After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, "Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me."
~ John 13:21
I have to believe that the disciples were also the friends of Jesus. Walking dusty roads, sharing meals, and sleeping under the stars are experiences that Jesus and his followers shared together. The relationships after three years of ministry must have been close. Among those friends was Judas. As I spent time reading about Judas this morning, I noticed in the notes about the text that the Greek word for "betraying," is "someone who hands the other over to suffering."
As much as I hate to admit it, there is an element of "traitor," in each of us. We live in a world that makes the desire to be better, first, or successful, more important than caring for one another. It has become so much a part of our daily life that we don't even notice when we are betraying someone for the sake of getting ahead.
When we are willing to confess that we have handed someone over, or betrayed them, so that they experience suffering, even when it goes against our best intentions, then something unique happens. It is in these experiences that we can address our own pain and begin to understand the need to forgive those who have betrayed us as well.
I can't imagine the look that Jesus gave Judas when he shared, "Go and do what you must," knowing that the betrayal would lead to real suffering, and even his death. The heartbreak of a friend, betraying him, must have just been so overwhelming.
Our need to recognize the suffering that we have caused others leads us to a place during Holy Week that we can seek to be forgiven and to forgive others.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.