Lent Reading: Matt 26:14-27:66
What would it take to betray Jesus? The story of a follower of Jesus called Judas, prompts me to reflect on this question. Here was a disciple, who saw miracles performed, heard teaching explained and knew the man Jesus personally. Maybe Judas was never a true follower, maybe his convictions changed, or maybe Jesus failed to meet his expectations. It is hard to know. But whatever the reason, this is for sure: Judas betrayed Jesus.
While Judas may have been the first betrayer, he sadly is not the last. Similar questions arise when we hear of former Christian leaders, now denying their faith. Or when ‘no longer Christian’ friends or family, abandon what you felt they had held dear. This can shake our own faith. I find myself wondering ‘why’. I wonder if I would walk away from Jesus too? Asking ourselves this brave question protects us from unhelpful self-confidence. It is in the spirit of
“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.”2 Cor 13:5
Betrayal of Jesus was not unique to Judas. In fact, all of Jesus’ closest disciples betrayed him that terrible Passover night. But it was not in Judas’ heart to bring his betrayal to Jesus and find forgiveness and restoration. I believe he could have. Even our betrayals are not too much for God to forgive. This is why Jesus went to the cross, to bring betrayers back to God. Yet Judas did not turn. I know we can, and I pray we will.