A family moved to a new community and began church shopping so asked the local pastor; “what’s your church like?” and instead of answering them the pastor asked them “what was your last church like before you moved here? And the wife said “Oh they were unfriendly, judgmental, unkind just awful so the pastor sadly hangs his head and says I’m sorry but that’s just the way they are in my church, I’m so sorry!” The lady says “wow, I’m sorry too, thank you for being so honest with me we’ll find another church” and the pastor bids them farewell.
Just then another new family shows up and begins shopping for a church and the wife asks the same pastor the exact same question “what’s your church like?” and the pastor asks them the exact same question he asked the other woman “what was your last church like before you moved here?” She says “Oh they were so friendly, non-judgmental, kind, just wonderful godly Christian people so the pastor joyfully says “I’ve got great news for you that’s just the way they are in my church, the lady says “that’s wonderful we’re looking so forward to joining your church.”
You see the pastor wisely knew that you get what you expect to see in others oft times. Seeing good in others is that child-like view of the world that Jesus encourages us to have in Mat. 18:3 where He said “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”. It could be labelled as naïve but I like to call it innocence.
I think the disciples demonstrated this innocence and thinking well of others in John 13 when Judas was plotting Jesus’ arrest for 20 pieces of silver and in John 13:27 it says that “after (Jesus gave Judas) the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” And even though Jesus knew clearly what Judas was going to do and hinted of this earlier to his disciples they chose for whatever reason, to assign good motives to him in verses 13:28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 13:29 For some [of them] thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy [those things] that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.”
So they thought Judas was going to do something noble with the money like help the poor and 1 Cor. 13 says that love (verse 7) “…believes all things, hopes all things” not only about oneself and circumstances but of others.
Were the disciples wrong about Judas? Yes, terribly wrong but isn’t life better when you think the best of others instead of the worst? And if you are wrong then won’t God reward you for having that child-like faith and hope in others? I think so.
Daniel Mckibben, Pastor, Chaplain Terre Haute, Lewis, Greencastle Indiana