“While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.
Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.”
Matthew 26:47-50 (NIV)
What or who is a friend? A friend is someone you trust, someone you kiss and hug. This person can hold your love and in most cases carry a secret or two for you. He or she can be a work-mate, a fellow believer in your church or a mentor. A friend can even be family.
So imagine. Being betrayed. By a friend. With a kiss. After this person has warmly greeted and hugged you close.
The thing is that most of us do not have to imagine. I am sure you have experienced a “Judas Kiss” type of betrayal first hand and can think back to a time when you were deeply hurt and terribly disappointed by a so-called friend. Yet I believe these feelings are magnified even more when the betrayal falls even closer. Judas wasn’t simply a friend of Jesus. As one of the disciples he would have been the next best thing to family. They would have intimately shared good times, bad times and in between times. They would have prayed together, worshipped together and rejoiced after the incredible miracles. I always ask myself: “What was Judas thinking?” But that’s not a fair question, because if not Judas then who? Someone had to betray Jesus so He would eventually be crucified for our sins … not so?
While listening to this gospel at Mass on Sunday another series of questions jumped out at me:
- Even now, all these years later, don’t we ourselves continue to betray Jesus ever so often?
- How many times have we judged others, been impatient, hard and un-compassionate, while being unwilling to give or support?
- How often have we slept in late rather than go out to church?
- Do we usually not fail to turn the other cheek, preferring instead to lash out in defense of perceived injustices against our sound character and good reputation?
Hmmmmmm …. hard questions indeed and just a little something to think about as we move through this Holy Week. As for me, there is much work still to be done on this human being right here. In closing out this post then, my prayer is that God will continue to pour His blessings over us His children, that He may inspire us to always trust in Him – in spite of friends who betray us – day by day by day.
Thanks for visiting and have a great week.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)