Scripture: Matt 26;
47While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: "The one I kiss is the man; arrest him." 49Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, "Greetings, Rabbi!" and kissed him.
50Jesus replied, "Friend, do what you came for."
Observation: Even in our disobedience and rebellion, Jesus still wants to be our friend.
Application: Judas was coming with the crowd who were to be the instruments of Jesus’ crucifixion, and Jesus knew it; Yet when approaching Judas he still calls him “Friend.” As John records it, Christ announces the identity of the betrayer through what was known in the culture of the day as a gesture of friendship. Jesus, the host of the meal, dips the bread in the sop and hands it to Judas and tells him to “do what he must quickly.” John 13:26-27
It’s amazing really to think of how Jesus reacts to Judas all the way through. Even though he denounces his actions, he never stops treating him as a friend. Jesus knew that the betrayal had to be done by someone so that the scripture might be fulfilled about him, but I think it still pained him to see his friend Judas fall so readily into the role.
There has been quite a bit of talk over the last few years about Judas, and the Gospel of Judas that was discovered in the 1970’s, there are some interesting theories going around about the relationship between Jesus and Judas because of this text. But I don’t think we have to go any further than the New Testament to find what we need to know, and from what I see, Jesus loved the sinner who was Judas, but hated the sin that he was about to commit.
I think that’s an appropriate word for us today, that Jesus loves us, and is always looking to be our friend. He may not approve of what you’re doing, and he may understand that by our own actions we are separating ourselves from him, but his feelings for us never change.
Jesus’ love for us is not conditionally based on our actions. I think it pains Jesus to see us doing what we should not do, and I think he rejoices when we make positive steps forward and show forth some of that good fruit that he knows we’re capable of. But through it all, his love for us never fails, and never changes. Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. What a friend we have in Jesus!
Prayer: Merciful Creator,
I’m so thankful that you love me in spite of my imperfections and mistakes. I thank you that I am saved not by anything I have done, but only through your grace, and my faith in your Son Jesus Christ. Lord bless me and help me to keep my actions true, and the path I’m on straight and in line with your word. And Father, forgive me when I stumble and fail, and set my eyes back on the goal of Heaven, and an eternal fellowship with you.
Yield: I surrender my pride.