A friend betrayed me today.
While the hurt runs deep, it gives me a clearer understanding of Jesus. How did it feel when Judas kissed His cheek? In examining Christ’s response and treatment of Judas following the betrayal, I’m called to a higher level of spiritual maturity.
No retaliation, no returning wound for wound.
Jesus looked Judas in the eyes and said, “You betray Me with a kiss?” How piercing His eyes must have been, for it was then Judas realized the enormity of his action. I wonder how heavy the moneybag felt.
Jesus did not retaliate. He didn’t hate or despise Judas. Amazingly, He treated Judas as a friend. Christ set the standard high, and while I may find it dissatisfying in my flesh, I choose to follow Christ’s example. I choose to forgive this person. I choose not to retaliate.
It’s not easy to realize a friend really isn’t a friend.
It wasn’t easy for Christ—who was innocent—to forgive Judas, but it is required.
Several bright notes occurred from this incident. First, though I am deeply wounded, Jesus was there through it all. He’s comforted me—thank You, Holy Spirit—and He’s enabled me to forgive and let go. I’m wiser for knowing the actual quality of this friendship. While lessons like these hurt, they are helpful and realistic measures of reality. One lesson Jesus demonstrated throughout His life is that we always want to operate from the foundation of truth.
I’m put in mind of something Oswald Chambers taught: Disillusionment comes because we’ve had inaccurate illusions about people (or things, situations etc.). When we learn to see people like Jesus does, we will not be disillusioned because we will see people as they are, not as we want them to be.
So, boo-hiss, a friend betrayed me today. It hurts, but I’m thankful that because of this I understand Jesus better.