Matthew 26:46-50 As for my companion, he betrayed his friends; he broke his promises. . . . His words are as soothing as lotion, but underneath are daggers! (Psalm 55:20-21).
Read Psalm 55, written by David after a close friend and trusted confidante betrayed him (vv.12-14, 20-21). How did he cope with the anguish and pain of betrayal?
Have you on occasion been tempted to “betray” Jesus? In today’s context, what would constitute a “betrayal” of Him?
If you were to name your newborn son, which of these three names would you choose: James, John, or Judas? You might select James or John, but—undoubtedly—you wouldn’t name your son Judas. You might name your dog Max or Buddy, but not Judas. Even a dog deserves a respectable name!
Judas means praise, but it has become an icon of condemnation, a name synonymous with the worst form of treachery and betrayal. Imagine conversing with Judas and asking, “Why did you betray Jesus, and with a kiss? (Luke 22:48). Were you disillusioned that Jesus wasn’t the kind of Messiah you wanted—a Messiah who would overthrow the Romans and reign on David’s throne? (Zechariah 9:9; Matt. 21:4-10). Instead of reigning, Jesus talked about submitting to Caesar (Matthew 22:21) and becoming a slave (Matthew 20:25-28). Jesus came into Jerusalem, not to become king but to be humiliated and to die on a cross (Matthew 20:18-19; Luke 18:32-33). This seemed like nonsense to them! (Luke 18:34).
“So was it because of money? Weren’t the ministry funds you embezzled enough to satisfy your greed? (John 12:6). You sold out your Master to the leading priests, hoping they would reward you handsomely (Mark 14:10-11). Were you disappointed that they paid you only 30 silver coins? (Matthew 26:14-15). Surely you were shocked that your King was only worth the price of a slave (Exodus 21:32). Yet you betrayed your own conscience for a few coins.
“Judas, why did you use a kiss to betray Jesus? (Matthew 26:49) A kiss is a symbol of trust and intimacy, love and affection. But you used it as a tool of betrayal and treachery. Coming up close, embracing and kissing your Master, Friend, and Brother, you amplified the despicability, the heinousness, and the treachery of your betrayal!” (Matthew 26:24).
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: 1 Kings 17:1-24
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