“But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was going to betray him) said, “Why wasn’t this oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” (Now Judas said this not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money box, he used to steal what was put into it.)” – John 12:4-6 NET
Confrontation is something as Christians most of us know about – and most of us know about it first hand. It can be a very painful experience – well, not can – it mostly IS, but sometimes it is better than others. It might depend on the way the person confronts you, if you even really know them (having a relationship with someone really helps a lot, regardless of how they say it), or it might depend on our own attitude – whether or not we are willing to admit that we might possibly have sinned, or have a pattern of sin in our lives.
But this all aside, I wanted to share something that my Greek Exegesis professor shared with me. First read John 12:4-6 if you didn’t already.
Now, isn’t it interesting that Jesus never confronted Judas over his thievery? You might say, “Well, Jesus probably didn’t know about it.” And I reply, take a look at John 1:47-48 – “Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and exclaimed, ‘Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit!’ Nathanael asked him, ‘How do you know me?’ Jesus replied, ‘Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.’” (there are other places, but I think that goes far enough)
I think a lot of times we make confrontation the first option. We see a brother or sister sinning and we go over and “Matthew 18” them. Would I not have confronted Judas? Would I not have had some “truth” to tell him? “Thieves go to hell. Repent!”
But is that how Jesus lived? Did Jesus go around confronting all the “sinners” around him? Who did Jesus confront – who did Jesus not confront? Who do I confront? Who do you confront? Have you ever confronted anyone? Did Jesus ever confront someone? The answers to these questions are quite telling – and questions I had never thought to ask until recently.
I fear I must evaluate my own practice. I do much because of the “Christian” culture around me – and I do very little because I have learned to do it directly from my Savior.
I must seek to learn from Christ – to imitate him, to become like him, to speak as he spoke, and to act as he acted. I am a far way off – but it is my goal, for God’s grace is abundant and now because of Christ, I can follow him – even in imperfection – most definitely in imperfection.