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Jesus is Betrayed

3 Caravaggio’s The Betrayal of Christ.jpg

"The Betrayal of Christ"


God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.
                            - Reinhold Neibuhr



Mark 14:43-46; John 18:3-14
14:43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him.

18:3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.    4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”        5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.  “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?”
    “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said.
8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 


Judas betrayed Jesus using the appearance of love, but the substance of deceit.  Some scholars suggest that Judas hoped Jesus would be a martyr for the cause of rising against Rome, that the people would rebel if Jesus was killed.  He saw Jesus as a means to the end of political freedom. 

Peter cut off the ear of the high priest's servant, attempting to defend Jesus.

Peter also misunderstood the purpose behind Jesus' arrest.  He saw the arrest as contrary to God's plan, and in his well-meaning passion acted in opposition to God's purposes.
They were both wrong.

Peter was famous for acting and speaking impulsively.  Judas was quite intentional.  Both had their own ideas in mind of what to do:  They didn't see Jesus properly and they didn't understand God's purpose properly.  
Have you ever thought something was God's will and it later became clear it wasn't?  
Have you wanted something you saw as good and realized later it wasn't good?  
In the first garden, Adam and Eve fell to this same mistake.  Judas and Peter show us that nothing has changed: We all still think we know better than others.  
The temptation to make things accomplish our outcomes is hard to resist. 
Learning to trust when you think you know better is the skill of practiced indifference or 'holy indifference'. (St. Ignatius)  
It is not refusing to care. That is apathy.
It is also not seeking to steer the outcome.  That is controlling.

This kind of indifference is being able to sort through which hardship in life we should seek freedom from and which to make peace with, all while trusting that God is at work despite appearances. 

Is there something that you can care about but still release the need to control the outcome? 
This is a hard but precious skill to learn, but helps us to live free from feeling like we have to control everything.
How did Jesus respond?
Even as He was betrayed, Jesus displayed His power by causing those seeking Him to fall over.  They had no power to arrest Him if He was unwilling: Jesus was not captured, He surrendered.  He willingly let go of control in order to do God's will.  He knew what is called 'holy indifference.'

Let’s Pray
as One.


My care about things can lead to me trying to control them.  As I reflect on the betrayal of Judas, I see that everyone was trying to control the situation.  I fall prey to the desire to control the outcomes too.   
God forgive me for loving control.  For thinking I know better, and for making situations about me, when really I need to make them about you.
Help me to be more in love with your purpose than mine.  Help me to love your mastery of the situation than mine.

God, I bring to mind a situation I wish I had control over.  I give it to you.  Please help me to be indifferent, not apathetic or controlling, and trust that your outcome is better than mine. 

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