Day 35 (Monday, April 15, 2019)


John 18:1-5

1 After Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron valley to a place where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, because Jesus often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas brought a detachment of soldiers together with police from the chief priests and the Pharisees, and they came there with lanterns and torches and weapons. 4 Then Jesus, knowing all that was to happen to him, came forward and asked them, “Whom are you looking for?” 5 They answered, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus replied, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.


No one likes to fail. We may never have experienced it, but it happens, even to the smartest of people – physicians when they lose a patient, wondering if they could have done better; Wall Street brokers when they fail their clients. If we have a conscience, we are embarrassed. It wounds us deeply.

John 18 and the verses above, record Judas’s betrayal of Jesus to the Jewish authorities. It seems that money held a fatal fascination for him. John 12 tells us that during a meal with Martha, Mary and Lazarus, when Mary poured a very expensive perfumed oil over Jesus’ feet, Judas had complained, asking why the money hadn’t been given to the poor. John’s comment was that Judas was a thief, and helped himself out of the common purse.

Judas had a choice. He had been a privileged follower of Jesus, but at the end of three years he chose to reject him. His decision was his own, not mechanistically predetermined. The other Gospel writers tell us that realizing what he had done, he was filled with self-pity and committed suicide.

Anyone of us can experience moments of self-pity when, having received Jesus Christ into our lives, we turn our back on him. Increasingly we have made success, marriage, sexual pleasure and money our goals and we have no time for Jesus. We may go to church, but it’s really a facade. Then a time comes when, realizing what we have done, we are faced with a decision. We can either be filled with self-pity or we can be repentant. Jesus does not forgive the former, but he does forgive the repentant heart.


Lord our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for bringing us safely to this day. Protect and preserve us by your mighty power, and grant that today we fall into no sin, nor run into any kind of danger. Lead and govern us in all things, so that we may always do what is right in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (1978 AAPB, A Prayer for the Morning)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 18:1-18