Location: New England, United States

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Son of Perdition

"While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled." John 17:12 RSV

Experience in God has taught me that He almost never works through just one layer. When God does something, it permeates so many layers my feeble mind cannot grasp all of His glory. So when I was led to John 17 this morning, the term "son of perdition" leapt off the page and revelation into one more layer occurred. Of course, the commentaries assign Judas as the son of perdition - and they are correct, however, Judas is the first layer of the meaning. Whatever is done here on earth is "mirrored" in the spiritual, as well.

Of all the disciples, it seemed that Judas recognized the character of Jesus most fully. Unfortunately, although Judas recognized that Jesus was probably the long-awaited Messiah, Judas misunderstood the purpose of Jesus. Placing his own needs for deliverance from the Roman occupation, Judas was anticipating a great battle and victory over mere men, when in fact, Jesus was sent here for a great battle and victory over Satan - the son of perdition.

In the shadows of time, God created the angels - all the angels - including Lucifer. Just as God has a good relationship with the angels Gabriel and Michael, God had a good relationship with Lucifer. So too, Jesus had a good relationship with Judas. As Lucifer was cognizant of God's power and majesty, Judas recognized the power and majesty of Jesus.

Now to address the betrayal. We know that Jesus will come again, and it is at his second coming that the earthly battle (mirroring the spiritual battle won at first coming) will ensue and be won. Judas was not out of Jesus' purpose when he betrayed him for Jesus is charged with fighting and earthly battle at some point. Judas was out of Jesus' timing. Of course, this is as much of a sin against God as being out of his purpose. God, knowing all, used Judas' sin against his timing to facilitate his intended purpose of salvation - the death and resurrection of his Son.

So, now to address Lucifer's rebellion. Was his rebellion a sin against God's purpose or a sin against God's timing? Did God intend to elevate Lucifer even further - in due season, or give him charge of the earth at some point in time, and if so, was Lucifer's sin one of pride or impatience? Did God intend all along to allow man and woman the discernment of good and evil and Lucifer just forced the hand of God? Or, as evil never existed prior to Lucifer's rebellion did he force the hand of God to provide this discernment to his next creation- Man?

I have no answers to these questions, but I do know that what happens in the natural world is mirrored in the spiritual world. "Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give this morsel when I have dipped it." So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot." John 13:26 RSV It was at this point that Jesus offered Judas a way to turn away from sin. Jesus gave Judas the bread or body that had been covered by the wine or blood as a way to salvation. Had Judas taken this offer of forgiveness, he would have been forgiven. I believe that God is still waiting for Lucifer to take the dipped bread of salvation as well.


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