Have you ever watched someone betray Jesus? Have you felt the pain and shock of watching someone among you—someone who seemed to be a follower of God—turn against Him? This can be confusing and disorienting, but what if it’s true that Jesus knows exactly what is in each of our hearts? As we talk about the True Story of Judas, that’s what we’re going to find. And amazingly, even the story of Judas can be fuel for our faith.

I’m so delighted to have my friend Lee Nienhuis with me today. Lee is an author, speaker, Bible teacher, and podcast host. She’s the author of Brave Moms, Brave Kids and Countercultural Parenting. She and her husband Mike live in Michigan with their four kids. Lee loves Jesus, and has been transformed by the power of his word. That shines through so beautifully in this conversation about the difference between having proximity to Jesus – like Judas did – and having a sweet relationship with him, like the disciples did.

Guest: Lee Nienhuis

Bible Passage: John 13:17-30

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Music: Cade Popkin Music 

Lee Nienhuis

Lee has been engaging people through the Word for close to two decades. It has been her honor to speak at Youth and Women’s events, conferences, workshops, and church events. People often describe her as passionate, engaging and sincere, but it is her firm belief that God’s word still transforms lives that is most contagious. Lee is an author and passionate Bible teacher.  She is a Communications Specialist for Moms in Prayer International and the first Host of the Moms in Prayer Podcast and the Co-host of The Martha and Mary Show.

Lee’s books, Brave Moms, Brave Kids (2018) and Countercultural Parenting (2020), published by Harvest House, have helped countless parents gain a biblical perspective on parenting a godly and countercultural generation. Lee and her husband, Mike, have been married 21 years. Mike and Lee have four great kids who make her need Jesus. Lee loves hot cups of coffee, laughing till her sides ache, and Jesus. For more information about Lee, her books, and writing/speaking ministry, visit LeeNienhuis.com.

Find Lee:

The True Story of Judas

Here are some of the things Lee and I talked about:

  • Why even include Judas in the story? He’s not necessary to the plotline. Why choose a Judas to be one of the twelve?
  • How will this “Judas experience” grow their faith, after the fact?
  • Why doesn’t Jesus blow the whistle on Judas during the last supper?
  • This is a big reveal: One of the twelve is Jesus’s betrayer. How is it that they didn’t already know it was Judas?
  • What is Satan’s involvement here, and who is calling the shots?
  • What was the difference between Judas and these other eleven disciples?
  • Where can we find comfort in this story?

“I need to always be asking the question: Am I enjoying proximity with Jesus, or am I enjoying relationship with Jesus? And that is going to change everything.” —Lee Nienuis

I need to always be asking the question: Am I enjoying proximity with Jesus, or am I enjoying relationship with Jesus? And that is going to change everything. —Lee Nienuis Click To Tweet

LIVE the Story

How can we live like this story is true? Here are several ways:

  • Since Jesus knows everything there is to know about each of his disciples—both then and now, then maybe it’s okay if we don’t know.
  • Jesus didn’t let Judas be the main focus during this special time with his disciples. They’ve got work to do. They’re about to be “sent”. We, too, have been sent, and can’t let disillusionment hold us back.
  • We do not need to let the betrayal, hurt, or injury be the thing that defines us.
  • I need to always be asking the question: Am I enjoying proximity with Jesus, or am I enjoying relationship with Jesus? That’s the difference between Judas and these other eleven disciples.

Don’t Miss the Retelling!

We’ll be back on Saturday for the retelling episode, where I’ll be focusing on the storytelling element of suspense. Then, I’ll retell the story of Judas, and invite you to do the same.

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