A couple had two little boys, ages eight and ten, who were excessively mischievous. The two were always getting into trouble and their parents could be confident that if any mischief occurred in their town, their two young sons were involved in some capacity. The parents were at their wit’s end as to what to do about their sons’ behavior. They had heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children in the past, so they contacted him, and he agreed to give it his best shot.
He asked to see the boys individually, so the eight-year-old was sent to meet with him first. The clergyman sat the boy down and asked him sternly, “Where is God?” The boy made no response, so the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Where is God?” Again the boy made no attempt to answer, so the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face, “WHERE IS GOD?”
At that, the boy bolted from the room, ran directly home, and slammed himself in his closet. His older brother followed him into the closet and said, “What happened?” The younger brother replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time. God is missing and they think we did it!”
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. (John 12:4–6, ESV)
Lots of people are trying to make Jesus into some kind of social worker concerned with redistribution of wealth like any good liberal. However, if you want a biblical picture of a liberal, look no further than Judas Iscariot.
It appears on the surface as if Judas is very compassionate. He is compassionate about the poor. He is compassionate about redistributing money and a fair share. But mostly he is compassionate about Judas. He is like today’s liberal politician or Christian – he is very compassionate about other people’s money. Mostly so he can get his cut. He looks at the pure nard perfume as a cash windfall, and wants to use compassion for the poor as a cover for getting his fingers on it. He tries to lay a guilt trip on Mary about the waste and the expense so he can slip a few coins into his own pocket, and makes himself look holier-than-thou in the process.
The bottom line is he is the one who is guilty of theft, betrayal and hypocrisy. Interesting how those tend to go together. He looks like a believer but underneath his whitewash the love of money drives him to steal and eventually sell out our Messiah Jesus. So many today are spiritual descendants of this man. On the surface they look holy and spout biblical one-liners like they really mean them. Yet they betray Jesus with every dollar pinched and every selfish agenda pushed. Hands are in the cookie jar or held out for a 30-piece “fair share” payoff while pious lips stridently preach concern for others. They have no intention of practicing what they preach. Secretly they sell Jesus out by trading His precious Word for the kingdoms of the world. And look good doing it too.
Funny how Jesus didn’t do anything about it at the time. He just kept feeding Judas rope until he had enough to hang himself.