July 19, 2018

Matthew 26:47-49… While He was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priest and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign saying, “The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, ”Greetings, Rabbi.” And he kissed him.

            I have wondered why the story includes Judas as a betrayer. Couldn’t the crowd have used spies to figure out where Jesus was? Judas’ betrayal was far greater than giving the enemy His location. He also gave them ammunition. They could say to doubters, “One of His very own followers, one who was with him daily, helped us arrest Him.”

            The general population did not have a problem with Jesus so the perpetrators of His crucifixion wanted to be able to say, “One of his followers didn’t even believe him.”  

            In the next verse, we see Jesus helping Judas…

Verse 50… Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”

            He called him ‘friend’. That would also help his enemies explain their actions to the crowd, “His friend betrayed Him.”

            So, the betrayal was not merely showing where He was; it included denying who He was. In that way, we also can betray Jesus. When we deny His divinity, by disobedience, we betray him to whoever is listening. He will not go to another cross; that is over and done with. But, we can see how we contributed to His death. He still greets you with, “Friend.” That is love. You don’t become and enemy to betray Jesus. You do it as a friend.

            In the good times AND the bad, He is Lord; Trust Him, obey Him. That reminds me of an old song, “Trust and obey”. I will look up the origin of that song, today. I wonder who wrote it and why. We have each probably already betrayed Jesus… Don’t be like Judas and hang yourself with guilt. Be like Peter… weep bitterly and repent. Jesus waits for you. We really can’t grasp the magnitude of God’s love. But, we can enjoy it.