In our last installment of Bible Blunders, there were two of Jesus' disciples who goofed up, yet took totally different approaches in how each handled the realization of their mistakes. Judas Iscariot and Simon Peter were two of the twelve disciples of Jesus. They followed Him when He called them to do so. One was the troupe's treasurer, the other one a rather ADD sort of individual who gave up a fishing business with his brothers. Two very different individuals for sure.
Judas was the son of Simon Iscariot (John 6:71). He was called to be one of the twelve (Luke 6:12-16). He was present during Jesus' teaching and preaching. He was there to see the miracles. But it is anybody's guess why nothing seemed to sink into his thick skull! He was in charge of the money bag and helped himself upon occasion to a few of the coins therein (John 12:6). He protested when the woman of ill repute washed Jesus' feet with the expensive perfume and tears then wiped them dry with her hair (John 12:6) Why did Jesus call him to be one of the disciples? Why did He entrust the traveling groups' finances to someone so dishonest? No one seems to know. We really don't see much of him until the third year of Jesus' ministry.
Then there was Simon Peter. We see a lot of him throughout the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. He was a fisherman with his brothers when Jesus called them to leave what they had to follow Him (Matthew 4:18-20). Peter was the one who was exhausted from fishing all night only to get absolutely zero fish, yet relented when Jesus told him to go drop his nets into the deep. When the boat was about to sink, he was quick to acknowledge the holiness of Jesus (Luke 5:1-11). Words tumbled out of this man's mouth before his brain engaged quite often. What is so striking about Peter is his heart and his quick recognition of Jesus a the Christ. He was the one who stepped out of the boat to walk on the water toward Jesus, but let fear and doubt cause him to sink (Matthew 14:28-31). Peter was also the one Jesus said that upon this Rock He would build His church, referring to Peter's faith (Matthew 16:18). If you have ADD/HD, I would encourage you to read about this man and God's tremendous love and sense of purpose for him.
So we have a thief and an honest man, both part of Jesus' inner circle. Here are the two blunders and the revelation of their hearts that caused them to take two different approaches in how they handled the results of what each did, the revealing of their hearts.
Judas Iscariot decided to accept money to betray Jesus to the chief priests for a mere 20 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14, Mark 14:10). Why? For one, he was greedy. He loved money. Second, I don't think he believed Jesus to be the Messiah that was foretold in the writings of the Prophets. He was along for the ride for what he could get out of it and nothing more. So, why did Jesus call him to follow Him? To fulfill a prophecy. But I think this is also an example He shows us today not everyone who is called to follow is sincere. Numerous church treasurers have pilfered from churches' coffers, following in the footsteps of Judas. Also, many other lay leaders in churches are not always sincere in their reasons for holding their offices in the church. Several are there for selfish reasons and nothing more. At any rate, Satan entered Judas who led the priests and the soldiers to take Jesus prisoner, ultimately to be executed (Luke 22:3). It wasn't until he realized who Jesus was and his horrible error that we see remorse in Judas. He was so distraught that he committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree out in a field (Matthew 27:4-6). His terrible blunder was to be so selfish that he would sell his Savior for money. The consequence was overwhelming guilt that he couldn't bear.Rather than repent, he caved in. How sad. God loved him anyway, in spite of his sin issues.
Peter, on the other hand, told Jesus he would follow him to the bitter end (Luke 22:33) just to be told that Peter would deny his Friend three times before the rooster would crow (Luke 22:34). Jesus used him to set the example of servant leadership by washing Peter's and the rest of the disciples' feet. No one seemed willing to do a servant's job that last night together (Luke 13:2-17). But the example was not lost on Peter. He was horrified to realize that he did deny Jesus three times when the rooster crowed (Mark 14:72). He saw a lot more of what happened to Jesus than he wanted to see. There was tremendous pain in his heart for what he had done. Yet, he still loved Jesus. After Jesus' death, Peter went back to his fishing business. He didn't seem to know what else to do. Then Jesus appeared to him, calling him by his old name: Simon son of Jonah. Three times Jesus asked Peter if he loved him and asked him to "feed My sheep" (John 21:14-16). Peter went on to start churches and write the books of 1 & 2 Peter in the Bible. God used his repentant heart for a mighty purpose. Very different from Judas, yet God loved them both.
What can we take away from the contrast of these two? Pray and ask God to reveal your heart to you. Why do you claim to follow Him? Would you deny Him as your Savior under pressure? Would you sell Him for money? Do you allow shame to overwhelm you or do you allow the Holy Spirit's conviction of sin to reshape your life? The attitudes of our hearts are usually apparent when everything is on the line. A repentant heart who truly loves Him will recover under His mercy and grace.
This is the last post on Bible Blunders. I hope you have gained something valuable from the mistakes God's Bible Greats have made and His infinite mercy and grace in spite of their failures. Although there are consequence of bad decisions, lack of seeking God's word for a situation, or fear of failure, God loves us and desires to draw us closer to Himself. We are sinners, saved by grace . As new creations in Christ, we are able to be transformed. Psalm 51:9-11 says, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit in me." Let's allow Him to cleanse us so we might walk in a manner worthy of our King!
God bless you!