ARE YOU ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTION?
Date: 19 June, 2017
Text: Matthew 26:15
Title: A HEART REVEALING QUESTION
Have you ever noticed how questions sometimes reveal what is going on in the heart?
A child, "Do those sweetie's taste good?" - You know in their heart that they want one. "Is it fun to go on that ride?" They want to go on the ride. "Do you think that puppy is soft?" They want to give the puppy a pat.
In Matthew 26:15 We find A HEART REVEALING question that Judas asked before he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ. The questions is ....
"What will ye give me and I will deliver him unto you?" (Betrayal is in his heart.)
As I meditated on that question, I thought of the contrast between that question and another heart revealing question asked by Saul of Tarsus (Paul), "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Surrender is in his heart.)
THERE ARE MANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN THESE TWO QUESTIONS.
Both questions were asked at a point of decision.
Judas - looked like he was on the side of Christ, but the question revealed that his heart was turning away from the Lord.
Saul - was clearly on Satan's side, but the question revealed that he was turning to the Lord.
Both questions were asked with eternal consequences.
Judas - asked his question before his death and eternal destruction.
Saul - asked his question before entering into a life of eternal glory.
Both questions were asked regarding their relationship with Jesus.
Judas - was betraying the Lord Jesus Christ.
Saul - was accepting the Lord Jesus Christ.
YOU'VE HEARD THE SAYING, "There is no such thing as a bad question." I'm taking that quote out of context this morning to say, "In this case - there is such a thing as a bad question."
Judas asks a terrible question. Saul asks a glorious question. Which question are you asking? Is your heart asking a question that leads to sin and death - or is it asking a question that leads to victory and life?
A Question that leads to sin and death.
exp. Judas went from asking this question to the betrayal of Christ and to suicide.
Matthew 27:3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
Acts 1:16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
exp. Nobody sets out to ruin their life - but this question "What will ye give me and I will deliver him unto you." leads to ruin.
app. You may think, "I would never ask that question." But, in reality - when we sin it is as if we have asked this very same question.
Certainly many men have never gotten saved because this EXACT QUESTION WAS ASKED IN THEIR HEART AND THEY TOOK SATAN'S DEAL.
A. Always ends in a bad deal.
"What... And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
Exp. Judas was a thief and Satan knew that money appealed to him.
Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
exp. This wasn't an impossible temptation to Judas.
1Co 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
exp. HE COULD HAVE ESCAPED BUT HE TOOK THE "WHAT." - 30 pieces of silver.
Eve did that - for her the "what" was fruit. (She hid in shame, was cursed, put out of the paradise God had created.)
Cain did that - for him the "what" was revenge. (Blood guilt)
Esau did that - for him the "what" was a mess of porridge. (sold his birthright)
David did that - for him the "what" was adultery. (David would be dishonored, lose 4 children to death)
note: THE WHAT ALWAYS ENDS IN A BAD DEAL!
ill. speaking with 51 year old - who looked 75 because of alcohol. I wish I could have met him in his youth when he was running around as a healthy boy and shown him a picture of him at 50 - toothless, unable to hardly walk, having had surgery on his throat because of cigarettes, an addict who can't get victory. (The "what" he sought in his youth has destroyed his life!)
app. The "what" of this question always ends in a bad deal. Money (thievery) had always stood between Judas and Jesus. Is your what keeping you from Christ?
B. Bargains with the Enemy of Jesus.
exp. Judas asked this question of the enemies of the Lord. Judas committed treason against Christ by bargaining with the enemy.
Luk 6:16 Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.
Mat 26:24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
ill. Being a traitor is an awful crime - Stella Kubler - In the spring of 1943, she and her parents were arrested by the Nazis. Stella Kübler was subjected to torture. In order to avoid deportation of herself and her parents, she agreed to become a "catcher" (German: Greiferin) for the Gestapo, hunting down Jews (who were) hiding as non-Jews (referred to as "U-Boats"). She was promised a salary of 300 Reichsmark for each Jew that she betrayed. She proceeded to comb Berlin for such Jews and, as she was familiar with a large number of Jewish people from her years at her segregated Jewish school, Kübler was very successful at finding her former schoolmates and handing their information over to the Gestapo, while posing as a U-Boat herself. Some of Kübler's efforts to apprehend Jews in hiding included promising them food and accommodation, meanwhile turning them over to the Nazi authorities; she also followed clues provided to her by the Gestapo. The data concerning the number of her victims varies, depending on different sources of information, from between 600 and 3,000 Jews."
exp. You could almost feel sorry for Stella Kubler. She destroyed men and woman's lives who trusted in her - BY JOINING WITH THE ENEMY.
exp. Judas joined the enemy just for financial reward.
Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
app. There are people today serving the devil - traitors to Christ - because they bargained with him.
C. Seeks to satisfy self.
exp. The focus of the life of Judas as the betrayer was himself.
Did he care about his fellow disciples who trusted him? (Nobody suspected Judas.)
Did he care that he was betraying an innocent man WHO WAS THE MESSIAH?
Did he care about all the people who still needed the healing touch of Jesus or who needed His message of life?
