Last week, I was reading about Jesus hanging out at a friend’s house and a woman named Mary started pouring perfume on him. (This was just a few days before He went to the cross) Not a new story to me. I’ve read this several times, so it’s pretty easy to just let the words flow on the page. Yet, as I was reading…a few words leapt off the page and have rocked my thinking. This is part of John 12:6:
…but because he (Judas) was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
Hold up! We know Judas was the one who betrayed Jesus. So, he has always gotten that “dirty bird” reputation in my mind, but his betrayal was happening long before the Cross. He was STEALING from Jesus and the other disciples. That is insane to me…but that is just the beginning of my head spinning.
So let me get this right…here’s this guy, Judas, who is stealing from Jesus (and it sounds like this was normal for him to do) and yet right up until the very end, he was still in Jesus’ inner circle. He was STILL a disciple! John (another disciple) wrote the verse above, so obviously this information was known by the other guys and yet, Judas is STILL hanging out with them. STILL in charge of the money.
As I read this…one word washes over my mind over and over…
This isn’t grace as I’ve known it. This is above and beyond anything I can imagine. It brings a whole new picture of Jesus to me. He kept someone in His life who was hurting Him over and over. Judas was allowed to learn more about Jesus. He was part of so many amazing miracles that happened during Jesus’ time on earth. He wasn’t turned away. He wasn’t told to get his life together and come back into the fold afterwards.
I’m not a person who extends grace well. And now I realize, how poorly I show grace to others. If I want to live my life as Jesus did, I need to keep loving in the face of hate. My life needs to be a good example to those around me no matter the circumstance. I need to be better at extending grace.