Beginning – Day 6

“Jesus had known from the beginning who would betray him.” John 6:64

I’m so glad I’m not omniscient. Knowing everything about everybody all the time would crush me. Not knowing things is actually a relief — it takes one off the hook for certain responsibilities.

For instance, if I don’t know how to start the snowblower, then I’m not expected to clear the driveway. That’s a good thing to not know.

In the early days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he called twelve men to be his disciples.  The night before he finalized the list of twelve names, he didn’t sleep a wink.  He spent the whole night praying. (Luke 6:12)

By this time, Jesus had already called Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew, so there were only seven spots left to fill. Certainly there were some good prospects, some fine men from which to choose. What kept Him up all night?

I wonder if there might have been a struggle over one application for the position of disciple. You know the one I’m talking about –Judas Iscariot.

Jesus talked the decision over with His Father out on that Galilean hillside in the moonlight. “Uh…Judas? Father? Are you sure about that one? Do I have to invite him to join the group?”

Yet, when morning came, Judas was on the list.  In fact, Mark 3:13 says, “He called to him those he wanted.” Because, in the end, Jesus wanted the will of His Father more than anything. Jesus knew Judas was the betrayer even before Judas did. But that didn’t stop Jesus from walking on water to him, or sending him out to do ministry with the other disciples, or washing his feet.

I get the same grace Judas did.

That’s all I need to know.



31 Days of Questions: Day 29


“Judas, are you betraying me with a kiss?”  Luke 22:48

During my freshman year of college at Michigan State University, I was in a production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”.  I was the understudy for Mary Magdalene, which means I had to learn the part, but didn’t get to perform in the role.  I did get to sing in the chorus, which included standing on a ten foot pillar while wearing go-go boots and a shimmery sliver dress, singing, “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, who are you?  What have you sacrificed?”  Hey, it was 1978.

The girl who got the part of Mary Magdalene had long, dark, wavy hair and beautiful, bronzy skin.  I’m sure the director was praying that nothing would happen to her.  Otherwise, Mary would have had a decidedly mid-west farm girl look, with blonde hair and fair skin.  It might have worked in East Lansing, Michigan.

One thing bothered me about the girl who played Mary.  She started hanging out with the guy who played Judas.  He also had long, dark, wavy hair and beautiful, bronzy skin, so they looked great together, but it didn’t seem right to me.  Seeing Mary and Judas walk around campus holding hands made me uneasy.

Standing backstage during the scene of Judas’s betrayal, I remember having goose bumps when Jesus sang, “Judas, must you betray me with a kiss?”  His tenor voice in that minor key was full of anguish.  I kept a Kleenex tucked in my go-go boots.  It got me every time.

In our production, Jesus was portrayed as being surprised at Judas’s method.   Of course, Jesus knew there would be a betrayal.  He even knew it would be Judas.  But I wonder if the warm, intimate greeting took him a bit by surprise.

Why did it have to be a friend
Who chose to betray the Lord?
Why did he use a kiss to show them?
That’s not what a kiss is for.

Only a friend can betray a friend,
A stranger has nothing to gain.
And only a friend comes close enough
To ever cause so much pain.

“Why” by Michael Card

31 Questions