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Tag Archives: treasurer

Haunted by What Could Have Been

When the outcome what you were expecting does not become reality, hearts and minds tend to explore why.  There may be an obvious explanation like a more deserving person who received that which you desired.  However, there will be many outcomes that leave you scratching your head, dumbfounded by fate.  The persistent will not give up, working harder each day to alter their current course.  Others may press on a little longer just in case God changes his mind like Abraham’s prayer below.  Unfortunately, the deflated, tired and weak give up hope, haunted by what could have been.

Abraham approached [the Lord] and said, “Will You really sweep away the righteous (those who do right) with the wicked (those who do evil)? 24 Suppose there are fifty righteous [people] within the city; will You really sweep it away and not spare it for the sake of the fifty righteous who are in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing—to strike the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous and the wicked are treated alike. Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right [by executing just and righteous judgment]?” 26 So the Lord said, “If I find within the city of Sodom fifty righteous [people], then I will spare the entire place for their sake,” Genesis 18:23-26.

Judas Iscariot was a fortunate individual, chosen by the son of God to be one of 12 disciples.  Based upon a few details in each of the four gospels, this Judas was the treasurer of Jesus’ earthly ministry for 3 years.  Some translations refers to Judas overseeing the money bag, containing the collection of tithes by individuals blessed, healed and saved by Jesus.  According to the passage below, when a woman wasted an expensive bottle of perfume on Jesus, this set Judas off.  Perhaps, this was the last straw, convincing Judas to betray Jesus.  As religious leaders celebrated Jesus’ capture, Judas withdrew to the desert to hang himself.  Guilt, remorse and shame influenced Judas to commit suicide, missing out on starting the first century church.

Then Mary took a pound of very expensive perfume of pure nard, and she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, the one who was going to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and [the money] given to the poor?” Now he said this, not because he cared about the poor [for he had never cared about them], but because he was a thief; and since he had the money box [serving as treasurer for the twelve disciples], he used to pilfer what was put into it, John 12:3-6.

Last week a New Jersey woman went to complain at school after her daughter was cut from the cheerleading squad.  Instead of using this rejection as inspiration to work harder to make it next year, this defiant mother convinced the board of education to force the team to accept everyone who tries out.  What would have happened if Michael Jordan’s dad or mom forced his high school coach to not cut him?  America may not have been able to watch one of the greatest NBA players of all time.  Thus, instead of being haunted by what could have been.  Dig down deep into your soul, ask the Lord for resolve and give everything that you have so that God’s destiny for you will prevail.

by Jay Mankus

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Following in the Footsteps of Judas

As one of my college professors once proclaimed, “If you don’t know history, it is bound to repeat itself with the next generation.”  While reading the passage below, I began to wonder, what caused a disciple of Jesus to fall from God’s grace?  How could someone who spent nearly three years with Jesus betray Him in such a manner.  This topic requires further attention so that others do not follow in the footsteps of Judas.

And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” And when he came, he went up to him at once and said, “Rabbi!” And he kissed him, Mark 14:43-45.

According to John 12, Judas Iscariot served as the money changer.  In modern terms, Judas was the treasurer of the 12 disciples.  Whenever individuals donated to Jesus’ ministry, Judas was responsible for collecting and distributing this money to pay for food and travel during this three year span.  While it’s not mentioned, anyone healed by Jesus would have felt compelled to give something exchange for each miracle performed.  Although not everyone possessed money, the wealthy likely contributed a handsome sum.  As gifts and tithes started pouring in, Judas began to help himself like a corrupt politician.

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.

Based upon the passage above, careless use of expensive perfume set Judas off.  Enraged by a prostitute wasting this by anointing Jesus, Judas’ bitterness opened the door for the Devil to enter.  During the Last Supper in the Upper Room, Jesus confronts Judas, referring to him as the Devil.  This public rebuke in front of his peers pushed Judas over the edge, making a deal with religious leaders in exchange for money to hand Jesus over to them.  Whenever individuals allow greed, money or selfishness to influence decisions, integrity is lost.  If you want to avoid this slippery slope, take heed of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:19-24.  Failing to do so may lead to following in the footsteps of Judas Iscariot.

by Jay Mankus

Insider Trading

Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Lee Curtis used satire to give a comical portrayal of insider trading in the 1983 film Trading Places.  Four years later, Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen and Daryl Hannah starred in Wall Street, an Oliver Stone drama depicting the greed of a corporate executive, Gordon Gekko, seeking to gain wealth through insider trading.  Today, rumors of insider trading continue to swell as individuals put aside integrity for the temptation of striking it rich.

Such is the case of a first century man whose position and social status opened the door for compromise.  For Judas Iscariot, his career was promising, chosen to be one of Jesus’ 12 disciples, Matthew 10:4.  While not given the honor of being part of Jesus’ inner circle like Peter, James and John, Mark 9:2-9, Judas did receive special authority to preach and drive out demons, Mark 3:14-15.  John 12:4-6 reveals that Judas was also given the special responsibility of treasurer, overseeing the money given to Jesus’ ministry.  As the keeper of the money bag, Judas’ role likely included taking care of meals, traveling and any other expenses accrued during Jesus’ 3 year ministry on earth.

When you read Mark 14:10-11, there is much more beneath the surface to explain Judas’ betrayal, insider trading and subsequent suicide.  This is where you enter into uncharted territory, as the Bible is silent on this matter.  Thus, the only hope to reach a conclusion is to try to uncover the vast clues left behind by scripture.

Theories about Judas Iscariot’s Betrayal:

1) Jesus was hard on his disciples, verbalizing his disappointment due to their lack of faith, Mark 8:21.

2) Maybe Judas was sensitive, eventually becoming a disgruntled servant after the incident in John 12:4-6, thinking he wasn’t appreciated or paid enough to continue following Jesus.

3) It’s possible that Jesus tirade in Mark 12:17 was the last straw, likely embarrassing people Judas knew.

4) Jesus messages on being rich offended Judas, Matthew 6:19-24, especially Jesus’ words to the rich young man in Matthew 19:16-25.

5) Judas thought Jesus would be an earthly king, raising to power as a ruler over Jerusalem, likely the same reason Peter turns from a fighter in Matthew 26:51 into a wimp moments later, Matthew 26:75.

Although, one of these may not be the exact reason for Judas’ betrayal, there is one thing Judas lacked.  Instead of entering into a personal relationship with Jesus like Nicodemus does at the end of his life, John 20:39-40, Judas remained an outsider spiritually.  In the process of accumulating wealth, Judas forfeited his soul, Matthew 16:26.  As Easter Sunday 2013 quickly approaches, make room in your heart for Jesus, by letting God into your life, Revelation 3:19-20.

by Jay Mankus

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