“While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.” – Matthew 26:47-50
I think at one point or another, we’ve all read this passage and had one thought:
“How could Judas have betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver?”
For someone to be so close to Jesus, but to then sell-out in such a spectacular fashion leaves us shocked, indignant and disgusted.
As it should.
I doubt anyone reading this post today, would sell out anyonefor thirty pieces of silver – which today would equal around $4229.00 – let alone a close friend. It’s a good sum of money, sure, but not enough for us to betray anyone. At least, so we would hope.
And to betray Jesus, well that’s even harder to fathom, because of what he would have meant to Judas. There was a decidedly ‘sold-out’ quality when it came to a life of following Jesus, and he wasn’t deceptive in any measure when he laid out what that life would look like. He detailed the COST of following him at regular intervals and turned away many with the wrong heart.
So, I think it’s fair to say that, at some point, Judas was ‘sold-out’ for Jesus. It’s doubtful he’d ever have been one of his ‘faithful twelve’ otherwise.
So, what can we learn from Judas’s shocking transformation? It’s quite simple, if not a little sad, but the truth of the matter is:
ONCE YOU STOP BEING ‘SOLD-OUT’, IT’S ONLY A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE YOU ‘SELL-OUT.’
The transition doesn’t happen overnight, it didn’t for Judas, and it wouldn’t for us. But it can be a fast and slippery slope if we don’t take care to stay ‘SOLD-OUT’ for the right things.
In my experience, there are a few things we should make sure we’re always ‘sold-out’ for, to avoid a path that leads to selling out.
1. Sold-Out for the Call
God has called us to our post, role and position. Stay there.
Circumstances may change, there will be valleys and mountain-tops, tests of faith and temptations, but if we don’t remain ‘sold-out’ for the call of God in our lives, it’s only a matter of time till we’re betraying it for something shiny and new.
“And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Immediately they left their nets and followed him.” – Matthew 4:19
Even though the disciples didn’t know what that would look like, they knew that was their call and their work focused on that call long after Christ was resurrected.
2. Sold-Out in our Heart
Seek the right heart always and often.
No matter what offences, disappointments or hurts come our way our heart always needs to stay pure, clean and uncluttered. Forgive quickly, seek reconciliation, lean in and show up.
“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see the face of God,” – Matthew 5:8
In Jesus’s teachings, a pure heart is crucial to hearing and seeing what God has for ourselves and the world.
3. Sold-Out in our Focus
Keep the main thing, the main thing!
When other things start to take our attention away it’s easy to get distracted and for the main thing to become peripheral and the peripheral to becomes the main thing.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
Jesus was clear that keeping the things of God before the things of this world, was the path for a prosperous and healthy life.
4. Sold-Out in our Passion
When it comes down to it, Passion is a choice.
Even when we don’t agree, even when we don’t feel like it, even when it tarries, even when we’re not acknowledged, appreciated or thanked, we must stay dangerously passionate. Stir it up, daily if you must.
“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.”- Romans 12:11
The Apostle Paul knew all too well how hard it was to keep a passionate heart, but he cautions us all the same to never be without it.
5. Sold-Out for Each other
We are a team and are better together.
No matter what gossip is circling, no matter what pain you’re going through, no matter what giant you’re facing, we are in this together! We need to be sold out to bringing out the best in each other by encouraging, supporting, challenging and inspiring… Have each other’s backs.
“But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” – Matthew 12:8
No matter how different we are, when we pursue Christ together, we become more than co-workers, we are family. Bound together by a higher cause.
I wonder what it would have been like for Judas, if he had of remained ‘sold out’ in these five areas. Perhaps his story and ending might have been different. Thankfully it’s not too late for any of us to evaluate our hearts, and make sure we stay ‘sold out’ for the right things!
Thanks for reading,
Q. Which point resonates the most with you and the season you/your team/your area of responsibility is in? Would love to hear your feedback below!