Have you ever accused anyone of being a Judas…or been accused of being one yourself? It’s an accusation that anyone of any faith — or no faith at all — can relate to. You believe in someone…you dedicate yourself to that person…your faith at some point wavers…an opportunity arises to benefit from severing your bonds…and you choose the pay-off over the person. It’s the classic definition of betrayal.
All of which gives me a great deal of sympathy for Judas. To begin with, he was set up. Jesus knew what his end would be, and Scripture required that someone sell him out. In the same way, some of our betrayals may be driven by larger forces than ourselves. There are all kinds of “environmental impacts” on our loyalties. How often does the death of a child, for example, culminate in the ending of a marriage? And isn’t divorce a form of betrayal?
The word “betray” is so repugnant to us, thanks to a wavering disciple and 30 pieces of silver, that we tend to overlook a second meaning of the word: “to unintentionally reveal; be evidence of”. In the spirit of this meaning, let us pray:
Lord, let our lives betray your presence, through Jesus Christ — for whom betrayal was the fulfillment of the prophecies. Give us the strength and the perseverance to rise above falsehood, and to hold to the symbol of the cross as the ultimate triumph. Amen.