March 6, 2024

The Judas Lessons: Unmoved

Passage: Matthew 5:17-20; Luke 6:43-45
Service Type:

Grow. Pray. Study. (GPS)

Sermon: The Judas Lessons: Unmoved

Scripture: Matthew 5:17-20; Luke 6:43-45


17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (NIV)

43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. (NIV)

Thursday, 3.7.24                                                                        Matthew 10:5-15

Jesus sends out the twelve disciples, commanding them to announce the kingdom of Heaven’s arrival.  They were to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleans the lepers, and cast out demons.  When they approached homes, their message was one of peace and love.  Yet, for Judas, this mission may not have been the crusade he had imagined.  How would this help in overthrowing Rome?  Why were they wasting their time preaching about a revolution when they should be fighting for it? Jesus had told them not to bring a bag, money, or extra tunic.  So, bringing a sword was completely out of the question.  Judas may have had trouble seeing the use in this mission.  But Jesus knew that the Kingdom of God is not brought by violence, but by small acts of kindness done to others, spurring hope.  How will you join Jesus’ mission today?

Friday, 3.8.24                                                                            Matthew 10:16-25

Perhaps all the disciples had difficulty understanding Jesus’ words here.  They would be “sheep among wolves,” “dragged into courts,” and mistreated because of Jesus.  But instead of taking up arms against their enemies, the disciples were to simply accept such treatment.  Like many of us, Judas would not have accepted these words easily.  Having come from a region that was won, defeated, and won again through war, passivity was not in Judas’ nature.  Jesus, however, was trying to change Judas’ whole perspective on revolution.

Saturday, 3.9.24                                                                       Matthew 10:26-33

If Judas had any trepidation about Jesus’ plan to change the world without violence, Jesus’ words here urged him to be calm.  Judas and the rest of the disciples should not fear Rome or any of their enemies.  After all, the worst their enemies can do is kill them, right?  Not so comforting, perhaps.  But Jesus reminded them that serving God and furthering His plan—or not doing so, rather—could have much worse consequences than death.  This is among the first warnings Judas would have heard.  Imagine how Judas, who even early in his discipleship, may have had a temptation of betrayal stirring in his heart.  Have you ever felt the rumblings of temptation before an actual opportunity arose?  How do you deal with those temptations?

Sunday, 3.10.24                                                                        Matthew 10:34-42

In case the disciples had missed the point, Jesus reminded them that his “way of peace” would not necessarily bring the peace they might have hoped for.  They could expect division.  Families and friendships would splinter because of Jesus’ message.  But in the end, the hard times would be worth it.  Even when it feels like evil wins the day, keep doing good, no matter how insignificant it may feel.  This is how the world would change.  How do you think Judas heard these words?  How would Judas’ expectations have affected his hearing them?

Monday, 3.11.24                                                                               Mark 6:21-43

While Judas may not have understood why Jesus refused to be a typical revolutionary, there was no denying that Jesus made the lives of everyone He encountered better.  But was Jesus focusing on the right things?  After all, if Rome were overthrown, everyone’s lives would improve. Do you think Judas would have been conflicted about how Jesus was spending most of His time?  How do you think Judas would have responded to Jesus bringing along Peter, James, and John to raise Jairus’ dead daughter?

Tuesday, 3.12.24                                                                                Mark 7:1-23

After an issue that arose from His disciples breaking purity customs, Jesus spoke about what brings purity and contamination to a life.  Jesus said, “It’s from the inside, the human heart, that evil thoughts come:… thefts, murders… greed, evil actions, deceit… envy… arrogance… All these evil things come from the inside and contaminate a person in God’s sight.”  It’s possible that as Jesus said these things, He looked at Judas, subtly pleading with him to search his heart.  In the coming season, Judas would have many decisions to make.  But those decisions would not be made simply in the mind.  Those decisions would be made in the heart.  Today, search your heart.  Is there anything in you that could affect your future decisions?

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