One of You Will Betray Me : John 13:21

Agnus Dei : Francisco de Zurbarán, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

At the Last Supper and shortly before his death, Jesus said to his disciples at the Last Supper ‘One of you will betray me’

The pain of betrayal—is a wound that can be worse than physical suffering.

It can cut deeper than any blade, leaving scars that linger long after the wound has healed.

Betrayal is a word heavy with the weight of broken trust, shattered loyalty, and fractured bonds.

It echoes throughout the corridors of our memories, like a silent scream, from deep within our soul.

Whether inflicted by a friend, a lover, or a family member, it leaves us disoriented, questioning the very foundations of our relationships.

I once experienced a betrayal of a kind, when I was unexpectedly ‘let go’ from a job—and suffered a sudden loss of professional ties—which was rather disorientating at the time.

Yet, adversity often nudges us toward something better—I then experienced a new opportunity and a fresh start in a better post.

Betrayed by Someone We Love

Whilst being let down in a business environment is not great, the most profound betrayal is when it comes from someone we love and trust.

A friend’s whispered gossip, a sibling’s hidden agenda, a partner’s calculated deception— can cut to the core of our being.

And then there’s the ultimate betrayal: Judas Iscariot’s treacherous act against Jesus.

Judas, who was once counted amongst Jesus’s closest disciples, became the poster boy for betrayal.

His kiss in the Garden of Gethsemane marked the beginning of a sequence of events that shaped the Christian faith: 

It triggered Jesus’s arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection—also known as the Passion of Christ.

Thirty pieces of silver exchanged hands, sealing Judas’s fate as history’s most infamous traitor.

Why Did Judas Betray Jesus?

The motives remain shrouded in mystery. 

Some attribute it to greed—the lure of those lovely silver coins.

Others speculate about political or personal reasons.

Or perhaps Judas hoped for some other opportunity, a better path for himself in some way or another.

But Loyalty, was not on his agenda as he kissed Jesus.

And What of Jesus?

His troubled heart during the Last Supper foreshadowed the impending betrayal.

He knew the physical agony that awaited him—the Roman scourging, the crown of thorns, the weight of the cross.

Yet, perhaps it wasn’t the physical pain that troubled him most.

As he uttered those haunting words:

One of you will betray me.”

In the Garden, as Jesus knelt in anguished prayer, drops of sweat fell like blood.

The weight of betrayal must have pressed upon him—with the knowledge that one of his own would deliver him into the hands of his enemies.

Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion of the Christ,” depicts the utter brutality of Jesus’s physical suffering.

But Judas’s kiss, a symbol of intimacy turning out to be treacherous, would have pierced deeper than any whip or nail.

And in that quiet moment at the table, at the revelation of an imminent betrayal – we can glimpse the true depth of pain Jesus felt.

Which for Jesus, wasn’t just the betrayal; it was the fracture of trust and the breach of love.

Was Judas’s Betrayal more Painful than the Beatings?

Perhaps not physically, but in the realm of the soul, it cut to the core of Jesus.

Fully aware, He carried the weight of both the betrayal and crucifixion.

And within his pain and death, lies the heart of his saving grace:

…… Which is of ever-enduring love, even when trust is shattered.

What Does This Mean for us Today?

We too navigate our unique betrayals and losses —but they are also the wounds that shape us.

And through these betrayals and losses, we learn discernment, strengthen our resolve, and seek God’s grace for support.

And in the tapestry of our resilience, we find hope in the fragile threads that bind us.

…… Even when loyalty falters. Amen.

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