As I look at this passage, for some reason, Judas sticks out to me. Jesus called his 12 disciples to go out and minister to the people of Israel. Look at what he did. He gave them the authority to drive out demons, he gave them the ability to cure diseases, and he sent them out preaching the kingdom of God.
And as Matthew lists all the disciples, he notes last of all, “Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” (Matthew 12:4)
Judas drove out demons. Judas healed sick people. Judas went out and preached the kingdom of God. And yet, he would later betray Jesus.
How could that happen? It’s hard to fathom. But I think he is the perfect example of the tare in the wheatfield that Jesus talked about in Matthew 13. The thing about tares is that they look very similar to wheat. So if a farmer were to try to pull out the tares from the wheat, many times he would end up pulling out the wheat by accident. That’s why the farmer in the story said to leave them until harvest time, and at that time, he would separate the wheat from the tares.
Judas, like the tare, looked like a believer. He learned with the other disciples. He cast out demons like the others. He healed the sick like the other disciples. And he preached the kingdom like the others.
But in his heart, he never truly gave his life to Jesus. My guess is that he looked only for what a relationship with Jesus could give him. And when he saw that Jesus’ vision was different from his own, and that he would not get from Jesus what he sought, he turned on him and betrayed him.
Many people are like that today. They look like Christians. They sound like Christians. They may even be involved in ministry. But they’ve never truly given their hearts to Jesus.
How about you? Have you given your life to Jesus? Is your life truly his? Or are you like Judas, simply the tare in the wheatfield. Don’t pretend. You can fool others, your pastor and the people at church. But you can’t fool God. And the day will come when you will be seen for what you really are.
Don’t be that tare. Truly give your life to him. To merely play the Christian will only leave you empty, and result in judgment and death.