Superhero, Supervillain, or Something In Between?

September 28th, 2007 • Category: Book of Acts
by Mark Shoup

Today’s scripture: Acts 1:15-26 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Mark Shoup):

Every Superhero needs a Supervillain, it’s just the natural order of things. Batman has the Joker, Superman has Lex Luthor, and Jesus has . . . Judas?

We humans tend to place characters from movies and comic books (and even historical figures) into one of two categories — good or evil — even though few of us would consider ourselves always one or the other.

I guess that’s why it has always bothered me a little that Judas gets such a bad rap. Sure, he sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver, and that is a pretty bad thing, but what of all the good he did before that big lapse in judgment? Surely he was an effective apostle and did much work in spreading the word of God, or Jesus would have never called him in the first place, or at least would have replaced him long before he had a chance to betray him. And I’ve always wondered — what would have happened if Judas had not turned Jesus over to the Romans? Without the betrayal, would there have been the sacrifice for our sins? When you think about it, as horrible a thing as it was that Judas did, where would we be if he hadn’t done it?

It makes me realize that any of us can go from Superhero to Supervillain pretty quickly, if we do not constantly guard our hearts from the ultimate Super villain, Satan. We might not know exactly how Judas went from Apostle to Betrayer, but we know from the scriptures that money had something to do with it. Other scriptures hint that Judas, who was the treasurer for the disciples, might have been “skimming” from the common fund. Money can be such a seductive trap. For others it might be power, fame, or any number of other things that can take our focus off of God.

Thought for the day: What areas of my life have the potential to take my focus away from God?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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