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Chosen Despite Evil

John 6:70-71
Then Jesus replied, "Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!" (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.) (NIV)

Jesus chose His disciples to serve Him. Yet He knew that one of the Twelve, Judas Iscariot, would betray Him. Far from choosing a good man, Jesus knew that Judas was so impregnated with evil that he would represent Satan. Even so, Judas was appointed as the treasurer to the group, and soon the other disciples found out that he was a thief (John 12:6). But why? Why did Jesus choose a wicked person who would never repent?

Jesus was never afraid of evil, because He was its Master. He avoided being stoned to death but chose the timing of the cross. He confronted Satan and demons, rebuking them with His Word. And when the devil thought he had destroyed the Son of God, Jesus demonstrated His authority over death by rising again. We know that Jesus had to die for the sins of the world, but was Judas personally essential to bring about His death? No, but Jesus chose one man who would fulfil the Scriptures (Psalms 41:9; 69:25; 109:8), representing millions who are outwardly religious but put their own selfish interests first, having no real love of God. They want to use Him but have no desire to be used by Him. Like Judas, they have the opportunity of salvation, but like Judas they are fully responsible for their choices and the consequences of allowing Satan to control them.

Jesus still has the power to bring all things under His control (Philippians 3:21). He will even use evil, transforming its darkness to glorify Himself, although those who do evil will be brought to account. Because those seeds of wickedness are in every one of us, we need to hear the words of Peter to Simon the Sorcerer (who wanted to use God's power for his own glory): "Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin." (Acts 8:22-23). Other people may  think that you are very close to Jesus, but He knows your heart: so repent, before your actions betray your Lord.

Prayer 
All-knowing Lord. Thank You for reminding me that allowing Satan to operate in my life is a disastrous choice. I am sorry for the times when I have nurtured the seeds of wickedness and I repent of not responding fully to Your call to serve in Your kingdom. Please give me a new heart and desire to serve You in the way You are calling me. In Jesus Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams