He was one of the twelve apostles. He saw Jesus turn water to wine, walk on water, and heard Him proclaim He is the Water of Life. But he sank and died of thirst. He had flaws like any of the other eleven. One of them, however, was his downfall.
Judas “was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.” (John 12.6)
What characterizes a thief? A person who steals another person’s property. This is a condemnable act among all cultures, people and beliefs, even among atheists. But in Judas’ case, there was an aggravating factor: he stole from the offering bag. People gave these offerings with faith, devotion and gratitude to Jesus to help the Work of God. It wasn’t just other people’s money that Judas was stealing. He touched something sacred.
After a person touches what is sacred, everything becomes permitted. Limits no longer exist. Consider Judas, for example. Having lost fear for what is sacred, he didn’t see anything wrong with taking money from the offering bag and keeping it for himself. From this point on, nothing else seemed wrong to him. Betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver? I accept. Steal even more money by lying and pretending to be concerned for the poor? I accept. Take own life (which is the most sacred) after being discovered as a traitor? I accept.
This is what happens. After you touch what is sacred, anything goes.
God determined certain things* sacred. Life. The Scriptures. The Temple and its utensils. Tithes and offerings. The ministry of proclaiming the Gospel – among many other things. No wonder we see in this world, which is guided by evil, a growing culture of irreverence that seeks to erase from people’s minds a consciousness of what is sacred. This is to prepare for the end times. In order to fulfill what is written, people will need to commit even greater evil deeds, without any sense of guilt. What is the best way to guarantee this? Make them lose fear of what is sacred.
For those who are going that route, its worth reading this stern warning from Jesus, as He referred to Judas:
The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born! Matthew 26.24
It would be best if he had not been born. If there is an ounce of fear in you, respect what is sacred. Otherwise, you will discover the consequences at your own risk.
*He declared these things sacred: life (1 Corinthians 3.16,17), the Scriptures (Romans 1.2), the Temple and its various utensils (Leviticus 22.2), the ministry of proclaiming the Gospel (Romans 15.16) – and more than 60 other biblical quotations.