This is a story about two men who were very close to Jesus. In fact, they were hand selected by Jesus to be his apostles and to be in his inner circle. The two men are Peter and Judas Iscariot. Both men lived with Jesus and followed him experiencing all the miracles that Jesus performed. We know that Peter was a fisherman and was one that God wanted to build his church upon. This was revealed to him in Matthew 16:18 –
--“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades (Hell) will not ----overcome it.”
We don’t know much about Judas, but we do know that Judas betrayed him. Actually, BOTH Peter and Judas betrayed Jesus. Let’s look at this.
The government leaders were looking for a way to trap or get Jesus because they couldn’t accept his truth so
Judas agrees to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. This is recorded in Matthew 26:14. We don’t know why Judas agreed to betray Jesus, but he did. At the last supper Jesus knew Judas was going to betray him and then told Judas to do what he had to do and do it quickly.
On the night that Jesus was arrested, Jesus told Peter that he (Peter) would disown Jesus 3 times before the rooster crows. This is recorded in Matthew 26:31. Here’s Peter’s response:
“Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” – Matthew 26:35
When the soldiers came and got Jesus, Peter followed him to the place where Jesus was being questioned. While waiting outside, three times people recognized him as being a follower of Christ and each time Peter disowned/denied Jesus. After the 3rd time, the rooster crowed and then Peter remembered the words of Jesus. He then wept bitterly (Matthew 26:74).
So, both men disowned Jesus and Jesus gets crucified on the cross. Three days later Jesus rises and comes to meet his followers. Now it’s interesting to see what happens to these two men.
When Judas realized that Jesus was convicted and was sentenced to be crucified on the cross, He comes to the realization that he has sinned and feels remorse. Judas then tries to return the 30 pieces of silver explaining to the chief priests that he had betrayed innocent blood, but the chief priests didn’t want it because they considered it blood money. So, Judas went away and then hung himself. (Matthew 27:1)
Peter was feeling remorse and some of the same regrets that Judas felt but Peter didn’t try to kill himself. Maybe he felt like it. Jesus comes to Peter, after his resurrection, and asks Peter three questions to restore Peter. Each question Jesus asked Peter started out as “..Do you Love me…” On the 3rd time Peter was hurt, but he was restored and forgiven. He then became a strong advocate for God. Peter received God’s blessing of forgiveness and never disowned Jesus again.
Judas, however, failed to realize that Jesus could have restored him as well, so he gave up and didn’t receive the blessing that Peter received. I believe Jesus would have restored him and would have forgiven him. What Judas also failed to realize is that Judas did not give Jesus up, but it was Jesus who freely and willingly gave his life. He would have done that with or without Judas. It’s sad that Judas missed that after following closely with Jesus for the three years.
There are blessings all around you every day, Don’t miss any.
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