The Betrayal of Jesus

Today’s reading is John chapter 18.

A couple of weeks ago my family had dinner with one of my co-workers and her family. My 5 year old son, Samuel, who is outgoing and oftentimes precocious, asked my co-worker where she went to church. She answered him that they don’t actually go to church anywhere. He brightened up and said, “You should come to my church! You can learn about Jesus and His love for you!”

(I’ll tie that in later on)

Have you ever seen the movie The Passion of the Christ? I only watched it once – in the theater the weekend it was released (over 14 years ago). Reading John 18, I couldn’t help but visualize the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and then by Peter by the imagery portrayed in that movie so long ago. I find myself thinking – HOW? How could these men who knew Jesus betray him this way?? Not just Judas – but also Peter, denying that he was a disciple, not once – but three times. I tell myself that surely I would never deny my Lord and Savior like that.

But how often do I take an opportunity to proclaim the love of Jesus to people? Not as often as I’d like to think, if I’m being honest with myself. In fact, I don’t even put one of those cool magnetic “e” things on the back of my car because I don’t really want to have people watching my driving and knowing where I go to church. Is that a betrayal of Him? Probably not an intentional, outright denial – but I think it can be an easy slide. Here I am, living on earth a very temporal life, KNOWING that everything I have and love is only mine for a very short time, and that eternal life is guaranteed and freely given. Not just for me, but for anyone and everyone that accepts Jesus as their personal savior.

Here’s where I tie in my earlier anecdote. If Samuel had been asked if he knew Jesus, he would have shouted with a glad heart that he did. Would I? Probably not. Granted, Samuel at age 5 wouldn’t have understood that being associated with Christ would have been treated like a crime. I would have (and so did Peter). Thinking about this reminds me of Jesus telling us, “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14

In verse 37, Jesus tells Pilate, “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

As you go about your busy Tuesday, reflect on these things. Think about whether your actions bear witness to the truth or whether they are a betrayal.

Lord, thank you for coming into this world to bear witness to the truth. Thank you for the unbelievable gift of your life and blood for our sins to be wiped clean. Let your truth light the darkness in our daily lives, and let us proclaim your love and faithfulness at every opportunity, without hesitation and without shame.