Tag Archives: Betrayal

Sunday with John — Betrayal

John 18:25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.  ESV.

What is the general theme of the passage?
What has kept Peter there?  The words John records only support Peter’s choice to stay.   When he’ questioned a second time about being one of Jesus’s disciples he once again he denies it.  Then he’s recognized by a relative of the man whose ear he cut off in the garden.  Even standing face to face with someone who actually knows the truth, he lies a third time…”and at once a rooster crowed.”

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Nothing…John has successfully created a powerful mental picture of Peter’s betrayal of Jesus by doing just what Peter did, leaving Jesus out.

What does it say about people?
It’s easier for people to fool themselves than it is for them to fool others.

Is there truth here for me?
Peter has stayed, out of some sense of loyalty, but he doesn’t realize the only one he’s fooling is himself.  There’s several people there who have suspected Peter IS loyal to Jesus but all he’s done this night is prove them wrong three times.  And then there’s the wake-up-call.a

a John 13:38 Jesus answered [Peter], “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.

Wednesday with John — Proclaimed

John 18:12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews [Temple guards] arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.  ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
The final act of the betrayal of Jesus has begun. The duty of the band of soldiers, their captain and the Temple guards is to arrest Jesus, but executing Jesus is a challenge for the line of authority.   Annas, the first in line doesn’t want to deal with Jesus and hands Him off to Caiaphas.  Caiaphas’s answer is not justice but convenience…sacrifice Jesus for the good of everyone involved.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
There are no additional words here from John to justify the tension between God’s heart and these unfolding circumstances as the death of His Son becomes the convenience of man.

What does it say about people?
Man’s nature of betrayal is the silent emphasis of why these two verses about Jesus’s death matter.

Is there truth here for me?
These two verses showed me how complicated it is to have to deal with God’s “silence.” I wanted John to give me inspired Words from God about His reaction to this betrayal but instead I had to consider His silence revealed His Sovereignty.  God knew exactly when, what and who would be involved in this part of Jesus’s story.  That didn’t mean He justified the evil betrayal or that His heart wasn’t broken by the reality of it.  It didn’t mean He’d overlooked the behavior of all those who took part in it just so His will would be done.  Trying to figure out why John chose to emphasize God’s silence in these two verses forced my mind to consider the wisdom of what God “didn’t say.” The God who is all knowing, ever present and all powerful chose “silence” to endure the anguish of watching every detail of the plan He knew was  coming to pass so His Son would be proclaimed “that one man [who] should die for the people.”

Sunday with John — After

John 13:21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23 One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, 24 so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. ESV

What is the general theme of the passage?
After… the example of service He’s given them, Jesus is troubled in His spirit because of what He knows; “one of you will betray me.” The disciples look at one another, “uncertain of whom he spoke.”  The whispered interchange between “one of His disciples” and Jesus must have been only one of the hushed conversations happening around that table.  Only Jesus and that one disciple know the deadly meaning of that small piece of bread Jesus gives to Judas.  But after taking what looked like a common offering  of friendship to most of his brothers, Judas knows what Jesus knows.   Satan has identified him as the betrayer but Jesus has offered him mercy, not disgrace. “So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out” into the darkness.

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus was troubled in His spirit.  Jesus chose to let Judas know Satan had identified him as the betrayer but with an act of mercy rather than disgrace.

What does it say about people?
The disciples first response was to identify the betrayer.  They clearly did not hear the exchange between the one disciple and Jesus that would connect Judas leaving to the betrayal. 

Is there truth here for me?
I saw truth about mercy in reading and pondering this whole sad story of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus.  Jesus has the power to accomplish His Father’s purposes through mercy, not the public disgrace of exposed sin.   Satan is the one who who relishes that job.

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.  Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
Luke 6:35-36 ESV


John 18:1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it.  2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples.  3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

It is not an enemy who taunts me —
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me —
then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
Psalm 55:12–13 RSV

What do you think about Judas?  This is one of the saddest passages of Scripture because of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. 
Did Jesus mistakenly choose a betrayer to be one of His disciples?
Did He purposely set Judas up for this awful betrayal?
Was Judas’s mind lost in a battle with “the” enemy?
Did Jesus grieve these words of Psalm 55 over Judas?
What about Peter and his three denials?
Did Jesus grieve these same words of Psalm 55 over Peter?
……………………………WHAT ABOUT YOU?…………………………………