Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Day and Night (07/10/14)
TITLE: Why Didn't He Get It?
By Dave Walker
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One of the best things about our mission was our unity. We were such a disparate group, yet everyone was enthusiastic about the path I was leading them on. We were together in zeal and a common purpose. True, we had differences of opinion and petty jealousies, but as their leader, I quickly resolved them.
And I included him in everything. To be honest, I could see at times his heart was not as fully committed to the cause as the others, but I didn't let that affect my treatment of him.
Yet for all that, he didn't seem to get the point. We preached a message of the grace of God, and we demonstrated it in everything we did. You'd think in all the time we were together he'd have got it. Everyone slips at some stage in their lives, but the message of grace says that God allows us to pick ourselves up -- no matter how badly we've fallen -- and start again. That's what I preached time and again. But when he slipped, he didn't understand.
Not like Pete. He also messed up big time, abandoning the mission at the climax, leaving me, the leader, completely on my own. I can't tell you how tough that was -- how deeply it hurt. (I think he saw it in my eyes.) He must have felt just as bad as his compatriot about what he did, but he didn't go off on his own, drowning in self-absorbed pity. At least he stuck with the others and gained some support from them. Hopefully they'd got the message of grace.
That's the difference between them. Judas had been around grace for three years, but, it seems, could not bestow it. He even objected to the extravagant love of a forgiven prostitute who responded to my grace by anointing me with priceless perfume.
It's hard to accept grace when you don't give it; so he stayed in the dark, groping for a way out of his shame, refusing the way I was making for him. He returned the money he'd taken for my betrayal, but they laughed in his face. In the blackness of his terrible guilt, he put a noose around his neck and threw himself from a tree -- into a tormented night of eternal darkness.
Pete, though, sought the comfort of his friends until I could restore him, allowing him to affirm his love once more. I'll never forget his face as he spoke the answer to my question, "Peter, do you love me?" especially when I then entrusted to him, the task of feeding my sheep. Oh, how it gladdened my heart to see the night turn to day with each declaration.
"Yes, Lord, You know that I love you." Dawn came.
"Yes, Lord, You know that I love you." The morning mist lifted.
"Lord, You know all things. You know that I love you." The sun blazed once more in Peter's life with his characteristic fire and passion (less impetuous, now that he had tasted the fullness of grace, but more zealous than ever).
Oh, that Judas would have walked into the day.
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