Did he love the mother of Jesus, Mary and care about her son?
question: Does a gambler, adulterer, drunkard, liar, care about their family when they sought after that sin?
exp. Sin is always about, "What is in it for me?"
ill. Jesus taugh that obeying God is always about, "What is in it for others?"
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
app. Are you making decisions to honor God and to be a blessing to others? Careful of a self satisfaction focus that leads to sin. Judas question was seeking to satisfy self.
D. Makes a wilful agreement.
...and I will...
exp. Nobody is a sinner by accident - they have made a wilful decision to transgress God's law.
ill. Have you heard people say about sin?... "They can't help it. They were born that way. They are just a product of their environment."
Does that also apply to politics - "They can't help it. They were born that way. They are just a product of their environment. (You chose to represent that party and those views.)
Does it apply to speeders - "I'm sorry officer. I can't help it. I was born this way. My father was a speeder. (Officer - you chose to push the accelerator. You chose to ignore the signs.)
Does it apply to failing a test - "I'm sorry I failed - but I can't help it. My parents couldn't do maths and neither can I." (Teacher - You chose not to study. You chose not to ask for help.)
note: Judas had the loving Saviour. Judas had all his needs provided for by God. Judas was one of the twelve. Judas made a wicked decision to betray Christ, "I will."
app. If there is sin in your life today - it isn't because THAT IS JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. It is just because that is the way you have CHOSEN to be. Judas made a wilful agreement against God.
E. Surrenders Christ to the enemy.
...deliver him unto you?
exp. Judas was willing to bring Christ into bondage and put him to death for "what" he could get from the enemy of God. He would surrender the Lord.
ill. My brother - traded me dimes (small) for nickles (much bigger) but worth half as much.
exp. Satan's deals are far worse and have far greater consequences!
ill. An addict- gives up his health - for headaches, nausea, unquenchable desire, disease....
An adulterer - gives up marriage and family - for a relationship with a stranger.
A liar - gives up honor and trust - for guilt and deceit.
A thief - gives up liberty and goes to prison - for a fleeting chance at riches.
A gambler - gives up family, provision, financial stablity - for debt, a piece of paper, and a lust for money that won't go away.
The betrayer - gave up JESUS and eternal life - for 30 pieces of silver and death.
app. What has Satan TRADED YOU for Jesus? What is he seeking to trade you for the precious things in your life? Careful - this question surrenders Christ to the enemy of God.
transition: Judas asked the wrong question. A question that led to death and destruction.
"What will ye give me and I will deliver him unto you."
In great contrast - Saul of Tarsus (Paul) asks a wonderful question, "Lord, what will you have me to do?"
II. A Question that leads to victory and life.
A. Starts with an awakened fear of God.
Acts 9:6 And he trembling and astonished said,
exp. Saul was a wicked man and wicked men don't fear God.
ill. Saul himself later characterizes the wicked by saying among other things - Romans 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
exp. Paul had never feared the Lord Jesus Christ until this moment as He saw him on his throne of glory robed in glorious light.
He was a proud religious man.
He was a strong man who had power and authority.
But when it pleased God to save him - he was brought to his knees in the fear of God.
exp. It is a wise person who fears God.
Pro 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
ill. Other tremblers have gotten saved....
Woman with issue of blood - Mar 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
Philippian Jailer - Acts 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas. And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
app. Do you have a fear of God today? Do you tremble in His presence?
Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
B. Sees Jesus as Master.
exp. This statement from Saul would be as shocking politically in our day - as the labour leader, Jeremy Corbin (leader of the opposition party) praising Theresa May's leadership (head of the conservative party) and submitting to support her leadership.
exp. Saul led the opposition party against the LORD JESUS CHRIST. But, he submitted to the leadership of the Lord.
app. This question will not be asked by those who do not see Jesus as THEIR MASTER. Do you this morning, see Jesus as your Master?
If so, you can say with Saul, what King David said to the Lord....
Psa 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
C. Seeks to Satisfy Jesus.
...what wilt thou...
exp. This question - again like the heart of David - cries out for the will of Jesus to be made known.
Psa 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
exp. How much do you desire to know HIS WILL?
Ill. The rich young ruler didn't want to know the will of God for his life.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
exp. Jesus was offering him an abundant life - but the "what" Satan had given him made him content to SATISFY SELF instead of SATISFYING JESUS.
App. Don't go away sorrowful. Seek to satisfy Jesus - ask His will - and do it.
D. Surrenders self to do something for Jesus.
....have me to do?
exp. Saul asked and then Saul obeyed. The persecutor of Christians - because a preacher for Christ.
question: Are you consecrated to doing whatever God wants you to do as long as you know He wants you to do it?
ill. When I was around 16 years old - I told the Lord at summer camp that I would do whatever he wanted me to do.
- that meant moving away to Bible college
- That meant becoming a speech minor
- that meant accepting God's call to preach, church plant, missions
final app. What does that mean for you? Are you asking the question that Saul asked, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? That question is the question of life.
conclusion: Both of these questions reveal the heart. What question are you asking this morning?
THE QUESTION OF JUDAS -
"What will you give me and I will deliver Him unto you?"
- That question forfeits - potentially - your eternity, your family, your honor, your health....
THE QUESTION OF SAUL -
"Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?"
- That question finds - eternal life - and the abundant life.
Does God need to change your heart this morning?