BIBLE READING: John 18
2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
This is not a feel-good verse. It is heartbreaking. Judas was always a conflicted person, but he is more than conflicted right now. It is interesting to me that Judas betrayed Jesus by using the predictable practice of Jesus’ prayer life. Judas knew where Jesus would be because Jesus “ofttimes” resorted there. It was one of the places that Jesus faithfully and earnestly prayed. Just across that old familiar brook Cedron into the privacy of tree lined nature that Jesus and His Father had created when they formed the earth. It was a special place. It was a holy place. Jesus had always had sweet fellowship there with His Father. And Judas used it and abused it. I wonder how many hours Jesus had prayed for Judas in that very spot, knowing it would be the final move downward for Judas? With a cold, calloused, conflicted heart, Judas was waiting in the “prayer closet” of Jesus. He knew Jesus would be there.
Simple questions today, are your prayer habits “predictable”? Are mine? Do you resort to your prayer place often? Do you ‘cross that brook’ faithfully. Could your wife or children count on the fact that you would be there? Is that where they know you would be?
Every morning of my life, I knew where my mother would be. She would be in her prayer closet. I knew she would because she always had been. I had found her there many times early in the morning. Like clockwork, every morning, sick or healthy, she would cross over that brook, and “resort thither”. How wonderfully powerful it is to have someone like that present in your life. Not just to know they love you that much, but to know that they love the Lord that much. Jesus needed to resort thither, not because He was God, but because He was man. Last time I checked, I am not God and you are not either. If He needed it, so do we. Is it “ofttimes”, or is it occasionally, or rarely, or ever?
What is almost the saddest fact, this passage says that Judas “knew the place”. He had prayed there to. He had experienced it with Jesus. Judas knew the place, but he did not know the power. He knew the directions to it, but he did not take direction from it. I have said it before, but oh how Judas must think of that spot while he is in torment in hell. Maybe he remembers specific words he had heard Jesus pray. Maybe he remembers the perspiration of sweat and even eventually blood from the passion and pain of Jesus crying out to His Father. There is no brook where Judas is now. No trees, no garden, no flowers, no disciples, and no Jesus. But how he must wish there was!