John – God Speaks!
“You hurt the ones you love the most“. Mm, I don’t think this popular saying is quite correct. The ones you hurt and don’t fight back are the ones that love you the most describes it better. The hurt stings greatly when you realize when THAT ONE person in your family, church or work betrays you by talking smack behind your back or putting you down in front of your family members or friends, generally creating a monster persona of who they think you are.
When you find out about how they really feel it cuts deep into your heart. The words said are stuck in your head forever. You are in shock at first at what they are saying because it does not even come close to the intentions of your heart or your love for them. How could this happen? It just does and Satan has a heyday with these situations.
In any group of friends, coworkers or among your family, there is always THAT ONE. How did Jesus cope with betrayal?
Jesus knew all along that Judas was not who he said he was. Jesus knew all hearts and what was in the minds of all his disciples at all times. The disciples did not have this power. Did the disciples ever wonder why Judas always watched over the money so carefully that no one really knew how much was in the bag? Did they wonder why THAT ONE among them was appalled and angry at Mary when she broke the expensive alabaster jar of perfume and anointed the feet of Jesus? Remember the reaction of Judas?
John relates what Judas said, “‘That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.’ 6 Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.” (John 12:5-6)
But later, everyone knew the mind of THAT ONE who was a betrayer. All four gospels tell of THAT ONE among them who betrayed Jesus with regret but no remorse over his sin.
What we need to remember is that GOD is always in control of the situation or circumstances of life. He was then and He is now. God has a tremendous way of working all things for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) He really does!
So, it is no wonder Jesus predicts his betrayal of THAT ONE among them who did not have a heart for God or for His Son, only for selfish gain. He knew all along!
John 13, New Living Translation
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal
18 “I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I am the Messiah. 20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”
21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”
22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” 28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night.
WHAT DO WE LEARN?
THAT ONE among the disciples was Judas. Throughout the centuries his name is often used synonymously with betrayal or treason. Don’t be a Judas!
Don’t be THAT ONE among friends or family. Be the one instead who builds others up, not with false complements to get what you want or to feel good about yourself but with telling them specific ways that you see Jesus in them.
It has been said that one negative, hurtful statement made has to be counteracted by at least ten positive statements before the person can feel of worth or value once more.
BE THE ONE who loves THAT ONE in spite of what they are doing to you. How did Jesus treat Judas, his betrayer? He loved and served him right to the end. Jesus even washed the feet of Judas to “show the full extent of His love“! Can we wrap our heads around that thought?
BE THE ONE who loves and serves in spite of what others think or say about you. God will help you. He helps me. Jesus said to love our enemies for this reason. Paul reiterated the lesson by telling Titus (and us), “Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.” Titus 2:8
THINK before speaking: Is what I am about to say the Truth? Will it be Helpful and Inspiring to this person? Is it really Necessary to say right now at this time? AND most of all, is what I am about to say going to be Kind. THINK before we speak. BE THE ONE, not THAT ONE.
The behavior and betrayal of Judas led to the final act of Jesus sacrificial mission on earth. Jesus went on to the cross to die for our sins. God was in control. He was in control at every turn of events. Because God was and is in control and because He loved the world, we are saved. So,
“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift. Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.”
“Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32, The Message
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for this lesson of how to love. This story is all about love, mercy and grace. This story is all about You. Continue to help us love like you love…without condition. Help us to realize you are always in control. Help us to THINK before we speak and love always. Deliver us from all evil. To you be all glory, honor and praise forevermore.
In Jesus Name, Amen