“I think the trust has been, as you can imagine, completely shot now.” (England Full Back Mike Brown in Telegraph Sport)
There has been plenty of fallout in the wake of England’s disappointing exit from the recent Rugby World Cup. The Coach has been replaced, stories from inside the camp have been anonymously leaked to press and England’s Full Back Mike Brown, for one, is understandably hurt by the betrayal of trust.
Now imagine the shock when Jesus dropped the bombshell; “one of you is going to betray me.”
Judas made his choice. From all of the other Gospels it’s clear that Judas had already agreed to betray Jesus a few days before the Last Supper. We do not know his motivation but the anointing of Jesus with expensive perfume seems to have been pivotal. Matthew and Mark tell us the disciples were indignant (Matthew 26:8, Mark 14:4) but John makes it clear that Judas was the source (12:4). We also learn from John that Judas’ motive was not that he cared about the poor but that he was a thief (12:6). As the fragrance of this beautiful worship filled the whole house, all Judas could see was his cut evaporating away. Matthew and Mark tell us that it was immediately after this that Judas sought out the chief priests and elders in order to betray Jesus.
‘Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty silver coins.’ (Matthew 26:14-15)
The news that a betrayer was present at the table may have shocked eleven disciples but one had already been paid to do the deed (it was the equivalent of about five week’s wages). He even tried to deny it to Jesus’ face (Matthew 26:25). Jesus had said shortly before;
“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” (12:46)
At the beginning of the Gospel he said;
“This is the verdict: light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (3:19)
It’s significant that when Judas left the room we are told, ‘And it was night’.
Jesus must have been hurt. If you have ever trusted someone and that trust has been betrayed you will know how painful that is. On at least two occasions when speaking of the suffering that he would endure, Jesus spoke of being betrayed (Matthew 17:22, 20:18). It shows us that this was not a little side note. It was extremely hurtful.
This is a warning for us. If Jesus the perfect man could be so badly let down, we should not be surprised when it happens to us. People, even Christians will let you down, the challenge is to place our trust totally in the Lord who never fails.
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jeremiah 17:5)
There is hope when we are disappointed by our friends; Jesus has experienced it too and knows how it feels. Let’s fix our eyes on one who never fails.
‘So what can I do to prove to you?
Tell me how can you deny?
No untold facts,
No mysteries, it’s all so cut and dry.
On the witness stand of your life, I’ll be the first to testify,
That Jesus never fails
Jesus never fails, Jesus never fails
You might as well get thee behind me Satan, you cannot prevail,
Because Jesus never fails.’ (Gary Driskell)