Have you ever thought about how many times something happened in the Bible that seemed bad at the time but in the end, God’s Glory is what shone through. It’s like those old stories that go back and forth between “that was bad luck” to “that was good luck”. Something it’s about perspective but usually it’s more about seeing the bigger picture at play.
One of the last examples of this before Jesus was crucified, is Judas Iscariot. Since we know that Jesus knows everything, it’s fair to assume that Jesus was well aware that Judas was stealing. It’s true. Most people associate Judas with the 30 pieces of silver he was paid to betray Jesus. In fact, there are other money issues that are connected with his name as well. This was the once disciple who was responsible for all the money that Jesus and His disciples carried, and he was embezzling.
“But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12:4-6)
Think about this. Counted among the top twelve guys that Jesus hung out with, was a guy that was stealing donated money. It’s obvious that John and the other disciples knew nothing of this at the time, but John certainly knew about it by the time he wrote this book. While he was supposedly concerned about the poor, what he was really thinking about was the 300 denarii (aprox. 300 pieces of silver). Ironically, he would soon betray Jesus by handing Him over to the Priests for 10% of that amount.
My point is that while the disciples were certainly blind to this crook among them, Jesus certainly was not. In fact, He knew that He would eventually need to be betrayed in order for His crucifixion and resurrection to play out. So from the very day that Jesus called this crook into the twelve, Jesus knew that his purpose would not be to spread the gospel but instead to set the stage for the crucifixion. This vital moment in His life and crucial piece to our salvation, was knowingly placed in the hands of a crook. Something as beautiful as the resurrection of Christ came out of something so devastating as His crucifixion. And that would not have happened had it not been for Judas’ role.
That is the kind of masterful planning that continues to shock and amaze me. As I see bad people get ahead, or bad things happen to good people… it can sometimes take a very long time to see how God is unrolling the bigger picture. But when we do see it, we are typically in awe. How could something so beautiful come out of something so horrible. Yet He continues to do this over and over. And every time, we are still in awe.
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