Watch and Pray

 “Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them”

Mark 14:10

In this chapter we read that Jesus prayed, Judas betrayed and the disciples slept. Was that situation any different to that which often happens today?

We read in Romans 8:34, “Christ who died, and furthermore is risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” In Hebrews 7:25 we read, “Therefore He [Jesus] is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” Jesus intercedes on behalf of His people. Romans 8:26-27 tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us as well.

Judas, one of the twelve, betrayed Jesus to those who wanted Him crucified. In the professing church there have always been wolves in sheep’s clothing teaching false doctrines. As such they betray Jesus. Just as Judas was never saved (Mark 14:21) neither are false teachers who deny Christ and would crucify Him again if they could. Since they cannot, they are trying to put to death faithful and true believers so they can continue in fleecing the flock, as Judas did (John 12:6).  Paul warns Timothy of such people: “Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Jesus also warned of the false teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees (Matthew 16:6, 12). We see that there are the “Judas’” who are betraying Jesus today by denying His words for personal gain.

The disciples slept while Jesus prayed and while Judas was betraying Him. A large part of the reason that the betrayal of Jesus by the unbelieving professing church has been successful is because the true church of born again believers has largely been asleep. By God’s grace there remains a faithful remnant who cling to Him and His word and are not deceived.

False teachers abound as Jesus said they would. Speaking of the Tribulation time He says, “For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect” (Matthew 24:24; cf. vs. 5 & 11) Jesus prayed, Judas betrayed and the disciples slept. His words to His disciples were, “Watch and pray” (Mark 9:38).

Send Me … Please!

The things that you have heard … commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

When in my teens I was asked to teach Sunday School. As I remember it the qualifications were that I was old enough and had been taught in Sunday School most of my life. At the time I believed that I was a Christian but I later discovered that I wasn’t. I knew nothing of Biblical requirements to teach others. I was given a class of boys about 10 years younger than myself. One of those boys was my brother. He knew me at home, at play and something of my social life. We didn’t get along at all. Perhaps he saw what Jesus saw in the Pharisees, “they say, and do not.”

That church was careless in the selection process for a Sunday School teacher and those boys may bear a terrible outcome. To this date, decades on, my brother is quite indifferent to the Gospel.

Not having been born of God I was easily attracted to the things of the world. I was out late three or four nights each week and very late Saturday night. It wasn’t unusual for me to role up at Sunday School to teach my class with no preparation and only a few hours sleep. As I reflect on that now I am absolutely mortified.

In the two or three years that I lived like this my role was never reviewed and no one ever spoke to me about the way I lived. Not only my own brother but several other boys suffered. Their parents may have thought their sons were receiving faithful Biblical teaching.

This has been a perpetual lesson to me ever since I received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. The church had the responsibility to ensure that the sons and daughters of the church were being taught by faithful men and women. If we fail this, we fail our children in a most awful way. I sometimes wonder if any of the parents of the boys I taught have wondered why their sons did not follow the Lord.

We need to be sure that the children of our church are receiving faithful teaching from godly people. This is not just the responsibility of parents but the whole church family.

Please be in prayer concerning who the Lord would have teach our children in Sunday School and please let Him know that you are available for Him to ask should He wish to do so.

Only faithful men and women can train others to become faithful men and women.