Kiss of Betrayal
I recently cracked opened and reread the story in Luke 22 about the Last Supper. Jesus is literally breaking bread and pouring the wine with his team/friends/disciples when these words come out of his mouth:
“But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table.” (vs.21, italics mine)
Wow. I had never noticed it like this before. In the midst of the literal “first communion” with Jesus and his trusted men, he actually announces that he is going to be betrayed by someone whose hand is lying on the same table as his. I had always thought of Judas Iscariot as the “dark disciple” who stayed in the shadows of the others, creeping around, looking for a way to take advantage of Jesus and his followers. I never thought of him as being “part of the gang,” although that is exactly who he was. These were his close friends, those he had chosen to travel, learn, eat and camp out with for the past several years. He had been lounging lazily and most likely joking around with his “brotherhood” just moments before these words came out of Jesus’ mouth. Talk about a conversation killer.
Even though this man had treated those around him as family, he still had a part of him that was dark. And would choose dark. He would choose to betray his closest friends/family every time.
I had never known this kind of betrayal until recently. Within a church plant, there will be dreams shared among your team. There will be tears, sweat, laughter and a bonding that morphs into a family atmosphere. Jesus’ disciples were his family as we see in Matthew 12:46-50.
46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
I cannot imagine being betrayed by my actual family. And yet, I feel like I have experienced somewhat of a betrayal through this church plant. It breaks my heart. I can now hear Jesus’ words being spoken with pain now. “But behold… the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table.” (Emphasis mine.) We have cooked dinner with our team. We have eaten, laughed, and watched our kids play together. We have experienced life with our team members, just as Jesus had with his disciples. And yet, a betrayer sat amongst them.
Back to Luke 22:22: In the Message version, he goes on to say,
“It’s true that the Son of Man is going down a path already marked out- no surprises there. But for the one who turns him in, turns traitor to the Son of Man, this is doomsday.”
I don’t know if I ever caught that before… traitor to the Son of Man. I look back and my life and see where I have betrayed Christ. It is more than I can count. And yet He still forgave me. And so… because of that forgiveness, I am moving on as one with my husband. Moving forward in order to giving Christ my all. Moving on in the hopes of bringing people to the Cross of Christ… so that they can find forgiveness and eternity with Him. Betrayal and all.