Never Go It Alone ~ Peter vs Judas

On Sunday we landed on one main difference between Judas and Peter. They both betrayed Jesus. They both were attacked by Satan. They both felt deep remorse for their mistake. They both sought to confess it and make it right. But one went to Jesus, the other went to people who didn’t care. Jesus and Peter had a conversation, a connection, and ultimately a confession. Jesus and Judas never had that. Judas went to the religious leaders who simply heaped on the guilt, shame, and pain for Judas. He left feeling more alone than ever. Peter left Jesus’ presence with a purpose.

Sometimes the difference between having a mistake, betrayal, or failure being something that lasts, and something that is overcome is the difference between going to Jesus and going it alone.

Judas was left to deal with his betrayal on his own and he couldn’t do it.

Peter dealt with his with Jesus.

I think we can learn from this. Confession can heal the soul. Confession brings someone else in, so we aren’t going through it alone. Confession can bring life to a broken area because we are asking for help. This is the big difference between the path of life, and death; the path of Peter and the path of Judas.

So today my challenge is simple. If you have been holding onto something, trying to go it alone, dealing with it isolated and by yourself, bring someone else in. Confess what’s going on to Jesus. Confess it to a true friend, who isn’t interested in the details, but is interested in you. Peter makes it through because he walks with others. And so can you…

Judas vs Peter

Last Sunday we explored Jesus’ response to our betrayal. You can listen to the sermon here. This Sunday we are doing something a bit different. We are going to compare Peter and Judas. At first glance they might seem very different people. I mean, Judas we hate, and Peter we try to emulate.

But when you dig into the biblical text you see how similar they both were. They both betray Jesus deeply. They both are attacked by Satan. They both seek to make amends for their mistake. But one only finds guilt, shame, and death, while the other finds forgiveness, grace, and life.

The Didache an ancient Christian text says this: “There are two ways, one of life and one of death; but a great difference between the two ways.”

So this Sunday we are going to be looking at the differences between these two ways, and how we might find forgiveness, grace, and life. The real question we’ll be exploring is: What do you do when you betray someone? How do you respond when you realize you are guilty of betraying all that you hold dear?

As we’ll find out, there is one path that leads to life, and one path that leads to the darkness…

But what do you think? If you betrayed someone what would you do?

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…