“Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
– Matthew 26:46 [ESV]
I understand everyone isn’t blessed to work with a coworker who’s a believer. Working alongside someone who understands the Christian struggle and can provide fellowship throughout an otherwise hectic work schedule is refreshing. They’re like a fresh breeze in sweltering heat and water in a drought.
I was conversing with my coworker, whom I shall call “Brother E,” and he mentioned how disconnected people could be from God. For an analogy, he spoke of Judas sitting with Jesus at the Last Supper and Christ’s announcement of His soon betrayal. Judas is sitting close to Christ and, having been previously looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus, questions if he’s the one after dipping his bread with Christ. What further evidence can there be of spiritual separation?! What other depiction can show the blurred lines of brotherhood and betrayal?!
If a stranger happened to enter the room and see a company of men sitting on the floor enjoying the Passover meal, they would not readily suspect that one among the friendly was a friend. Oh dear Christian, do you see the correlation? Many may join you at the feast of the Word of God on Sunday and yet not be a believer at all. Occupying the same space doesn’t mean within them inhabit the same Spirit. Being within the same vicinity doesn’t mean all share the same victory. And as such, this is experienced in congregations around the world. High noon on Sunday, when many gather and participate in service, doesn’t indicate all are in partnership with the Lord Jesus Christ. Never has there been a distance so great in a place so small as the room Jesus and Judas occupied. However, many believe their ritual attendance at Church is proof of their inward righteousness and that their outward giving to charity is evidence of Christlike character. They think their quotation of Scripture will never lend to someone questioning their relationship. Yet, all can do that and still be as far away as Judas was from Jesus.
You must recall that Judas preached the gospel, cast out demons, gave to the poor, and enjoyed company with the disciples before seeking an opportunity to betray the Messiah. It was so inconceivable that any of the disciples could betray Jesus that they all inquired who it could be. There are those among us that may have us fooled. We must distinguish space from place. Just because Judas and Christ shared the same space doesn’t mean they were in the same place. We may all be God’s creatures, but not all are His children.
My caution to you, child of God, is that we must take careful inventory of ourselves and be sure we’re following Christ and not our agenda; that our involvement with church activity is to accomplish His will and not ours. Our discipleship shouldn’t be seen only in external unity but also in internal conformity to the image of Christ and His character. Failure to do this will have its penalty. Settling for outward show and verbal display of our heart’s affections may only prove to be a mere infatuation at best and blasphemous insincerity at worst. Ultimately, we may be seen as disciples but may only demonstrate to be no better than Judas.