Sermons

Summary: Learning how to respond to betrayal by modeling after Jesus’ response to Judas and his betrayal.

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WHEN THINKING ABOUT THE SUBJECT OF BETRAYAL THE FIRST THING THAT USUALLY COMES TO MIND IS JUDAS. IN FACT, JUDAS’S "KISS OF BETRAYAL" MAY BE THE MOST FAMOUS ONE IN ALL OF HISTORY.

WHAT MAKES THIS ONE BETRAYAL SO FAMOUS? WAS IT BECAUSE OF WHOM HE BETRAYED? NO! JUDAS MADE HISTORY BECAUSE OF WHO HE WAS…A FOLLOWER AND CLOSE FRIEND OF THE ONE HE BETRAYED.

USUALLY, MOST BETRAYERS COME AS AN ENEMY OUTSIDER. SO WHEN THE TRAITOR IS FOUND TO BE ONE FROM THE INSIDE WHO HAS BEEN WITH JESUS FROM THE VERY BEGINNING THE WORLD TOOK NOTICE!

NOTHING COULD BE WORSE THAN TO BE TURNED OVER TO YOUR ENEMIES BY ONE OF YOUR OWN. NOT ONLY WAS JUDAS ONE OF THE DISCIPLES HE WAS PROBABLY THE MOST TRUSTED ONE OF THE BUNCH.

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS? JUDAS WAS THE TREASURER…HE WAS TRUSTED WITH THE MONEY AND WITH MANAGING ALL THEIR RESOURCES. BETTER YET, HE WAS THEIR FRIEND…HE WAS "ONE OF THEM."

HE HAD WALKED HUNDREDS OF MILES WITH THEM AND SAT TALKING AROUND THE FIRES AT NIGHT WITH THEM AND SLEPT OUT UNDER THE STARS WITH THEM.

JUDAS WAS THERE AT THE WEDDING IN CANA WHEN JESUS TURNED WATER INTO WINE AND HE WAS THERE WHEN 5,000 PEOPLE WERE FED WITH FIVE LOAVES AND TWO FISH.

HE SAW THE LAME MAN PICK UP HIS BED AND WALK AND HE WATCHED THE BLIND MAN’S EYES FOCUS FOR THE FIRST TIME. HE WAS THERE WHEN JESUS SHOUTED FOR LAZARUS TO COME OUT OF HIS TOMB. HE WAS THERE IN THE UPPER ROOM AND HE WAS ONE WHO HAD HIS FEET WASHED BY JESUS.

BETRAYAL BY STRANGERS IS HARD ENOUGH, BUT BETRAYAL BY THOSE CLOSEST TO US CAN BE A KILLER. IT DESTROYS TRUST, IT ROBS THE PAST, AND IT CAN EVEN DEADEN THE HEART TOWARDS EVER TRUSTING AGAIN.

BUT WHY DO WE REMEMBER JUDAS SO WELL? HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE THE REST OF THE DISCIPLES BETRAYED JESUS BY RUNNING AWAY AFTER HIS ARREST?

HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT THE PEOPLE WHO LAID PALM BRANCHES IN FRONT OF HIM WHEN HE ENTERED JERUSALEM AND SHOUTED "HOSANNA" WOULD LATER BETRAY HIM WITH SHOUTS OF "GIVE US BARABBAS?"

PHYSICAL PAIN IS ONE THING, BUT FOR JESUS TO EXPERIENCE THE PAIN OF BEING ABANDONED BY THOSE WHO WERE CLOSEST TO HIM, TO BE STABBED IN THE BACK BY THOSE WHO KNEW HIM BEST -- NO WONDER THE NAILS THAT WERE DRIVEN THROUGH HIS HANDS AND FEET WERE SO EXCRUCIATING.

EVEN WITH THE PAIN, JESUS KNEW HOW TO RESPOND TO THOSE WHO INFLICTED IT UPON HIM. WHEN IT CAME TO JUDAS, JESUS COULD HAVE TOLD HIM TO LEAVE THE UPPER ROOM, BUT INSTEAD JESUS NOT ONLY LET HIM IN, BUT HE WASHED HIS FEET AND GAVE HIM THE FOOD OF THE PASSOVER TO EAT.

BY BATHING HIS FEET AND FEEDING HIM, JESUS SHOWS US THAT JUDAS IS NOT EXCLUDED FROM BEING HIS FRIEND. JESUS INCLUDES JUDAS UNTIL JUDAS DECIDED TO EXCLUDE HIMSELF FROM JESUS. THAT IS THE NATURE OF JESUS CHRIST!

JESUS WAS THE MESSIAH, WHO WASHED HIS FRIEND’S FEET - KNOWING FULL WELL ONE OF THEM WOULD BETRAY HIM - AND WHO FED THEM THEIR SUPPER - KNOWING FULL WELL ONE OF THEM WOULD BETRAY HIM.

HE WAS THE LORD, WHO WENT ON GIVING HIMSELF AWAY TO THE ONES WHO WOULD GIVE HIM AWAY, BECAUSE HIS FAITHFULNESS DID NOT DEPEND ON THEIRS!

WHEN JESUS DIPPED THE PIECE OF BREAD IN HIS CUP AND HANDED IT TO JUDAS, HE NOT ONLY REVEALED WHO JUDAS WAS, HE ALSO REVEALED WHO HE WAS. THE ONE WHO FEEDS HIS ENEMIES - WHO GOES ON TREATING THEM AS FRIENDS - LOVING THEM TO THE VERY END!

JESUS CHRIST, WHOSE DEATH-DEFYING LOVE KNOWS NO END, SHOWS US THAT HE IS THE FOOD AND DRINK THAT SAVES OUR LIVES. HE IS THE ONE WHO CAN THAW-OUT OUR FROZEN HEARTS BY TAKING THEM INTO HIS OWN.

JESUS CHRIST IS THE BROKEN, POURED-OUT ONE WHO GIVES HIMSELF TO US, OFFERING TO FEED US AGAIN AND AGAIN DESPITE HOW MANY TIMES WE BETRAY HIM.

JESUS WANTS US TO LEARN FROM HIM FROM THIS NIGHT IN THE UPPER ROOM. ALTHOUGH BETRAYED BY ONE HE LOVED JESUS RESPONDED WITH LOVE AND COMPASSION. HE WANTS US TO RESPOND THE SAME WAY. HOW DO WE RESPOND?

FIRST, BY UNDERSTANDING THAT SHOCK AND ANGER IS A NORMAL RESPONSE TO BETRAYAL. IN JOHN 13:21, IT SAYS THAT "JESUS WAS TROUBLED IN SPIRIT." THE GREEK WORD FOR "TROUBLED" MEANS "STIRRED TO ANGER OR AGITATED."

JESUS KNEW THAT JUDAS WOULD BETRAY HIM LATER THAT NIGHT. KNOWING THIS, JESUS WAS SHOCKED AND ANGERED…NOT AT JUDAS, BUT BECAUSE OF THE VICTORY EVIL HAD IN THE SOUL OF JUDAS. THIS IS ANOTHER INSTANCE TO PROVE THAT JESUS LOVES THE SINNER BUT HATES THE SIN!

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Bill Pierpoint

commented on Oct 16, 2008

Very helpful insight.

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