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.:. Release to pursue choices

Fran Woods

John 13:10 & 11 "And you are clean, but that isn't true of everyone here. For Jesus knew who would betray him."

Jesus knew about Judas. I assume he washed Judas' feet along with the other disciples. And that as Peter wanted all that Jesus intended Judas' heart was already closed to the meaning of Jesus' action.

John 13:18-30

Jesus knew each disciple so well (v18)

Jesus made clear that an intimate had turned against him (v18b) and would betray him (v21).

Jesus released Judas to pursue the course he'd chosen when he gave him the bread dipped in sauce. Satan was ready to claim his own.

Jesus let him go. He didn't try to stop him or convince him to change his mind. In fact, he encouraged him to get on with it (v27b).

It was a surprise to the other disciples. They did not see Judas' duplicity. Judas looked okay.

I am amazed that Jesus released him and let him go. I guess Judas had had 3 years of mentoring and discipling and yet he still made this decision to betray his mentor. What does this mean for us? Do we try to hold people back from the course they've chosen when in fact we should release them? I don't know but I wonder.

This all happened after Jesus washed the disciples' feet. Jesus washed Judas' feet, too! Apparently, Judas could not take in what Jesus said and did. Yet Jesus washed his feet!

In the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), the father let the son go. He gave him what he'd demanded and let him go. And the father was waiting for him to return.

let go / release to go

no arguing, no attempt to convince not to go

wait for return

Jesus also gave Judas the bread and wine at the last supper along with the other disciples (Luke 22:7-23). The disciples had no clue who the betrayer was. It was well covered up, external appearance had not shown Judas up.

Jesus let the rich young ruler go (Luke 18:18-25).

v23 the man became sad when he heard what Jesus told him to do.

v24 Jesus watched him.

No chasing after him to try and convince him. In Mark 10:21 it says Jesus felt genuine love for the man.

Why didn't God stop him?

Why did God allow him to leave?

Why did God allow people to make bad choices and not actively try to convince them otherwise?

Why does God let people go?

I don't know. I guess God allows us the freedom to choose even when it causes suffering to him. We then "enjoy" the consequences of our choice.

Each choice we make whether good or bad has a consequence which may be good or bad.

Peter made a bad choice when he denied Jesus. When Jesus turned and looked at Peter his heart smote him and he realised what he'd done. He was stricken with grief and repentance (as subsequent events show).

Judas made a bad choice when he betrayed Jesus. When Jesus spoke about the upcoming betrayal Judas did not have a change of heart. He had a change of heart later when he discovered that nothing was going according to plan. However, his remorse and grief did not lead to an opportunity for repentance -- rather he went and took his own life.

What's the difference here? Judas could not honestly face the consequences of his actions? Was it pride that couldn't admit he was wrong about Jesus? Something else? Did Satan drive him to death? I don't know.

There was a difference between Peter's heart and Judas' heart. Peter was blustery and brash, making promises he couldn't keep. Judas was secretive, furtive so no one really had a clue about his true heart, his duplicity. Maybe that was part of it. Judas never really shared his true self.

Copyright 2002 Fran Woods

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