Evening Reading for July 12

John 13:27-30
Suggested further reading: Matthew 19:23-30

The statement that `Judas had the bag' shows the position he occupied among the apostles. He was so far from being suspected that he had the charge of the common store of money.

The supposition of some that Jesus told Judas to `buy the things needed against the feast' shows clearly that our Lord did not work miracles in order to procure the necessaries required by himself and his disciples. Christians must buy and sell like other people and must manage their money affairs with prudence and economy. It shows how little the disciples realized that their Master's death was close at hand.

The supposition of others that Jesus told Judas to `give something to the poor' shows plainly what was our Lord's custom in the matter of almsgiving. He sanctified and adorned the practice of caring for the poor by his own example. This passage and Galatians 2:10 deserve careful consideration.

Let us mark the snares which attend the possession, fingering and handling of money. The man who has care of the money in our Lord's little company of followers is the very man who makes shipwreck of his soul for ever through the love of money. `Give me neither poverty nor riches,' should be a Christian's frequent prayer (Prov. 30:8).

The hasty departure of Judas as soon as our Lord had given him the morsel and spoken the remarkable words already commented on may easily be explained. He saw at once that our Lord knew all his plot and dreaded exposure. His conscience condemned him and he dared no longer sit in our Lord's company. He, at any rate, understood what our Lord meant, if nobody else did. He felt himself detected and discovered and for very shame got up and went away.

It is curious and noteworthy that John, at all events, must have known Judas to be the traitor and yet he seems to have said nothing.

For meditation: No one has ever successfully served God and money (Matt. 6:24).

These readings (ISBN: 0 85234 420 1) are copyrighted and made available with permission by
Evangelical Press; 12 Wooler St., Darlington, Co, Durham, England, DL1 1RQ