Judas: Bad Guy #6
In the sermon, Geoff delved into the story of Judas Iscariot, one of the most infamous characters in the Bible, and explored the themes of betrayal, grace, and repentance. Drawing parallels from the world of sports and personal experiences, Geoff highlighted the concept of betrayal and how it affects both fans of a sports team and followers of a spiritual leader.
Using the context of Major League Baseball trade deadlines and player loyalty, Geoff introduced the concept of "betrayal season," where players switch teams, often leaving fans feeling betrayed. He emphasized that betrayal hits hardest when it comes from someone within the inner circle or those with significant influence, much like Anakin Skywalker turning into Darth Vader. Geoff also shared personal anecdotes to underscore the sense of betrayal and treachery that can occur in unexpected situations.
The central focus of the sermon was on Judas Iscariot, whom Geoff portrayed as the ultimate bad guy of the Bible due to his role in betraying Jesus. The sermon traced Judas's journey from being one of Jesus's closest disciples to becoming the betrayer. Geoff noted the shocking nature of Judas's betrayal, as he was part of the inner circle of apostles, and the gospel writers consistently emphasized this fact to convey their disbelief.
Geoff delved into the factors that might have driven Judas to betray Jesus, examining the role of money and the allure of recognition. He emphasized that Jesus extended grace to Judas by choosing him as one of the twelve disciples and teaching him alongside the others. Geoff pointed out that Jesus taught Judas valuable lessons, but his heart remained unchanged.
The sermon also discussed the secrecy surrounding Judas's identity as the betrayer, highlighting Jesus's decision to keep this knowledge concealed from the other disciples. Geoff explored how this allowed Judas to remain in Jesus's presence, teaching, and fellowship, in the hope that he might repent and change his course.
Geoff underscored the critical moments when Jesus confronted Judas with opportunities to repent, including the incident with the rich young man and the anointing by Mary. He also noted Jesus's use of parables to address Judas's love for money and material possessions. Despite these opportunities, Judas's heart continued to harden, eventually leading to his tragic decision to betray Jesus.
The sermon concluded with a call to reflection, urging the congregation to consider their own relationships with Jesus. Geoff asked the question, "Who do you say Jesus is?" and highlighted the distinction between viewing Jesus as a mere teacher (Rabbi) and recognizing Him as Lord. He emphasized the need for repentance and the importance of putting one's hope and faith in Christ alone.