I have just had lunch today with a couple of friends who are in Church leadership- great blokes and I always feel better after hanging out with them. One of them has a bit of a pickle going on with their Church with people back-biting and trying to turn people against eachother- nasty. I could see it really hurts- ouch.
It got me thinking about some writing I have just done for light for our path… from Matthew 26:1-16
Jesus is let down.
Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (verses 14-16)
Judas must have spoken with the chief priests with the smell of the perfume still lingering in his nostrils. He would have negotiated Jesus’ betrayal just after leaving the party where a woman covers Jesus with very expensive perfume. Judas must have been one of the disciples who had grumbled at such a waste, but to which Jesus declares the munificent anointing was in preparation for his burial. Unbeknown to Judas it is he who starts the process which results in Jesus’ entombment. It is made very obvious in other readings that Jesus knew that it was Judas who would betray him. (Matthew 26.25) Yet Judas is the same man who had healed the sick, cast out demons and eaten the bread when he, alongside the other disciples had fed thousands of people and he had also drunk the finest of wines that had been made out of water.
Judas was a close best friend of Jesus who had been taught by him, who now sets in motion his death. What Jesus experiences makes the times I have been let down by close friends seem trivial to say the least. Yes it hurts at the time and yes I feel betrayed. However, we have a Lord who has encountered ‘let down’ and the awful feeling in the pit of the stomach when you find out a friend has turned against you or gossiped behind your back or betrayed your confidence. Jesus sympathises, may we find comfort that he knows every feeling of betrayal and let down and may we have comfort through the perspective that what we encounter isn’t comparable to what Jesus experienced when Judas let him down.