A little boy came home from school visibly upset. His parents asked him what was wrong.
He said, “The kids at school were calling me sissy.”
“Well, what did you do about it?” his parents asked.
“I hit them with my purse.”
In this part of the country, little boys carrying purses to school is far from normal. They may carry frogs, jackknives, lizards, and an occasional raccoon or opossum. But, you know, I don’t recall ever seeing a little boy around here carrying a purse.
Actually, the Bible tells us about a fellow who carried a purse. His name was Judas Iscariot. You remember him as the man who betrayed Jesus, leading an angry mob to where he was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas sold out Jesus for 30 silver coins to put into that purse he carried around.
We first learn of Judas’ purse in John 12. Jesus was being treated to a nice supper by his friends. During that get-together, a lady named Mary used a whole pound of very costly and sweet smelling perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus. The whole house was filled with the fragrance, and I imagine everyone was enjoying it but one person, Judas.
“Why,” Judas asked, “was not this ointment sold and the money 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 12:6).
So, Judas, the man with the purse, was responsible for turning Jesus over to the angry mob that would ultimately beat him and nail him to a cross.
You may remember that Judas, apparently sorry for what he had done, tried to give the money back, but the Jewish leaders refused.
“And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day” (Matthew 27:6-8).
I was in Jerusalem not so long ago, and stood on the Temple Mount. From there, I could see the potter’s field in the distance. This small tract, considered by many Jerusalem residents to be cursed, is an eerie gift to mankind from the man who carried a purse.
Perhaps that’s why Christian men and boys are more than a little reluctant to carry purses.