Daily D – John 13:2-3
Now when it was time for supper, the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, that he had come from God, and that he was going back to God.
JOHN 13:2-3 (CSB)
We live in a world of competing agendas. This does not indicate that some agendas are good and others are bad, though this is often the case. It does mean they are different. Different agendas lead toward different goals.
Judas, according to what he said in John 12:5, was deeply concerned for poor people. He wanted to manage a nonprofit to care for their needs, and his own, with the proceeds of the sale of Mary’s very expensive perfume.
Take note of the fact that his plan was to confiscate Mary’s property to give to others while taking a healthy cut for himself.
You might recall how one of the Ten Commandments says, “Do not steal.” John was crystal clear in his observation when he said in 12:6, “He didn’t say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief. He was in charge of the money-bag and would steal part of what was put in it.”
Agendas are propelled by motives. The Judas Motive sounded good. Like a lot of government programs, it sounded better than what would have actually happened.
At its base, Judas’ program was not about poor people, who he encountered every day everywhere he went. His program was about making him look good and enriching himself at the expense of someone who wanted to honor Jesus for what he had done in raising her brother to life, and for making resurrection possible for anyone who comes into relationship with him.
The Judas Plan would help, theoretically, poor people. And himself. The Jesus Plan, on the other hand, was for all people everywhere for all time.
Soon enough, Judas would come into possession of one-tenth the value of Mary’s perfume. Soon enough he would realize the cost of ill-gotten gain. Soon enough he would purchase a burial plot for poor people as his ultimate contribution in life.
Judas’ agenda led to the crucifixion of the Resurrection and the Life. Judas’ agenda led to an ultimate contribution of cemetery plots.
The Jesus Agenda led to a temporarily borrowed tomb and the opportunity to help everyone everywhere find life that endures forever from the moment we embrace Jesus for who he is. In other words, as Lazarus sitting alive with Jesus and Judas in the room with Mary, Martha, and the other disciples testified, Eternity is Now in Session.
Judas’ agenda was about now. Jesus’ agenda was about now and forever.
Judas’ agenda ended with a plot of dirt. Jesus’ agenda ends with the beginning of all good things including empty tombs, eternal life, and the opportunity to serve all people of all classes from all people groups with mercy, grace, and truth for as long as we shall live.
Judas wanted to look good. Jesus did what was good.
The Judas Agenda was bitter and led to death.
The Jesus Agenda is fragrant and leads to life.
Whose agenda are you on?
I will follow the Jesus Agenda.
Our Father, please give me a proper concern for those who are impoverished. Teach me how to serve them well. Properly provide me with the resources to do so. Make it evident to them through what is done and how it is done that the motive is that they will know how much you love them and want them to be part of your family forever. May this also be true for every person I encounter along this journey regardless of class or social standing. Amen.
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1 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”