Audience of One • Devotion 3

The Other Side
Jeremy Smith

Jesus handpicked out twelve people to be His disciples. This included people from all walks of life, including fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, and one who ultimately betrayed Him. It raises some questions in my mind. For instance, why would you intentionally pick someone who you knew would betray you? Did Jesus think that it was possible through showing His love and grace towards others it could or even would change the outcome? It also makes me realize that Jesus showed no bias. I would think, if I was put in the same position, I would rather choose anybody on the entire Earth over someone who I know is going to lead to my death.

Yet, Jesus never showed any ill will towards Judas. Jesus let Judas sit under His learning tree. He still let Judas have a seat at the table for the Last Supper. He even served Judas and humbled Himself to wash Judas’ feet. There was no anger, bitterness, or wrath from Jesus. Ephesians 4:31 tells us, “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.”

Is that something you would be able to do? Would you still be able to worship God, next to your brother or sister in Christ, if you felt they had wronged you? Even more difficult, would you be able to sit down and have a meal with someone, knowing that just moments later they would turn you over to the authorities for a handful of silver? 

In Titus chapter 2, Paul tells us how the older should help teach the younger generation “with sound doctrine.” It continues on in verses 2-8, “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”

We have those all around us who are wiser or more experienced. They have likely gone through the same or at least similar experiences we are going through and have made it out the other side. On the other side, we also have those around us who need help, guidance, a word of encouragement, or maybe just someone to pray with. My challenge to you would be to find someone on either side. Notice someone you can confide in, and someone who you can help build up. 

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