Mark 3:13-19 / Luke 6:12-16…
Jesus was fully in tune with the Father, and anointed with power by the Spirit, yet He did not make ministry decisions lightly. He got alone and prayed all night before choosing 12 of the disciples to be apostles who would go out and minister to others. In these choices God is showing us something about time, ministry, responsibility, and inevitability.
With a child, you could be the greatest teacher there is, live with absolute integrity in every facet of your faith and life, and do everything possible to ensure the edifying and equipping of that child, yet they “go bad”. So too, it is with ministry training. Judas walked as an apostle, preaching and casting out demons. Judas was a major part of the movement of God, and yet he turned away from the truth.
Jesus knew the hearts and the thoughts of men, and He knew who was to betray Him, yet He sent him out to minister anyway. Judas became the apostate apostle over time. All the praying, preaching, and practicing is responsible and right, but the hand of providence in accord with a person’s own heart is the telltale factor. How many ministers turn sinister, even after seeing the power and presence of God in their midst?
It seems amazing that an instrument of God can ever play evil notes, but this is a telling instruction to us, both as individuals, and as to discerning others and their ministries. Deception runs as deep as the heart, and time will tell the truth. Many think they are loyal but they are lawless (Matthew 7:21-23 / Luke 13:24-27).
Jesus taught Judas, but if you are not sold out to God you will sell out to the world (2 Timothy 4:10 / 1 John 2:15).