Eternal Investment #3 – Money Where Your Mouth Is
Ryan Story | Student Pastor
I recently hired a lying, two-faced, money hungry, thief to be in charge of my finances. He is going to get every penny that comes through my bank account. I really think I made the right move. Now clearly I am being sarcastic, but if I told you I did do that you would be calling me foolish. So then, did Jesus make a mistake when He put Judas in charge of the money that was collected? Is it possible that Jesus made a mistake? Now your immediate reaction may be to answer “no” and then stop reading this devotional. Could Jesus have made a mistake when it came to whom He trusted the money to? Surely, Andrew, James, Nathaniel, or Simon the Zealot would have been a better choice. Jesus was not a team-building strategist or a businessman. He was the son of a carpenter. He grew up in a poor region, Galilee. Now we are tempted to drop the “Jesus is God; therefore He knows everything” card and not think deeper about why Jesus did what He did.
If you read John 12:4-6, we see just how low Judas was. He was concerned about a woman who used expensive ointment on Jesus. There is an interesting dialogue between Jesus and Judas, and it shows Judas remarking that the disciples should have sold the ointment to raise money for the poor. Very noble and loving of Judas, until you read verse 6 where we find out Judas was stealing from the money bag and taking whenever he pleased. So again, why would Jesus put a thief in charge of the money?
How could Jesus teach us about stewardship and giving if He just turns around and lets a thief take the money that was saved or collected? This is one of those head scratchers. Once again with Jesus when you realize how layered His teachings are you see God in a completely new light. The reason why Jesus allowed Judas to keep in charge of the money even though Jesus knew Judas was stealing was that Jesus knew how important Earthly treasures where. Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” The only way you could keep a thief in charge of the money is if you realized that money has little value in the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus was teaching people that money is not important, but God’s Kingdom is everything. Think of all the times when we are stressed out about money. We start letting our flesh take over, and we slowly lose our focus. Jesus never seemed to mind that Judas was stealing. Clearly, Jesus knew, but He knew Judas’ heart was rotting because of the love of monetary comfort. In Matthew 6:21 Jesus says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If our heart is focused on trusting, loving, and living for Jesus, then He is our treasure. We must always make Jesus our most precious treasure.