I have a really cool metal relief picture of the last supper hanging in my office and counted the number of disciples around Jesus. There are 12 in the picture which includes Judas. In prayer this morning, I was reminded of Judas who betrayed Jesus. I was thinking of how he spent some of the best and closest time with Jesus but still betrayed him for money. I think Judas is a great lesson for those who choose to follow Christ. We can look at Judas and his actions and think, “how in the world would anyone who spent that kind of time with Jesus, chose to betray him and for MONEY non the less?” Proximity to Christ is not what helps us to know his heart. Proximity only can be religiously going to church on a regular basis or even religiously giving your tithes every paycheck or just trying to live a “good life” without really getting to know God. Jesus doesn’t want us to just hang around him. He wants us to really listen, learn and then apply his teaching through the Bible and with the help of the Holy Spirit. That was the key difference with Judas and the other disciples; his focus. There are numerous times in the Bible where ALL of the disciples didn’t understand what the heck Jesus was saying. Eleven disciples were hungry to understand and focused on what Jesus was saying and doing but Judas, on the other hand, was dealing with and keeping his focus on the finances of the group. We need to be careful not to quickly judge Judas and his mistakes before we examine our own lives and make sure that we are not making some of the same fundamental mistakes he did. Maybe we are living a life in proximity to Jesus instead of really pressing in to know his heart and do his will. Attending church, giving tithes and offerings and being a positive influence on society are all important, but if your body is close to “religion” and your heart is far from the “relationship” to Jesus, there is a fundamental problem. I am praying for you today for you to have a fusion of the things you DO for Jesus and who you ARE with him. To truly be a follower of Christ, both are desperately needed.

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