Studying through John chapter 12 this past week in church, we read about how Judas condemned Mary’s costly gift of anointing Jesus with perfume. Judas was a scoundrel, a thief, an embezzler, an unbeliever walking among the saints who would go on to change the world. What always strikes me in children’s Bible videos is how obviously they paint Judas as a jerk. I mean, he’s got shifty eyes, an annoying voice…you just hate him the minute his awfully drawn face enters the screen. But in truth, Judas had them all fooled. He was thought so trustworthy that he was in charge of the moneybag.
Interesting. They had Matthew who was obviously good with money – he had been a tax collector. Why didn’t they choose him? Or Simon the Zealot – here was a passionate guy! But they gave the purse to Judas to watch over, and he stole liberally. And I think I may have figured out two reasons why…
First of all, Judas came across as a very spiritual guy. He questioned sweet Mary, “Why didn’t someone sell this expensive perfume and give the money to the poor?” He always had a seemingly righteous and better answer for everyone. Judas came off as a hypersensitive disciple, but inside he was seething with guilt and betrayal. I think they trusted him with the money because he always seemed to care about how money was spent, but in reality he was just judgmental based on his own greed.
But secondly, and perhaps MOST IMPORTANTLY, I think they never noticed that Judas was stealing because the Lord’s supply was so generous. Think about it, if Mary’s costly gift of perfume would today translate into thousands and thousands of dollars, an average working man’s years wages, Judas is then insinuating that there was that kind of cash flow coming through the kitty. The purse strings were fat, and Judas’s appetite was fatter. But the disciples never caught on until after the Lord’s death that Judas had been embezzling. Why? Where they willy-nilly with the finances? Bad stewards? No. But God’s supply for the ministry was so incredible that they never noticed the missing funds.
And this brings me to an even more important conclusion. If Judas was the one in charge of the finances, and Judas embezzled constantly, he had a fresh revelation of God’s grace, goodness and supply every time he opened that purse and saw more than ample funds to meet their needs.
Many times when people first meet our family, they balk at the sheer cost of raising such a brood. And I am not going to tell you it is cheap. That would be lying. But I am going to tell you that God’s generosity toward our family has always been mind-blowing, and not because we are perfect stewards or incredible accountants. It is because of HIS goodness, His ability, and His desire as a loving Father to meet our every need. I hope this short devotional is a blessing to you today. Be encouraged. He blesses you – not because you are good – but because He loves you. Rest in Him.
Judas teaches me that love never counts the cost. Surely, Jesus never counted to cost with me, and His perfect love for me cost Him His life. He never counted the cost with Judas, who ultimately betrayed our Savior. Even then, Jesus called Judas “friend.” And likely, the cost of my children can not be summed up with a ledger, pen and paper…but it is worth everything to me. And He supplies liberally!