In Sunday School this week we had a challenging discussion on the calling of Peter. But we asked why was the call extended to Peter over some more learned and sophisticated individual on the other side of the lake. What was the criteria for calling Peter or for that matter any of the twelve? What is the criteria for a calling today? By consensus it was written upon the white board, “Teachable men willing to change.” OK, I can go along with that but what about the one that got away? What about Judas that allowed him to elude the net by the Greatest Fisher of Men? Jesus during this three year teaching and preaching period cast a wide net, but not all were wrestled into the boat.Only the twelve men in all history have had the intimate, personal relationship to Jesus the incarnate Son of God.Judas along with the other eleven has ever been more exposed to God’s perfect truth.No other has had the crash course in experiential love.They all were exposed in an intimate first hand washing of God’s love, compassion, power, kindness, forgiveness and grace. No group of followers could come close to the very essence of God.Yet through it all Judas escaped the net.In the most indescribably precious, and blessed years the heart of Judas was not softened.Judas defies comprehension.Judas constantly and with persistence of mind rejected the very truth of God in the flesh.And he hid it from everyone around him with skill.The only one to see into the heart of this chosen fisher of men and see the wicked rebellion was Jesus.
And He called him a devil.
Judas did not escape from guilt. Just like the pain we feel as we accidentally burn ourselves. So guilt is an intrinsic and automatic warning of spiritual danger.It was guilt that drove Judas to remorse which in turn led to his death.Do not confuse guilt and remorse with the requisite answer to both.The answer to both is repentance.Repentance is an act of the will. Judas was teachable but he was not willing to change. And in the last moment of his life his willingness not to change condemned him.