Monday – March 7, 2016
Day 27 – John 13:21-30
Focus: vs. 21
21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
“Et tu, Brute?” It’s one of the most famous quotes about betrayal that comes from the assassination of Julius Caesar. Caesar had become tyrannical as Roman Emperor and Brutus, his own nephew, joined in the plot to kill him. That final question (“You, too, Brutus?”) comes from Caesar’s lips as the level of betrayal hits him full force before he dies. To be “stabbed in the back” has become a common idiom to describe being betrayed by another.
Betrayal hurts. We often experience betrayal in small measure – like when a friend shares information about you with another person without your permission. Everyone experiences betrayal at some time or another in their lives but it usually doesn’t get them killed.
In our scripture for today Jesus is troubled after announcing his imminent betrayal. The disciples are confused and could never imagine one of them doing such a thing. Peter signals to John, who was sitting closest to Jesus, and asks him to find out who he is talking about. Jesus, in a round-about way, indicates the betrayer is Judas Iscariot. This is the beginning of the end for Jesus’ ministry on earth. Verse 27 indicates that Satan entered into Judas at that moment and left a moment later to do what he had come to do.
Judas was one of the twelve disciples. He had been close to Jesus for all three years of his ministry and I can only imagine how hard it was to be betrayed like that. Yet all the disciples scattered when Jesus was arrested. Even Peter, a hot-head who is always ready for a fight, denies knowing Jesus on three separate occasions as he follows the scene from a distance. Jesus betrayal was complete.
I was a fan of the Christian rock band called Petra while growing up. One of their songs from the early 80’s was called song of betrayal called Judas’ Kiss and it had some tough lyrics. It said, “I wonder how it makes you feel when the prodigal won’t come home. I wonder how it makes you feel when he’d rather be on his own. I wonder what it’s like for you when a lamb has gone astray. I wonder what it’s like for you when your children disobey. It must be like another thorn struck in your brow. It must be like another close friend’s broken vow. It must be like another nail right through your wrist. It must be just like – Just like Judas’ kiss.”
Have you ever betrayed Jesus? These verses are tough for us to hear because we like to think of betrayal as being ultimate and not something simple. We think of it as leading to the death of another rather than just something that causes a little trouble in a friendship. But betrayal hurts no matter how bad it is. To think that my willingness to sin is a betrayal of Jesus’ love for me makes my heart hurt. I don’t want to betray the One who willingly laid His life down for me.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, I don’t want to betray you with my actions but I find that there is still so much sin in my life. Help me to clean out my heart. Forgive me when I sin and give me the strength to live for you. Amen.