Just came through John 13 at The Bridge… (this post is a long one)
What a crazy chapter! The disciples start arguing about who is the greatest, and while listening to them, Jesus stands up…walks to the door…gets a bowl of water and a towel…and starts washing the feet of every single person who now sit open jawed.
Jesus then sits down to dinner and begins to talk about and to the two men who will betray him in the next couple days. I don’t know how deeply you have been betrayed in your life, but I think it is safe to say we would have a hard time sitting down to a calm dinner with the man who would launch a profanity laced tirade claiming he didn’t know me, let alone the man who would sell me for 30 pieces of silver…but this is the place we see Jesus.
It is interesting to think about the space in the lives of Peter and Judas that made their betrayal possible. Interesting and sobering…sobering because of how much of myself I see in both of them.
Judas was a hypocrite
I really don’t think Judas was a guy who set out some three and a half years prior to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. I think on some level he bought into the message of Jesus, and on another level he didn’t. The compartments in Judas’ life were so distinct and so believable, the discples made him the keeper of the money, and never suspected he was the man Jesus was talking about at dinner.
The scariest thing about Judas, is that the single greatest observed indictment on the church today is hypocrisy…both in individuals and as a whole.
God never intended the church to be anything but messy. He calls it a body in 1 Corinthians. No matter how fit we may be, your body and mine, is a mess. We don’t call people hygenic because they are clean, but because they takes steps to be clean. So what is the antidote to hypocrisy?
A trendy word in the church today is authentic. The reality is, we have opted for hypocrisy because our authentic self is such a mess, we are embarrassed to have anyone see it. Teh problem has become that somewhere along the line we started thinking something was acceptable as long as it was authentic. The opposite of hypocrisy is not authenticity…it is grace. The way to avoid hypocrisy is to fall under the grace of God BECAUSE I am a mess, not act like I am not a mess, and certainly not acting however I please and hiding behind the authentic tag.
Peter was self confident
You have to love Peter. If anyone was authentic it was Peter. The problem was that Peter was impressed with himself. Peter believed he would stick by God further than anyone else. Peter’s boldness was his strength. But Peter failed at his strongest point. When needing to be bold in front of a little girl, he lied and denied Christ.
God tells us to have no confidence in our own strength. It goes way beyond being humble. It is about realizing I am destitute, with absolutely nothing in the strong compartment. It is about believing that if God does not show up, I am without hope! God says I will find strength when I am concious of my weakness, and even find joy in it. In other words…when I know I am weak, I allow God to be strong for me. When I choose my own strength, a betrayal is on the way. But when I choose God’s strength, I can expect the miraculous
Isn’t it amazing to think that i can be authentic because I serve a gracious God!
Isn’t it both humbling and empowering to know that even though I have no power, I serve a God who has all power…and that even though I should have no self confidence, I can place all confidence in my God who can do all things!
If you want to hear the entire teaching go here (Title is “Authenticity and Humility”)