Have you ever been betrayed? Purposefully thrown under the bus by someone whom you considered to be a friend?
A Judas Kiss. You trusted this person. They twisted your words. Then they proceeded to tell someone they trusted, who told someone they trusted, who then told someone they trusted, who told someone they trusted; and pretty soon a multitude of people playing the game telephone created a scenario about you so far from the truth, yet believed. Someone they trusted told them.
Betrayal. Betrayal is a form of deceit; deceit is the opposite of Jesus Christ who is truth– John 14:6. Jesus experienced betrayal from one who walked with Him for 3 years. Jesus knew Judas’ heart from the start. He knew Judas wasn’t truly following Him. Judas was along for the ride thinking he would gain prominence. So why? Why was Judas chosen to be apart of the 12; the 12 setting the foundation of the church– Mark 3:14?
No church is perfect. Could it be, possibly, Jesus shared a picture of life in the church by including those with hearts far from God? People hearing Jesus’ words day in and day out, yet hardened to the truth with eyes blind to the Son. Consciences dulled from failing to obey. Hearts quick to deceive. Unfortunately many people have been hurt at church by someone who betrayed them. Word spreads, gossip lingers, people are alienated from community all because of betrayal and deceit. It’s a call to search our own heart- Psalm 139:23-24. Are we adding life to the church or detracting from it with betrayal?
Judas was the instigator of the men hounding Mary of Bethany for giving all that she had in adoration, as she anointed Jesus with her expensive perfume. Her life savings. She gave it all to her King. Judas missed the meaning, thinking only of money. I love how Jesus defended Mary to His boys, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me…I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her”- Mark 14:6-9. Jesus corrects. Jesus defends. Judas’ heart was far from God and Jesus knew that. And so too today, those hearts far from God within the church hounding those surrendering all to their King in expressive adoration, will be corrected by the Lord; in one way shape or another. Jesus corrects perfectly.
No church is perfect, just like no one person is perfect. The church is a unified group of believers learning to be more like Christ- Romans 8:29. The fact is, we have not arrived yet and we still have some work to do. The psalmist David cries out, “It is not an enemy who taunts me– I could bear that. It is not my foes who arrogantly insult me– I could have hidden from them. Instead it is you– my equal, my companion and close friend. What good fellowship we enjoyed as we walked together to the house of God” Psalm 55:12-14. Betrayal hurts. Wounds so deep it affects other relationships. Betrayal affects people’s ability to trust. That is a correction to those in the church deceiving; deceit extinguishes the light of Christ in the church. Deceivers are imitating Satan the father of lies- John 8:44, not Jesus Christ who is truth- John 14:6. We are called to a higher standard, one aligned with God’s divine standard of holiness– 1 Peter 1:16.
In life, many people experience a Judas Kiss. Betrayal by one you considered to be a friend. Maybe by a friend at church even. The scars are lasting. But that is when we are called to look to Jesus who wore wounds well. In the moment of His betrayal He said, “Friend, why have you come?”–Matthew 26:50. Jesus still considered Judas to be a friend. He had already forgiven him. Judas didn’t repent. But Jesus forgave. You do not have to trust the person who hurt you; but you are commanded by God to forgive- Colossians 3:13. Forgiveness is a daily purposed action in the life of a believer.
Judas’ life didn’t end very well, and that is what happens with a lack of repentance in a life- Matthew 27:3-10. Sin destroys. We are all called to repent of our sin asking God to forgive us- 1 John 1:9. Repentance is a a part of daily living in the life of a child of God.
The world is watching the church, do they want to join? They have a hole in their own heart headed to destruction and they need to experience the truth of Jesus Christ. They need to see the gospel lived out in believers. “It is by seeing the cross and the community beneath it that men come to believe in God.”– Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
The cross is the secret of a unified group of believers. For it is at the foot of the cross, where we all look up and see our King dying for our current sin, past sin, and future sin. We repent as we truly see; saying “Woe is me.”
Will you pray with me?
Abba! Search Your church. Search the heart of every believer in Your church and call all to repentance. For we will not see revival in hearts without hearts first living repentance. Lord, would we lead lives reflecting truth–Jesus Christ. The world is getting dark; people need to see the light of Christ in believers. Thank You King for loving Your church so much, knowing it is the one steadfast foundation in the world right now. You do call us to a higher standard, so we are praying King that we all will want to step it up. Holiness. Would we walk in holiness today? Lord, would You break the hard hearts calling many to repentance? Praying we rid ourselves of any type of deceit, repenting- Acts 3:19. No one is perfect, we all fall short of Your glorious standard- Romans 3:23; we know the wages of sin is death but You give the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord- Romans 6:23. Today, many need to know You, Lord, are so ever present in their life- Matthew 28:20. Today, many need to submit to the righteousness of God- Romans 10:3. Lord, would You comfort those who have been betrayed, assuring them that You know exactly what they have gone through- Hebrews 2:18. Thank You for placing a hedge of protection around Your church, and You do so by calling us to live out Your truths. That is the protection– living Your Word. Praying for the salvation of the lost souls needing You, Lord. Thank You for healing those who are sick. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.