Betrayal. It’s an ugly word. Eight small letters united to form an act so strong that it can dissolve marriages, friendships, even countries. No one admires a betrayer. Parents don’t typically name their children Benedict Arnold. Betrayal steals the petals from the flower and leaves it naked, misshapen. It tramples hope. It dismantles the most sacred of trusts.
I believe it begins with disappointment. We anticipate a certain action or response but get something different. Our failure to deal with it causes more and more discontentment with the one who has “let us down,” so much so that we begin to look for occasions that justify our misgivings. Rationalization validates our bitterness until finally; our hearts become a bed for Satan to sow seeds of betrayal. That seems to be what happened with Judas.
Jesus had not met Judas’ expectations. He thought Jesus would deliver Israel from the Romans. When it became clear that this was not his intention, all the miracles Judas had witnessed—the healings, the multiplication of bread and fish, the calming of seas, even raising the dead—weren’t strong enough to alleviate his disappointment. The purity of Jesus’ life, the depth of his compassion, his devotion and sincerity, his goodness—nothing could counter what Judas wanted. It made him the perfect candidate for the role of betrayer. So he fell into Satan’s hands….
I don’t know whether or not you have experienced the kiss of betrayal. If so, no one understands your pain more than Jesus. And no one can heal you like he can. Disappointment, on the other hand, is probably familiar to us all. I want to encourage you to be on guard when it comes. Take it to the cross. Don’t let Satan use it to sow seeds of betrayal either toward God or toward your fellow man…
Your fellow fallen man.