Joshua 22-24

Luke 3 

Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. —Proverbs 16:18

While Mary of Bethany poured out her extravagant love on Jesus with a bottle of perfume worth a year’s wages, Judas Iscariot remarked, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?” (John 12:5). Judas was not the only one who made this comment. The Gospel accounts of Matthew and Mark record a similar reaction by the disciples and those present: “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor” (Mark 14:4-5). Many reacted strongly to what Mary did, but since Judas was named making this statement, it could be because he was the ringleader.

Among Jesus’s twelve disciples, Judas was the treasurer. There were probably others who could have served as treasurer, like Matthew who was a tax collector before following Jesus. Yet, Judas was chosen as treasurer not only because he appeared reliable, but it was also his area of giftedness. Although we know from Scripture that Judas was the one who ultimately betrayed Jesus, Judas was chosen to be the treasurer because he was trustworthy. In fact, during the Last Supper, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray Me” (Matthew 26:21). “[The disciples] were very sad and began to say to Him one after the other, ‘Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?’ (Matthew 26:22). The disciples had no clue who the betrayer would be. No one suspected Judas.

The life of Judas serves as a warning for us because the area of our giftedness is often the area where we become confident, which can make us cocky and eventually corrupt us. Why is this true? Returning to Mary’s act, John tells us, “[Judas] did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6). John notes this about Judas in retrospect, when the events of Jesus’s betrayal, death, burial, resurrection and ascension had come to pass. In other words, Judas started out as an honest man, trusted by the disciples with the money, but something happened along the way. He probably took a small amount and got away with it, but little things are where the big things come from.

Our giftedness is ours to serve other people, but when our giftedness becomes what defines us or gives us security, it turns into a means of serving ourselves, our agendas and our purposes. There is a good chance that our giftedness has become corrupted.

Lord Jesus, thank You for the warning of Judas’s life and how easy it is to become confident, cocky and eventually corrupted by my giftedness. I ask that You help me use my gift to serve and love others well.

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