Am I Judas Iscariot or Simon Peter? – A question worth asking ourselves everyday of our life.
Being a Christian, a follower of Christ to be precise, does not mean that we are perfect or that we are the most holy living person. We, like all others, are tempted and may easily fall away from God. The difference lies in how we decide to retake our lives.
In the bible, we realise that Judas was a down-trodden man. But Jesus chose him to be His disciple and opened Judas’ path to salvation. “Then” in Luke 22:3 “Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve.”Judas was heavily tempted by Satan; by the 30 pieces of gold that he received as a reward. Judas fell away from grace and betrayed Jesus to the chief priests and the officers of the temple. But, if he hadn’t fallen from grace, Jesus would not have been able to die on the cross for our sins, conquer death and resurrect, thus bringing salvation to all mankind.
In contrast, Simon called Peter, the fisherman, was one of the closest disciple to Jesus. He is always portrayed as the man who blindly believed in his Lord; when he chose to walk over the sea towards Jesus (Matt 14: 29) and when he proclaimed that Jesus in the Son of the living God (Matt 16: 16). However, when Jesus was captured by the high officials and he was left alone, he was also quick to disown Jesus (Matt 26: 69-75, Mark 14: 66-72, Luke 23: 54-62, John 18: 15-18, 25-27). Nowhere in these passages is it mentioned that he was tempted by the evil one. But Simon Peter chose to disown Jesus, probably out of sheer fear.
This leads us to the question: How did Judas and Peter react when they realised their sins?
Judas “was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins...Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Matt 27:3, 5) The chapter of his life ends there.
Peter on the other hand “went outside and wept bitterly.” (Matt 26: 75b) He later went on to become a strong leader in the early church and earned the nickname that Jesus had given him, “The Rock”. He had a victorious second innings in life.
We all agree that it would have been great if we had not fallen from grace; but what if we did? Will you choose to deny yourself a second chance or will you repent and be successful in the Lord. Jesus himself said “...unless you repent, you too will perish.’ (Luke 13: 3)
Think: Am I Judas or Peter?