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Summary: Look at famous failures (like Mike Tyson and Michael Vick) and Judas to see how we can avoid failure in our life.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN

Luke 22:1-6, Mark 14: 17-21

He was a big man on campus, a quarterback with the speed of a gazelle, his moves left would-be tacklers holding a handful of air, an arm like a rocket launcher, and the looks of a model. He had it all… but then he went to the dogs. He found he could not outrun the consequences of his actions.

He hit the boxing world like a haymaker. He K.O.ed the competition. Hardly any of his fights got past the first round. He left the competition face down at his feet. He was hailed, “King Mike… Iron Mike.” Then one day it all started to fly apart. He was arrested for rape, drugs, carrying a gun, brawling. His life inside the ring fell apart and soon he was biting off peoples ears.

He burst on the college football scene like a Mack truck. He was an imposing physical specimen… a legitimate two-sport star. As a professional baseball player he was a homerun crusher and his speed made him a defensive stopper. As a professional football player, he ran over, around, and through the competition. He was a shoe-in for the Heisman. Then one day, a freak injury ended his ahtletic career.. just as his star was rising.

At age nine he debuted with his brothers to form one of the most famous and successful singing groups of the 70’s. As a solo performer he became a music icon and a dance legend. He had many #1 records and the biggest selling album of all time. And then… he snapped. He started a string of bizarre operations and became a surgical freak and a pedophile.

She was one of the brightest stars of professional skating. World champion two times. But there was one competitor that she just could not defeat. Even if she beat Linda on the ice, the public adored Linda and treated Tanya like chopped liver. She decided, if you can’t beat her, hire someone to beat her with a baseball bat.

And there were others…

Buddy Holley

The big Bopper

Ritchie Valens

Hank Williams

And James Dean

What do all of these have in common?

They all make us think… What Might Have Been!!!

I am reminded of the words of John Greenleaf Whittier, “Of all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.”’

But those words are the commentary on so many lives today... Christian and unchristian.

People start out with such promise, are blessed with such opportunities... but make poor choices, miss the opportunities, and never reach their potential

Their lives are a sad commentary of WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN!!!

Judas was such a man.

We need to see how Judas went down the road of tragedy... one step at a time.

Let’s look at the three step fall...

1. THE STEP OF MISPLACED VALUES.

Values are very important. In fact, they are most important.

Values are important BECAUSE…

They determine

>>>> Priorities

>>>> Vision

>>>> Mission

>>>> Character

Everyone has priorities…

Job, family, stuff, activities, people, etc.

What determines the order of the priorities..

#1, #2, #3, etc????

VALUE!!!!

If you value one thing more than another, it will have the higher priority.

Character is the sum total of your values..

If you value hard work, honesty, taking responsibility and seeing a job through to the end

Then you will have a character different from some one who values self-aggrandizement, getting his own way and getting to the top of the pile.

Judas had priorities too.

Now before you take the well-worn path of skepticism and blow Judas off as having poor values…

Judas left everything, and we don’t know how much that was, to follow an itinerate street-preacher and a rag-tag bunch of broke, homeless, unemployed blue collar workers… with no promise of ever having anything.

HE VALUED JESUS!!!

And near the end of Jesus’ ministry, when Jesus decided to return to Jerusalem, a where place he had been “run out of town on a rail” and where he was a fugitive. Every one of the disciples knew that to return to Jerusalem with Jesus was tantamount to suicide. It was Thomas who uttered the immortal words, “Let us go to Jerusalem, and DIE.”

Did Judas go? YES!!!

WHY??? Because he valued Jesus.

Most Christians believe Judas valued the money. Let’s look at that. Judas was the treasure of what? How much money do you think was in the “treasury.”

I’ll give you a hint. One time Jesus had to pay his taxes. Did he go to Judas and get the money? NO! Why? Not because Judas wouldn’t part with it. THEY DID NOT HAVE THE MONEY!

Two small coins, and they did not have that much in the bag.

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Claude Chamberlain

commented on Sep 28, 2008

Execellent sermon. makes you think.

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