You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.
Before the Passover meal could occur, there was a bit of business that had to take place: the betrayal of Jesus Christ. You see the seeds for this betrayal in Luke 22:2: “The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.” The religious leaders were intent on destroying Jesus. But public opinion had not yet shifted against Him, so they could not just arrest Him in broad daylight. They were looking for a way to secretly arrest Jesus when opportunity came knocking at their door. And that opportunity was named Judas.
Verse 3 says, “Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve.” In Luke 6:12-13, we see that Jesus prayed earnestly before selecting His twelve apostles. You might think, “Jesus, maybe You should have prayed a little longer!” No, this was all part of God’s plan to effect the salvation of the world.
After Satan entered Judas’s heart, “he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him” (22:4-6).
Many people ask, “Was Judas a Christian?” I believe he was what the Bible terms a tare. A tare is a plant that looks like wheat and even grows alongside wheat, yet it is not wheat. In Matthew 13, Jesus talked about spiritual wheat and spiritual tares, believers and unbelievers who exist side by side. That was Judas. He was in the community of believers, he heard the teachings of Jesus, and he probably embraced some of the teachings of Jesus, but he was not a believer.
Jesus could have been consumed with bitterness toward Judas. After all, Jesus had invested three years of His life into Judas and shared with him His innermost thoughts, yet Judas ultimately betrayed Him for thirty pieces of silver. Jesus had every reason to be bitter, but He realized God was using Judas to accomplish His purpose in Jesus’s life.
We see a similar response to betrayal in the life of Joseph in the Old Testament. After being betrayed by his brothers, Joseph said to them, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good” (Genesis 50:20). Perhaps somebody in your life has betrayed or abandoned you. Never forget you serve a God who is bigger than your offender. God can use people’s worst actions toward you for your good and for His glory.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “ In Remembrance Of Me” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.