When we are unfaithful, God remains faithful.
READ IN YOUR BIBLE:
“It is not an enemy who taunts me – I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me – I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you – my equal, my companion and close friend.”
The priest looked out at the man in the courtyard, “Who is he?” he asked.
“He says he wants to make a deal,” said the servant. “Says he knows where to find the Rabbi, Jesus.”
The priest grinned, “Show him in.”
The servant soon returned with the man. He was simply dressed for travel.
“What’s your name? What do you want?” asked the priest.
“Judas Iscariot, my lord”, he answered, “I believe you want to ‘reach out’ to Jesus of Nazareth?”
The priest eyed him carefully, “Perhaps”, he said cautiously.
“I travel with Him”, continued Judas, “I know where He is; I could help.”
The priest allowed himself a smile, “How soon can you help?”
“Not during the day, much too risky. I suggest at night.”, Judas’ eyes met the priest’s, “There’s just the small matter of my fee…”
Betrayed, Yet He Remained Faithful
Jesus wasn’t arrested in the temple as He taught, nor taken in the square while He healed the sick. Jesus was betrayed by a close companion, at night, while He prayed. Judas had travelled with Jesus, shared His food and lodgings, but in the end, he sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver, led soldiers to arrest Him and betrayed Him with a kiss.
While Judas was free to act as he pleased, his actions were known to God long before he asked the priest for money. King David, writing one thousand years before Jesus was even born, said, “Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me” (Psalm 41:9 NLT). John shows how this was fulfilled, as Jesus shared bread with Judas at His last supper with the disciples. Jesus also warned the disciples one of them would betray Him, indicating privately to Judas He knew it was Him. Jesus didn’t walk into His betrayal blindly, but fully aware that it was God’s plan.
Five hundred years before Jesus was born, God spoke through His servant, Zechariah, “So they counted out for my wages thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”— this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the Lord” (Zechariah 11:12-13 NLT). As Zechariah illustrates, this foreshadows the events in Jesus’ last hours. When Judas realised Jesus would be killed, he tried to return the money, throwing it down in the temple. But because it was blood money, the priests could not return it to their treasury. Instead, they bought a potter’s field and turned it into a cemetery for foreigners.
It was not because of our love for God or our fair treatment of His Son that Jesus died. He died because we were God’s enemies and He wanted us as His children. When we are unfaithful, God remains faithful. Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter denied Him, and all the other disciples ran away. Like them, we all turn on God, betray Him and fail Him. Still, Jesus gave Himself for us, even though we betrayed Him. “This is real love,” John writes, “not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10).
Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus. Thank You that while I was still Your enemy, Jesus died for me. Thank You that You forgive me when I fail You. Please accept my apology for living my life my own way, without You. Please fill me now with Your Holy Spirit and let your Spirit help me to remain true to You and live in a way that honours You. Amen.