Blessed…All About the “Benjamins”

Then one of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests  and said, “What will you give me if I turn Jesus over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver.  From that time on he was looking for an opportunity to turn him in (Matthew 26:14-16, Common English Bible).

In yesterday’s lesson, a woman, in his Gospel John says it was Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus, brought a jar of expensive perfume and poured it out on Jesus’ feet and then dried the feet with her hair.

One of the twelve, Judas Iscariot, was not impressed by these generous actions. He insisted that the perfume should have been sold and the money given to the poor. John also points out that Judas was a thief. John believed Judas wanted the perfume sold because, as the group’s treasurer, he could have helped himself to the money.

I have given this some thought over the past couple of months as I preached on John’s version of this story not long ago. Assuming that John was correct, Judas was all about the money, “all about the Benjamins” as the phrase used to go. Judas wanted what he could get.

Still, what could possess a man to turn on Jesus despite all he had seen during his time as a disciple? When you got to see the miraculous unfold day after day, would that not be enough? Obviously, it was not.

Regardless of whether John’s belief that Judas was a thief or not, it does seem pretty clear that Judas was more motivated by the secular than he was by the spiritual. And, in spite of all we have, all too often, we are more like Judas than most of us would care to admit.

As I write this, I have been researching buying a new car. My current car is getting old and its mileage is getting pretty high. Even if I choose not to buy now, I will probably have to buy before much longer. The temptation is to buy not for practical reasons but to buy for status reasons. I want one car even if having it makes no sense to my life. Society in general and television, in particular, reminds me, I should get what I want. That will make me happy and I deserve to be happy.

Even if it is not a car, for most of us, it is something. Something that, if only I could have this, I would be happy. It may be a car, money, a house, or something completely different (I have talked before about my love of guitars, they fit here too). Whatever it is, we believe they will make us happy. Then, once we have them, it isn’t long before the new wears off and we either regret the decision or we want something else new, something else that will make us happy.

Judas choose the money he thought would make him happy. As we will soon see, that money did nothing to make one Judas Iscariot a happy man. Think about people who have more than they could use in a lifetime. For many, like Judas, they still aren’t happy and they still are not fulfilled. That is because, money or stuff, will never make us truly happy or fulfilled. We have to find that fulfillment in some other place. We find it in living out the will of God.

Where do you find happiness and fulfillment?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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