Judas makes a deal with the “chief priests and the officers of the temple guard” to hand Jesus over to them for a tidy sum of money. This happens after “Satan entered” Judas. That’s what I read this morning in Luke 22 (vs. 3-6, NIV).
Later, during the Passover supper, after Jesus has celebrated the first communion so that we would remember His sacrifice, He says:
“…the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” (vs 21)
Jesus always seems so stoic to me when He points out what Judas is about to do. He seems a bit distant when He’s talking about someone who was once a friend.
I wonder if Jesus felt a little bit like David did in today’s Psalm reading:
If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;
if a foe were rising against me, I could hide.
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship
at the house of God,
as we walked about
among the worshipers. Psalm 55: 12-14
I wonder if Jesus felt especially hurt because his “companion, [His] close friend, with whom [He] once enjoyed sweet fellowship” turned against Him?
My gut says that Jesus doesn’t feel the same surprise and pain that David felt at Saul’s attacks, so much as a deep sadness for Judas.
Jesus knew that Judas never truly bought the story about Him: “…Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.” (John 6: 64). And Luke says that Judas’ unbelief was compounded when Satan took control of the situation by “entering” Judas (Luke 22: 3).
Even though Jesus fully expected the betrayal (unlike David who was surprised by Saul’s turn) and knew that Judas never had true faith, He says, “woe to the man” who betrayed Him. In the parallel Mark version, Jesus adds, “It would be better for him if he had not been born. ” (Mark 14:21) Is Jesus’ “woe” a pronouncement of judgment? Or an expression of sadness for one who is lost?
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 13: 34-35
Jesus wept over Jerusalem. Perhaps He wept over Judas.
Here’s where sovereignty (God could have “opened their eyes” and turned both Judas and Jerusalem around) and responsibility (they rejected Him and paid the price) mingle with alarming results. Jesus wept over those that He left to their own devices.
I don’t get it. But I trust the heart of one who weeps for the lost.
And who died to redeem some of them.
Today’s Readings: 1 Samuel 8:1-9:27 , Psalm 55:9-14, Proverbs 15:15-17, Luke 22:1-23. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).