Lent – Day 24 – Jesus Questions

“Judas, how can you betray me, the Son of Man, with a kiss?” (Luke 22:48)

Intimacy and betrayal within a relationship always produce great pain. Whether it’s business partners or marriage partners, it hurts deeply. Many of us have walked these dark places.

BetrayalWe never expect those closest to us to turn against us, and the wounds of such betrayal may be among the deepest wounds we experience. That’s true if it’s a parent who has abused their responsibility and our trust, or a friend who abandons us in time of need.

“Judas, how can you betray me, the Son of Man, with a kiss?”

When it comes to Jesus, I’m more inclined to act like Peter than Judas; just fifteen verses and sixty minutes earlier than our Jesus Question. “Lord, I’m ready to go both to prison and to death with You!” (Luke 22:33) I’d like to think that under pressure I would have that kind of courage.

Of course, that’s the stunning part of this story; Peter then betrays Jesus too. Having crowed in front of everyone about his loyalty, he denies Jesus three times before the rooster crows the next morning. First Judas; then Peter. Each betrayal equally painful.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever plot against Jesus to force His hand. I won’t betray Him with a kiss to make a little money (Matthew 27:3). But that sounds very much like something Peter would say. “Not me! Not ever!”

Betrayal comes in different forms, and abandonment and denial is no less a betrayal than a traitorous handover.

How firmly will I declare and confess Christ in the face of mockery or danger? How readily will I stand with Christ and for Christ when it may leave me marginalized or ostracized? Will I hold to the faith when there’s risk and cost?

Today’s kiss becomes tomorrow’s denial.

“Judas, how can you betray me, the Son of Man, with a kiss?”

There is a solution to a wavering heart; faith and love. The deeper we trust Christ and the greater we love Him, the more steady our loyalty becomes. Our false kisses and quick denials generally arise from shallow faith and uncertain love. If we would shore up our hearts, we must rally them towards greater faith and love.

On this Lenten Tuesday, perhaps the Jesus Question not so much accuses us as beckons us to higher ground. How much do we trust and love Christ? How confident are we that under threats great or small, He stands with us and His grace can sustain us? Are we convinced — resolutely and unshakably convinced — that nothing can separate us from His love, and nothing matters as much as that love?

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2 Responses to Lent – Day 24 – Jesus Questions

  1. Elaine says:

    Each day, each blog inspires, encourages and always thought provoking. I believe betrayal which hurts deeply brings an awareness of God’s love and care more than we previously realized. Thank you David for your faithfulness and posts this Lenten Season.

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