Summary: A look at some of the flawed people who surrounded Jesus, and his relationship with them.
When it comes to relationships there is probably no worse feeling than to be stabbed in the back. To have someone you trust and consider to be a good friend violate that trust is a wound that is often very slow to heal. I would be willing to say that betrayal leaves one of the biggest scars on life. With this in mind, it’s important to note that the Lord Jesus has been there too.
Our message today begins in Matthew 26. Let’s jump in and take a look.
Matthew 26:14-16 (CEV)
“Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and asked, ‘How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?’ They paid Judas thirty silver coins, and from then on he started looking for a good chance to betray Jesus.”
Judas sold Jesus out for 30 pieces of silver. Let’s look at what betrayal is really all about. The dictionary gives us the following definitions of the word "betray:"
- To deliver into the hands of an enemy by treachery
- Violate by fraud or unfaithfulness
- Reveal in breach of confidence
Looks like Judas has just met that first criteria. He has offered to deliver Jesus to the hands of his enemies for a modest cost. In fact if we go back a few verses the Bible tells us that the Jewish leaders wanted Jesus arrested so they could put him to death.
The thing that is the most difficult reality about betrayal is that the betrayer is generally a trusted friend. This kind of behavior from an outsider would not carry the deep inner pain that comes from betrayal. We see this is the case with Judas and Jesus. Judas had been chosen by Jesus to be a disciple. Jesus had empowered Judas to carry out His work. Judas had been an advocate of Christ, taking the message throughout the land. We often find many similarities in those who betray us. They may have been our advocates our companions, we may have helped them out and given of ourselves for their benefit.
Matthew 10:1, 4 (CEV)
“Jesus called together His twelve disciples. He gave them the power to force out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and sickness…The others were Simon, known as the Eager One, and Judas Iscariot, who later betrayed Jesus.”
Betrayal is an act of deception. The betrayer lives under false pretenses. The betrayer carries on as normal and may even draw in closer looking for an opportunity to carry out their dark intentions. The betrayer hopes to go unnoticed and ultimately fears being found out. More than anything they want their true identity hidden. We will find that Judas fit this profile. He continued on with his normal activities. He continued to remain close to Jesus. And when confronted denied his true intentions.
Matthew 26:20-21, 25 (CEV)
“When Jesus was eating with His twelve disciples that evening, He said, ‘One of you will surely hand me over to my enemies.’…Judas said, ‘Teacher, you surely don’t mean me!’”
You’ve all heard the saying "No pain...No Gain" haven’t you? Well this is true for the betrayer as well. Their gain comes from your pain. Judas’ ultimate motivation was greed. He wanted money and his price was 30 silver coins. Judas knew that Jesus could ultimately lose His life, but backstabbing is gainful employment. Look at the reasons people get involved in backstabbing:
- By eliminating competition they can improve status
- Putting you down improve their self image
- By discrediting you they have power over you
“Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples. He went to the chief priests and asked, ‘How much will you give me if I help you arrest Jesus?’ They paid Judas thirty silver coins…”
As we spoke a few moments ago, those with dark hearts do not want to be exposed!!! That’s exactly what Jesus did. Jesus exposed Judas and Jesus confronted Judas. Only when the truth is revealed can sin be dealt with. Think about the sins that control peoples lives...bitterness, envy, lust. They will do anything to prevent you from seeing these things when they are at church. You would never know. It’s only when those things are brought to the surface that freedom is found.
John 13:21, 26-27
“After Jesus had said these things, He was deeply troubled and told His disciples, ‘I tell you for certain that one of you will betray me.’…Jesus answered, ‘I will dip this piece of bread in the sauce and give it to the one I was talking about.’ Then Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Right then Satan took control of Judas. Jesus said, ‘Judas go quickly and do what you have to do.’”