Today’s readings.. (2 Samuel 12), (Jeremiah 16), (Matthew 27)
It is good to change your mind when you contemplate doing something bad – BUT – but you must do it before it is too late. We read in Matthew’s Gospel that Judas Iscariot “changed his mind” [27 v.3] – but it was too late. He “brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’” [v.4] They answered Judas with contempt, “What is that to us!”
Why was Judas so blind to what he was doing? John 12 v.6 gives us a clue, John tells us “he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” Today, people might say (to themselves) ‘I take my commission’ Human nature excels in justifying wrong doing. What marvelous experiences Judas had had, we read in Matthew ch. 12.how Jesus sent out the 12 (and that included Judas) to perform healings and preach the message of the kingdom.(v.7,8)
How often did they try to arrest Jesus. John records, “Again they tried to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands” [John 10 v.39] At Nazareth they “brought him to the brow of the hill … so that they could throw him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, he went away.” [Luke 4 v.29,30] So – would not Judas, with such a covetous human mind reason, I can make a pot of money out of these Pharisees – for the Master is sure to escape from them as he has in the past, Judas believed he could serve both God and money.
Judas was blind to the all seeing eye of God, of course he would say he believed in God, but his vision was narrow – how many are like that today? The more power we have, the more the danger of self-importance and self-centredness creeping into our attitudes, we have an outstanding example of this in our 2nd Samuel reading today. Nathan the prophet came to David with a story about a rich man and a poor man – and the poor man had “one little ewe lamb.” [ch.12 v.3]. We should know this event well! What a shock David had when the prophet said, “You are the man” [v.7]
The many blessings David had received had blinded him to his own behavior, there is a similarity with Judas, but in Judas’ mind it had become an ingrained way of thinking.. In the end “he changed his mind” but it was too late! And us?
We must each ask ourselves, ‘Is there anything I should change in my way of thinking (and resultant attitudes and actions) before it is too late? How meaningful are David’s words which we rather think were written in the maturity of his life, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” [Psalm 139 v.23,24] May that also be our prayer.