The Judas Awards
The music industry has the Grammys, the movie industry has the Oscars, and the television industry has the Emmys. I think the church could have its own award ceremony as well. The church could give away the Judas, a special award designated for the greatest actor of the year, the person who fooled everyone.
You see, Judas was a great actor. He was the first of many among Jesus’ followers who were—and are—tremendous actors: people who talk the talk, but underneath they are phonies. They are fooling only themselves.
It’s amazing to consider the fact that Judas was one of the original Twelve. With his own ears, he heard the great teachings of Jesus. He was there when Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. He was there when Jesus gave His sweeping overview of the future of the world, known as the Olivet Discourse. He heard Jesus say, "Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7:21). He heard Jesus’ words on hypocrisy.
Certainly those teachings would have applied to Judas. But amazingly, it seems as though none of them penetrated his hardened heart. And not only did Judas hear the great teachings of Christ, but he also personally witnessed many dramatic miracles. But still he did not believe.
It isn’t miracles that people necessarily need to see. The real reason people do not believe today was given by Jesus in John 3:19: "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
People can say, "I’m just not convinced" or "There are too many hypocrites," but at the core of rejection for most unbelievers is the fact that they love darkness rather than light.