Lazarus was alive and his resurrection was causing an emotional reaction, the religious leaders begin to conspire to have Him killed. At the same time, Judas who has spent three years or so learning from and living with Jesus, quietly betrays Him to the Chief Priests, offering Judas a sum of money in exchange (Mark 14:10). Money can indeed do strange things to a person. I can’t fully understand the hardness of Judas’ heart, I’d always like to think I wouldn’t have been the one.
Judas’ story challenges me to watch my heart, Judas was daily in the presence of Jesus yet hardened. In John 13 we read that the devil planted in his heart to betray Jesus.
His story reminds me to watch for ‘little foxes that destroy the grapes,’ Song of Songs 2:15. Watching for the little sins, habits that are hardening the heart; the comparison, the criticism, the disparaging remarks, the internal lies. We need to give the enemy no right of access. This is challenging me to live daily confessing my sin to the Father, daily releasing forgiveness so that my heart does not become hardened and embittered, and daily receiving his forgiveness and embrace my Father who loves me.
Lord Jesus, keep me from having a hardened heart. Please may my heart always be soft to You and closed to the devil’s advances. Deliver me from habits that harden my heart toward You, Amen.