The story of Judas Iscariot, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is an illustrative one to us. First we know from John’s gospel that he had a love for money. John revealed that as the group’s treasurer, he stole from the money bag. So it should not be surprising to us, that he offered his services to the religious leaders for money, receiving thirty pieces of silver. What is curious is at the Passover meal, Jesus revealed to all the disciples that one of them would betray him. All denied it. Jesus declared that for that one it would have been better had he never been born. Matthew records an interesting exchange between Jesus and Judas. When, like the others, Judas denied being the one, Jesus confronted him and declared to him that yes, he was the one.
At that moment, Judas had a choice, he could have confessed and repented of what he was about to do. He could have returned the money to the leaders. Only afterwards were his eyes opened to what he had done; he did return the money, but overcome with guilt and shame he took his own life. In his compassion, Jesus had offered Judas a way out. He revealed that what Judas was doing was no secret; he was found out. Jesus offered to him an opportunity to confess. Tragically, Judas didn’t respond. Judas reveals a tragic human condition, a commitment to hide who we truly are and our need for confession. We seek to pretend to be someone who are are not, to be better than we really are. We hide our weaknesses and failures, hoping no one sees. However, Jesus and often many others perceive who we really are, yet we continue to hide. Like he did with Judas, Jesus offers to us a way out. He invites us to live in the light, as he is in the light; that is to live authentic lives. He invites us not to pretend to be someone we are not. When we hurt, he invites us to talk about it. When we’ve made poor decisions in our life, he invites us to confess and be healed from the pain of them. It is often our pride that holds us back, but we need to set that pride aside and live in freedom.