A Choice of Love

Have you ever been just reading along and suddenly something that
you’ve read a bizillion times suddenly hits you as different? 
Here’s the one that just smacked me:

“One of those days Jesus went out to
a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  When
morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them,
whom he also designated as apostles.” (Luke 6:12-13)

So here’s the sequence that is in my mind…Jesus has spent some
period of time with those that he calls his “disciples.”  I don’t
know how large this group is, but it’s larger than 12 because he chose
12 out of this group.  Maybe as big as the 72 that he sends
out…maybe 20…who knows.  But notice what the the text
says…the time came for Jesus to choose 12 to be set apart as
apostles.  He spent an entire night in prayer with his Father over
this process.  Probably not to narrow it down to the final cut,
but more so to ask His Father to make them the men that they were
supposed to be (much like the prayer in John 17).  Then, when
morning came he went through the crowd and called 12 to be his special
ones…his inner circle…his apostles.

Now, I don’t know if it hits you the same way it hit me, but think
about it for a minute.  Jesus CHOSE Judas.  He picked
him.  He knew his heart.  Knew what kind of a person Judas
would turn out to be.  He even prayed over Judas the night
before.  And he still picked him!  Walked right up to him,
looked him in the eye, and said, “Judas Iscariot, I choose you. 
Come be with me.  Be one of my special ones.”

Well blow my skirt up!  What in the world would he have been
thinking at the time?  What must the conversation between Jesus
and his Father have been like that night before?  “Are you SURE
about this one, Abba?”  “Yes son, he’s the one!”  “Well,
O.K., I’ll trust you.”

Why would Jesus PICK him?  Why would he CHOOSE him?  I
mean…it’s Judas for cryin’ out loud.  Just say the name and
everybody thinks of him as the worst person to have ever walked the
face of the earth.  Nobody names their kid Judas!  It’s worse
than Jezebel!  Just the thought of him sends images of scum,
scuzz, disgust, and filth through our minds.  What was Jesus
thinking?

Here’s where it really hits me…my guess as to what Jesus was thinking
the day that he put his arm around Judas and sealed his own fate is
this: “Judas, I remember the day I created you.  Your mom and dad
were so happy the day they saw you.  I was there the first day you
learned to walk.  I watched as another kid called you a bad name
and made you cry.  It made me sad.  I’ve been watching you
from the beginning.  I’ve loved you from the start, and even
though I know you’re going to make some really bad choices — you’re
mine.  Follow me.”

He looked at Judas…the betrayer…the same way he looks at me. 
The same way I look at my child.  The look in his eyes couldn’t
have been a look of distrust or contempt…because that’s not the way
Jesus looks at us.  It was a look of love.  A choice of
love.  It’s the same choice he made when he picked me for his
team.  And that blows me away…every time.

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~ by Chris Green on December 9, 2004.

One Response to “A Choice of Love”

  1. It makes me think how fragile my relationship with Jesus is. Temptation is just a breath away to draw me away from my Savior. This really makes me want to be more prayerful, disciplined and connected to my Savior. I know that I fall to temptations every day and I stumble but I pray that the day never comes that I would think that the price Jesus paid on the cross for my sin wasn’t enough!

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