so much so that he killed himself. When I read his tragic story I wonder why he didn’t return to Jesus. Why didn’t he run to the cross? It wasn’t enough that he threw the money back to the religious leaders. Maybe that was his way of making things right, but he still bore the guilt of his actions to the very end. If only he would’ve come back to Jesus with humility, with sorrow, with a repentant heart. What then?

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

The beauty found in grace is that there is nothing we can do to save ourselves. We all sin, we all fall short of the glory of God, and we all are just like Judas. But the great news is we don’t have to stay there. That is why Jesus came, that is why Jesus died, and that is why Jesus defeated death. So we don’t have to. All he asks is that we have faith.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.” Ephesians 2:8

I like to believe Jesus would’ve forgiven Judas if only he would’ve returned to Him. Just as he forgave Peter for denying him three times. Just as he forgave David and Jacob and Jonah and so many others.

Just as he forgives me.


  1. Oh, what beautiful truth you write. How seeing ourselves in the most hated of the disciples actually makes Jesus and his Grace even sweeter. Thanks for helping me to treasure Christ more.

    1. It really does make his grace that much sweeter. God is so so good! Thank you for your kind words, Jill! ❤️