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How Did Jesus Handle His Betrayers? (Y1.T2.D47)

Pexels; "Amy Pointer"


Jesus handled his betrayers with calm confidence and gentle honesty.

He loved the people who were about to turn on him—Judas with his thirty pieces of silver, Peter before a crowing rooster, and the crowds who'd thrown down palm branches crying "Crucify him."

At the supper table, Jesus graciously informed his friend about the impending treachery by quoting a Psalm of David—another king who'd been betrayed. Psalm 41 states both "people who hate him" (v. 5–8), as well as a familiar and trusted friend (v. 9), would speak falsely about him. The result was to put his trust in God (v. 10–13).

This is a huge lesson for me. And while I could talk about being betrayed by my spouse, I've also been falsely reported to the Human Resources (HR) department. Mind you, I have a size nine foot and it often fits perfectly into my mouth. My not-so-gentle honesty has unintentionally wounded people.

Don't get me wrong—I believe HR departments are essential. The fact that someone reported me wasn't what hurt. My wounding came from the secrecy. I was crushed when I discovered that people who smiled and ate with me had been asked to reveal my imperfections behind my back.

And to add insult to injury, HR then swore me to secrecy. Now I was the one who had to go into the office and pretend with the colleagues who'd been pretending with me. Sadly, that's the world we live in. HR departments need policies to protect people from predators, and genuinely horrible actions must be confidential.

This is why the best response to situations of disloyalty is to model Jesus. He remained calm and confident. He responded with gentle honesty and he trusted God. With his help, we can navigate the pains of this world.

He Understands Our Pain

Matthew 26:20, Mark 14:17, Luke 22:14

18a I don’t speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen. But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, (John 13:18a)

1 Blessed is he who considers the poor.

Yahweh will deliver him in the day of evil.

2 Yahweh will preserve him, and keep him alive.

He shall be blessed on the earth,

and he will not surrender him to the will of his enemies.

3 Yahweh will sustain him on his sickbed,

and restore him from his bed of illness.

4 I said, “Yahweh, have mercy on me!

Heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

5 My enemies speak evil against me:

“When will he die, and his name perish?”

6 If he comes to see me, he speaks falsehood.

His heart gathers iniquity to itself.

When he goes abroad, he tells it.

7 All who hate me whisper together against me.

They imagine the worst for me.

8 “An evil disease”, they say, “has afflicted him.

Now that he lies he shall rise up no more.”

9a Yes, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, (Psalm 41:1–9a)

John 13:18b, Psalm 41:9b

10 But you, Yahweh, have mercy on me, and raise me up,

that I may repay them.

11 By this I know that you delight in me,

because my enemy doesn’t triumph over me.

12 As for me, you uphold me in my integrity,

and set me in your presence forever.

13 Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel,

from everlasting and to everlasting!

Amen and amen. (Psalm 41:10–13)

19 From now on, I tell you before it happens, that when it happens, you may believe that I am he. 20 Most certainly I tell you, he who receives whomever I send, receives me; and he who receives me, receives him who sent me.”

21a When Jesus had said this, he was troubled in spirit, (John 13:19–21a)

Matthew 26:21, Mark 14:18, John 13:21b

21 But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. 22 The Son of Man indeed goes, as it has been determined, but woe to that man through whom he is betrayed!”

23 They began to question among themselves, which of them it was who would do this thing. (Luke 22:21–23)

Matthew 26:22a, Mark 14:19a

22b “It isn’t me, is it, Lord?” (Matthew 26:22b)

19b “Surely not I?” And another said, “Surely not I?” (Mark 14:19b)

22 The disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was at the table, leaning against Jesus’ breast. 24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom he speaks.”

25 He, leaning back, as he was, on Jesus’ breast, asked him, “Lord, who is it?” (John 13:22–25)

Matthew 26:23, Mark 14:20, John 13:26a

26b So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. (John 13:26b)

Matthew 26:24, Mark 14:21

25 Judas, who betrayed him, answered, “It isn’t me, is it, Rabbi?”

He said to him, “You said it.” (Matthew 26:25)

27 After the piece of bread, then Satan entered into him.

Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”

28 Now nobody at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus said to him, “Buy what things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 Therefore having received that morsel, he went out immediately. It was night. (John 13:27–30)

Meditation Moment

Dear God,

Thank You for blessing me with friendships, especially those that sharpen my countenance with iron (Proverbs 27:17). And when their imperfect nature hurts me, help me forgive in the same way you have forgiven me for my sinful behavior (Luke 11:4). Help me be a good friend who loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17), while keeping my eyes forever focused on Your plan and will for my life.


Meditation Music Link


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