Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Enemy Friend

    Betrayed.  What an ugly word.  There are many forms of betrayal.  There is the type that turns a friend over to an enemy; the kind that reveals a confidence or secret; the kind that is unfaithful in upholding a trust; and the one that we are probably most familiar be disloyal, or disappoint the hopes and expectations of.
     Some of my friends are going through a betrayal of one kind or another right now.  It is such a sad and difficult thing to watch.  There is nothing you can really do, but give as much support as you can.
     It's much more difficult when you are the one that is being betrayed.  All of us have experienced a deception at one time or another.  It cuts you right to the core...your heart actually hurts.  Perhaps it is where the term "a broken heart" comes from.  You wonder why someone would do such a thing to you.  Usually a betrayal comes from out of nowhere...a complete surprise.  You look back and wonder if it is your fault.  Did you do something to deserve it?  In most cases, the answer is no.  Usually, the treachery is the decision of the betrayer.
     What would cause someone to do such a thing?  What is in their head?  I'm sure they feel justified in their decision, yet that doesn't negate the fact that they have hurt someone in the process.  Many times, after they see the aftereffects of their decision, they feel remorse.  Some apologize...many do not.  Pride restricts them from admitting they have done anything wrong.  What do we do when we have been deceived?
     Jesus experienced this betrayal in the most extreme way possible.  As He began His ministry, he chose 12 men to follow Him and be His closest companions.  Twelve men out of the thousands He could have chosen.  Twelve men that He shared His closest secrets and feelings with.  They were His friends...His brothers by choice.
     Judas was one of the men that was chosen.  He was not perfect, by any means.  He loved money.  Loved money so much, that he offered to be the one to hold the purse for the group.  He was aware of the cost of items, and could be useful in such matters.  Plus, if he held the purse, then he could easily help himself when the need arose.  It was the perfect set up.
     After three years of hanging out with Jesus, Judas began to become disillusioned.  He expected Jesus to start building this Kingdom he always talked about.  Judas couldn't wait to have some power.  Surely Jesus would let him have a position of authority...since he was one of his closest companions.  Then Jesus started talking about a Kingdom of Heaven...what?  Turn the other cheek? Huh??  This isn't what he signed up for.  Jesus was crazy...maybe the rumors he'd heard in the town square were true.  Maybe he was a heretic.  He'd also heard about a possible reward for information....
     The possibilities whirled around Judas' head.  How could he let the leaders know which man was Jesus?  A kiss...that would be the perfect signal!  It's a normal greeting, and Jesus wouldn't suspect a thing.... 
     Jesus experienced the ultimate betrayal.  Unlike us, who usually have no idea what is about to happen, He knew what Judas would do...and He didn't stop it.  He knew it beforehand, and He allowed it to go on, because He loved us.
     So many times when we feel betrayed, we feel alone.  We are not.  Jesus knows what it's like to have someone disappoint you.  He knows how it feels to be abandoned and lied to.  Turn to Him.  He wants to give you the comfort you crave and need.
     Do you feel betrayed?  Turn to Jesus.  He knows how you feel.
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

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