July 10, 2013
But Jesus said to him, "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?" Luke 22:48
A few weeks ago Pamela Dearinger of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was robbed.
The thief broke into Dearinger's home wearing black clothes and a purple bandanna covering his facial features. Grandma Dearinger fought with the robber who threw her to the ground, causing her bruises and some minor cuts. Then, with Dearinger out of the way, the robber grabbed her purse and made his escape. Oh, I forgot to mention that in the scuffle Dearinger managed to pull down the robber's bandana.
She recognized the intruder as being none other than her grandson: 22-year-old addict and unemployed high-school dropout: Thomas A. Clark.
After the robbery Clark went to a local casino and then to his own home where he was arrested. In custody, he admitted to having robbed his grandmother once before. That was when he stole a television from her home.
Reading that story I realized betrayal is a terrible thing, but it is made infinitely worse when it is carried out by someone who is supposed to be a dear friend or relative.
Nowhere does Scripture report how Jesus felt about His betrayal by Judas. Even so, I have to believe the Savior's arrest might have been made easier if He had been turned in by a Pharisee or Sadducee. The antagonism from these groups was a recognized thing, and such an action would have been expected.
But to be betrayed by a disciple who had been with You for years -- who had heard You speak and had seen Your miracles -- that had to be a hard thing for Jesus to bear.
The same thing could probably be said about us and our sins.
We who have been there at Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, who have watched the Lord reach out to the lame and the leper, who have heard His words of love and His call to repentance, who have stood at the foot of the cross and been amazed at the destruction of death on resurrection Sunday have been blessed.
Forgiven and saved by the Redeemer's innocent blood we are now given the opportunity to live a life which glorifies Him. When we do not do so, it must hurt Him. This is why we echo the words of forgiven King David and say, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, may all I think, do and say, glorify You. Keep me from all which would show a rebellious spirit and a sinful heart. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries