Road to the Cross (Day 7)

 

Who Is Responsible?

For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed! (Luke 22:22)

On the one hand, Judas’ betrayal of Jesus is the inevitable fulfillment of God’s own plan. At the Last Supper, Jesus says, “For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined.” Jesus’ betrayal and death was no random accident; it was part of the “definite plan and foreknowledge of God” (Acts 2:23). But on the other hand, Judas is responsible for his treachery: “Woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”

Do you see the problem? If the deed is inevitable, then how can Judas be responsible for it? And if Judas is responsible for it, then how can it be inevitable?

How responsible are we for our actions? To some degree, surely, we are shaped by factors beyond our control: heredity, genetics, our upbringing. But I wince to hear people trace their sins to every door but their own, as though they were victims of fate. As Aristotle said with impeccable logic, “That which we are able to do we are also able not to do.”

It may be arrogant to suggest that we are masters of our own fate. But it is ludicrous to say that we are victims of fate, as if we had no choice in the matter. We are not masters of our own fate, nor victims, but co-creators. Let us not blame our heredity or our parents for sins we could have avoided.

Prayer: Lord, when I am tempted, give me strength.

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