WITHOUT THE FULL STORY
Judas and Peter were two of the twelve men hand-picked by Christ to serve as His apostles. At first glance, when we read about these men and consider how the acted and the ways in which they moved in the Gospel accounts we see that one was seemed to be successful while the other was a failure.
There are qualities about the man named Judas that many would look at as good and would even strive to have those qualities in their own life.
It APPEARS that Judas was trustworthy. John 12:6 records for us that Judas had “charge of the moneybag…” Of all the people that could have been in charge of such a task, it was given to this man Judas. This had to be due to his great ability to handle money, and his ability to be trusted with such an assignment, right?
It also APPEARS that Judas had a deep concern for the poor. In John 12 when a woman named Mary took expensive ointment and anointed the feet of a Man with it, Judas seemed to take offense to such an act. In verse 5we read these words that Judas spoke, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” What a considerate individual Judas must have been. Instead of having this expensive ointment “wasted” as he saw it, being poured on the feet of a Man, it could have been sold and given to the poor who could really use those funds.
Judas also APPEARED to be wise in the field business and a great opportunist. The chief priests were looking for a Man, an innocent Man, whom they believed to be guilty and deserving of death. Judas knew who exactly who that Man was and in Matthew 26:15 we read these words, ““What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.” 30 pieces of silver just to point someone out? Judas, being the business savvy and opportunist man he was, couldn’t pass up such a deal!
Judas APPEARED to be a great leader. In Luke 22:47 we read, “While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them…” This man had to have great leadership skills as he was able to lead a crowd.
And it APPEARS that Judas was also very loving. So loving that we read this interaction between him and Christ in Matthew 26:49, “And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him.”
Then we have the apostle named Peter. The man who didn’t even have enough faith in Jesus to walk on water. The man who foolishly proposed to worship both Moses and Elijah along with Jesus at His transfiguration! This man was not only untrue to his word, he was not loyal to Christ! I mean Peter really said that he would never deny Christ, and then went on to do so THREE TIMES! It doesn’t APPEAR that Peter would be the companion we want in times of danger, nor does it APPEAR that he is the kind of person we want to spend our time around.
From the words mentioned in this article thus far, it would appear that Judas is the success, the man with many qualities and traits to follow after, and Peter is the failure, the man with qualities and traits we would likely avoid. And it certainly APPEARS that way…WITHOUT THE FULL STORY.
With the full story we see that Judas was not trustworthy but a thief, and being in charge of the moneybag the Scriptures record for us that he would help himself to what was in it. Judas was not concerned with the poor, he simply would rather have access to the money made off the ointment instead of it being properly used to anoint Christ’s feet. He wasn’t a wise businessman, but he was an opportunists exchanging his eternal soul and betraying the Lord for 30 pieces of silver. He was not a great leader; he led that mob to our Lord who he cared nothing about despite kissing him. That kiss was nothing more than his way of identifying the One who the chief priests were seeking to kill.
Yes, Peter lost faith to walk on water when he lost sight of Christ. Yes, made a foolish proposition to worship Moses and Elijah along with Christ. Yes, he denied Jesus, but how did things end for these two men? Peter turned his life around, he was completely committed to Christ and suffered for His cause. He was willing to lose his life for the Lord who came to save his soul. Time, along with the full story has reversed our judgment of these two men. Judas was the real failure and his name is now another word for betrayer as that is how he is remembered, betraying the Lord of glory. While Peter was the true success and is one of the most respected and loved Bible characters there is. We need the full story to rightly divide the word of truth, and what will our full story say about us and our walk with the Lord when the story is complete?