For our final whirl on this blog through the gospel of John let me introduce to you Lauren Turner. Once a California gal (and probably always) now she’s my Carolina friend and encouragement extraordinaire. Enjoy her posts!
Betrayal may be one of the most feared experiences we have as humans. I know that I can’t think of much worse than being lied to, deceived and forsaken.
John 18 recounts the betrayal that Jesus experienced on his way to the cross—first by Judas, then by Peter and finally by the crowd. I encourage you to read the chapter and especially notice Jesus’ response to his betrayers.
When we think of the time spent and the investment Jesus had made into the lives of Judas and Peter, Jesus must have deep compassion for us who have been betrayed by those close to us: a parent, a spouse or even our own child.
Note his response. No anger. No resentment. Instead his words reveal his deep trust in the Father’s plan. “Shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” (John 18:11)
The betrayal of Jesus continues as he is led before Pilate and the very people who had followed him and listened to him were now yelling, “crucify him”, because he was not fulfilling their expectations.
Don’t we do the same when God doesn’t do what we think he should do in our timing or our way? I know I am quick to praise God when he makes sense to me but equally quick to complain and dishonor him when I am in pain.
Maybe if I remember that I am a betrayer, I can offer more grace when I am betrayed.
In the midst of being led away to his death, Jesus knew that God’s plan would never be thwarted by human sin and that even in pain, physical and emotional, he could trust the Father. In the end of chapter 18 Jesus explains that his kingdom isn’t of this world and that he was here to bring truth not to be understood or affirmed.
How about you? How does it help you to walk through the pain of betrayal to know first, that Jesus completely understands, and second, that the plan of God will not be thwarted in your life even when others wrong you?