MONDAY, MARCH 12
“Now Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place,
for Jesus often met there with His disciples.”
John 18:2 (ESV)
CLOSE TO THE TRUTH: HIS PRESENCE
Some of us are old enough to remember the original “Little Rascals” television show. The show centered on the adventures of 7 little boys who created the “He-man Woman Haters Club.” In the 1994 movie, Alfalfa breaks the club rules by dating a girl named Darla. The other boys suspect something is up when Alfalfa fails to show up to help the boys prepare for the Soap Box Derby go kart race. The boys later discover Alfalfa has taken Darla to their clubhouse, where girls are strictly forbidden. There was even a “Womun Haters Club” sign out front reminding girls they were not welcomed. Many of the Little Rascals adventures centered around that clubhouse. It was their place.
When Judas went looking for Jesus, he knew exactly where to look. He went to the Garden of Gethsemane. It was their place. John 18 reminds us that Jesus often met there with His disciples. Before Judas betrayed Jesus he had spent three years in His presence going where Jesus went and doing what Jesus did. Hardly anyone spent more time with Jesus than Judas and the disciples. Yet even after being that close to Jesus and the things of God, Judas was still never a genuine follower. Judas had been physically near Jesus but his heart was far away.
We can also grow up in church and around church things but never surrender our heart to Jesus. The old cliché is true, “Simply being in church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than simply being in a garage makes you a car.” We can know how to go through the motions like Judas, but it doesn’t matter until we give Jesus our faith and affection. Jesus said in Matthew 15:8, “This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” What was your life like before you gave Christ your heart? Religious or Irreligious? Can you describe the time in your life when you gave Christ your heart? If not, talk to God now and confess that you are a sinner and ask Him to forgive you and be the Lord of your life.