Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good & Useful? Or Useful, but not Good?

[D]oubtless Judas took part in this Galilean mission, and, for aught we know to the contrary, was as successful as his fellow-disciples in casting out devils. Graceless men may for a season be employed as agents in promoting the work of grace in the hearts of others. Usefulness does not necessarily imply goodness, according to the teaching of Christ Himself.

- A.B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 108


  1. Goodness comes from God alone, there is no other source. None of the twelve were "good"--Jesus rebuked them all for their lack of faith, and dealt with their sins and greedy ambitions--in so many ways, Judas was not remarkably different. I've thought about Judas a lot, even before becoming a Christian.

    I often wondered often if Jesus grieved at all for him, like, when he was reunited with the rest after His resurrection, was He painfully aware that one was missing? Did His heart break at all that Judas chose suicide, preventing a chance for reconciliation as Peter experienced over his betrayal? And essentially, all the disciples, were betrayers, save John, since none of them were around when Jesus was up on that cross, suffering--because they were afraid for their own lives. For them, to hang around even to not let their friend Jesus suffer alone was suicide. Loyalty, for me, takes on a higher standard.

    I think, in the big picture of it all, Judas at least felt an immense remorse too great to live with, which is more than I can say for the rest of the 12. They, with Judas, all failed the loyalty test.

    So, in regards to your comment that you could be Judas, relax. We all are. That is the glory of Christ, He alone is good, holy and deserving of praise. His followers deserve hell.

  2. True in one sense, but don't get hyper-Calvinistic on me. There are plenty of "good men" in Scripture, such as Barnabas in Acts 11.24.

    And there are others:

  3. Point taken, Arnold.

    "Hyper calvinistic"? Is there any other kind?