March 21st, 2017
Matthew 26:47-56, 69-75
As Christians, we often think of Judas as a monster, someone guilty of treason on the highest level, the worst of sinners. We want to put him in some special category of evil, but Jesus had a different point of view. Jesus called him “friend” (v. 50). Jesus did not deny the depth or excuse the sin of Judas’ betrayal. Yet, Jesus offered this traitor a hand of friendship even at the end. What comfort to know that Jesus extends this same attitude toward all who have sinned (Romans 3:23-24).
It is notable that Jesus let Judas take the initiative. Judas showed up with a crowd armed with swords and clubs, accompanied by chief priests and elders, and Jesus let him speak first. After Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, Jesus called him “friend.” Even then, Jesus remained “a friend of sinners” (Matthew 11:19).
He looks beyond our sin and failures, too, waiting for us to greet Him, not in betrayal but in repentance.
Author: Ann Hallyburton