Monday, May 6, 2013

A Ditty Bag

Back in the 1860’s a name was created for a bag used by sailors to carry some necessary items. By the 1960’s it was in regular use in our house for any carry-along bag that held our necessary items. Ditty bags are still in use in our house – but I had to explain the term to my daughter a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately, there was another couple with us (about ten years older) who knew not only the name but how useful a ditty bag could be.

Thought about that – and about Judas Iscariot.

Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein. (John 12:3-6 KJV)

John is the only writer who mentions the fact that Judas was the keeper of the bag, apparently of money. John mentions this twice:

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 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. (John 13:26-29 KJV)

In both stories, Judas “had the bag.” Apparently that had been his responsibility for some time. When Judas left, disciples thought he had been sent on an errand that required him to disburse money. He was trusted by his fellow disciples.

What necessities do we carry for Christ? What do we keep in our ditty bag? Does it contain
  • a schedule of church activities where we can fellowship with believers?
  • a prayer list for those we love and those we may not love but know they need Christ?
  • tithes and love offerings to continue Christ’s work here?
  • a Bible to share with others?
Each one of those items are useful in completing what is known as the Great Commission:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19 KJV)

This is a continuation of Christ’s purposes:

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10 KJV)

So, determine what God has given for us to do, then pack up a ditty bag and let’s get it done.

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