Jesus’ Response to Betrayal

This past Sunday we talked about how Jesus responds to Judas and his betrayal. From this response we also can see how Jesus responds to us.

Even though I prepared and preached the sermon, Jesus’ response to betrayal still stops me. It arrests me, grabs me, and holds my attention. In my mind I see Judas walking up to Jesus – giving him a kiss. This moment is intimate and close, they are friends, brothers, and comrades. And Jesus knows he is betrayed. He knows he is being handed over for pain, mockery, alienation, abuse, and crucifixion. And he turns to Judas and says “my friend”. (Matthew 26:50)

My friend…

My friend…

But he’s not your friend Jesus. He is the catalyst for your death. He is the one who gives you over. Friends don’t betray friends. He’s not a friend Jesus…

But Jesus still says “My friend”.

This encounter reveals why I follow Jesus. Because Jesus, at his core, is grace and love. Because Jesus, at his core, responds in ways I could only hope to. Because Jesus, not only turns to Judas and says my friend, but says the same to us.

There is so often times in my life when I betray Jesus. I know I am not his friend. I know I am his enemy. I know I don’t deserve him. And yet he still turns to me and says “my friend”. Throughout history that has been God’s response to betrayal. He gives grace, he gives another chance, he looks at you, me, and Judas and says “my friend”.

So today if you are feeling far from God. If you have betrayed him. If you haven’t spoke to him in a long time. Just know his first words to you are…my friend…

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