by Laurie Crowson
“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.’ I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me” (John 13:18-21, NIV throughout).
Grieving in spirit, Jesus cried out these words right after He washed His disciples’ feet. Considering the betrayal to come, I can’t imagine the deep angst Jesus must have felt. We’ve all known betrayal, to some extent. But none of us have felt betrayed as deeply as Jesus did that evening.
Jesus loved Judas like a brother. He called him, knowing he would betray Him. Yet Jesus obeyed His Father’s plan. He taught Judas all he needed to know to serve as His disciple, just as He did the others. Imagine spending every day for three years with someone, only to have him kiss your cheek before handing you over to die.
Jesus knew what He had to do to fulfill Scripture. He painted the picture: Someone eating with Him right there at the table would betray Him.
Supper times are special. You laugh and cry together; you share your triumphs and heartaches around the table. In the same way, Jesus shared this intimate time with Judas. When you face the trials of life together, bonds are formed that are not easily broken.
Jesus had plainly told His disciples that one of them would betray Him. Perhaps Jesus wanted to share that grief with His closest brothers, hoping they might lighten His burden — just a little — in order to illuminate His darkest moment. The disciples later fell asleep in the garden and were not there for Jesus, so He turned to His Father for strength.
Jesus willingly fulfilled the Scriptures by loving Judas like a brother and enduring His betrayal. With earnest prayer in the garden and faithfully trusting His Father, He illustrated the attitude we are to adopt when someone betrays us. Ephesians 6:12 reminds us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Let’s be clear about who the real Enemy is and turn to our heavenly Father for strength and wisdom the next time we feel betrayed.
Laurie Crowson is a certified medical assistant. She lives in Eugene, OR.