or we could get upset.

We talked yesterday about a woman who did what she could. I’m hoping that you’ve been thinking about that. I have.

But I’ve also been thinking about Judas. According to Mark’s story, after Jesus defends the woman for anointing him with perfume, Judas goes to the chief priests to betray Jesus.

They needed the help. Whenever Jesus was in public, there was a crowd. The rest of the time, Jesus was one in a crowd of hundreds of thousands in Jerusalem. And he wasn’t interested in being found.

For the priests, an insider was invaluable. For Judas, betrayal was an apparently appropriate response.

Lots of people have speculated on Judas’ motivation. His desire for money, his use of the ministry money for personal gain, his sense of being betrayed by Jesus.

But does the explanation matter? He made plans to betray Jesus and he carried them out. If he felt vindicated, would that make it better somehow? I mean, it would make him a more sympathetic character in the drama. But this isn’t a drama. It’s a life and death story and one person, for reasons ultimately known only to him and to God, moved it toward death.

We have a prayer for doing good work this week, and a woman who did what she could. And then a man who did what he could to undermine the work of Jesus.

julyIt’s the end of June, the end of the first half of 2016. It’s a perfect time to look at our plans for the next few months and be a little strategic ourselves.

How can we take steps to do good work? How can we make plans to be extravagant in our love for God and others? How can we recognize whatever would lead us to betrayal and resist it?


If you are in ministry (you get to define that), I’m writing an email letter for you. Read more about “the guy down the hall” and sign up if it would suit you: The guy down the hall.