Facing Our Betrayer

Have you ever been deeply let down by someone in your life?  Ever felt betrayed and experienced the pain of that?  It’s as near a physical pain as any I think we could endure.  There’s something to our connection with fellow human beings that sort of gives us a sense of completion…and when that gets severed, the fallout can sometimes be crippling.

Jesus was no stranger to betrayal.  Neither is God for that matter; one only has to think back to the Garden of Eden and a tree God’s precious image bearers were not to eat from.

We’re going to read Luke 22:47-53 this Sunday.

We know he anticipated it, but how do you think Jesus felt when he saw Judas’ face with all the people who had come to arrest him?  You can tell by their reaction how the disciples felt. Suddenly there is shouting and screaming and an ear spinning through the night air.

The disciples were ready for defense…but what was Jesus’ reaction to that?  How does that square with your normal reaction to being betrayed or mistreated?

In contrast to lashing out to do harm….what action did Jesus do, and to whom?  Do you think this becomes an example for us – why or why not?  How difficult is it for you to follow this lead?  Are there ways you’ve learned to be forgiving and do good to those who abuse you? If so, share them with us.

This should be a good topic to consider Sunday morning…and then discuss at a home group later on!

Home group leaders – here’s your guide for this week!  leaders guide 22-47-53

One comment

  1. I think Jesus must have felt absolutely heart broken by Judas’ betrayal. “How could you?..In My darkest hour, when I needed you the most, this is what you have for me?” Oh…. the pain from that kind of betrayal from those closest to us is hard to stomach. The disciple’s knee jerk reaction, lashing out in retaliation is one familiar to all of us. From a human perspective it seems only “fair” and right, you know, he got what he deserved….but Jesus shows us a better way. Jesus rebukes the retaliator and restores the enemy’s ear. Hummm.. his ear? I wonder if the high priest’s servant could hear the message whispered in that act of supernatural love and forgiveness. I wonder if he received not only his natural ear back in tact but also ears to hear the Spirit of God. There is probably never a better opportunity to show someone Christ than in the face of their great offense toward you, offer forgiveness and restoration. ONLY by His spirit are we able to walk out this kind of love. This is agape love, not a feeling or a fluke but a love by CHOICE. In the face of great pain and betrayal we can choose to pray for our enemies, we can purpose in our hearts to forgive, seek His help and set our focus on eternal things or we can become a prisoner to the offense and the offender wallowing in bitterness and resentment. One particular time in a heated argument with a family member I was bound and determined not to give in, I was right and I was not letting it go …I saw a picture of Jesus on the cross bruised and bleeding with a cartoon bubble beside His mouth. In the bubble His words were, “This is what I did for you, can’t you just simply say your sorry?”. Ouch … that pretty much put things in perspective… I think back on that a lot when faced with offenses. He is not asking me to endure a physical cross or bodily torture from enemies but He does ask us all to offer the same forgiveness and restoration that we have been given. WHO knows what eternal good may spring from these opportunities to whisper forgiveness in an offender’s ear…

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