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The Deeper Story of Betrayal

Mark 14:10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted when they heard why he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus. Betrayal (def)- treachery.

When Christians think about betrayal we immediately think about one of Jesus' apostles by the name of Judas. Let's think a little about where the treachery of Judas came from and how it began and ended.

First of all, Satan gets involved in the betrayer's life. Luke 22: 3 Then Satan entered into Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve disciples, There was a point where Satan got involved in Judas' thinking and he took over Judas so much that he broke the bond between him and Jesus, and his desire to continue to follow and trust Jesus fell to the wayside. We cannot minimize the sin of Judas by saying "oh it was just to fulfill prophecy." His betrayal was a form of treachery that spiritually hit an all-time low. You might think "Boy, that Judas was a louse and a very evil man" and you would be right. But be careful about where we direct our accusations because we are also capable of getting that low if we allow Satan to control what we are doing and saying.

Secondly, then Judas went to those in authority to fulfill what he wanted to get done. Luke 22:4 and he went to the leading priests and captains of the Temple guard to discuss the best way to betray Jesus to them. This is why it is important when picking any kind of leadership we need always wisely choose someone who is a person of integrity. Integrity means that the chosen person will always lean toward fairness and in the case of Christian matters, Godly wisdom. The wisdom that is not tainted by personal gain. Judas was only caring for Judas when he went to betray Jesus. Judas was the treasurer of the group and his desire for personal gain overtook his critical thinking. His thinking process was very tainted by the control of Satan over his thoughts. Judas was no longer seeing the big picture because his focus was off and that had him thinking only about himself.

Thirdly, personal gain always comes into the picture. Luke 22:5 They were delighted, and they promised to give him money. If even the "best" follower of Jesus or someone very close to HIm can betray Him where does that put us? The tendencies are easy to see. We want to get our way, believing our way is best, and we doubt Jesus, and then we go on a path that is led by our own desires. Those desires are not focused on what the Word of God shows us. Remember, Jesus is the Word, so every time we betray the Word of God we are betraying Judas. You may think that harsh, but it is reality. There was a rich man who came to Jesus hoping to receive this eternal life Jesus was offering to all, and Jesus qualified why he was coming very quickly. In Matthew 19 I pick up the conversation where in verses 20 and 21 20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” The word "then" is a very important word here. Jesus was qualifying why the man was coming to Him and instead of just a blanket yes to the rich man's request, Jesus threw in an extra bit of qualifications to help the man see what giving your life to Jesus really means. So, the rich man went away sad because Jesus showed him just where his heart was. If we get the lesson that a heart that is bowed to Jesus will be genuine in its attitude, then we will see that kind of heart is not the heart of a betrayer. Jesus goes on to show the other disciples what the desire for worldly wealth will get you where in verses 23-24 Jesus says 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” A person who is only bringing what he or she offers is a person who is trusting in what they have or they can do. That is a prescription for betrayal because that heart is polluted with a deep pride that is centered around their ability. That person can rely on themselves if Jesus fails them (which He won't).

Fourthly, Satan is always ready to use betrayal to stop a movement of God and when we are in an apathetic mode we miss it and then it is too late. You might think that betrayal is not a part of the Christian life for any of us, but here is the story of the famous Bible translator William Tyndale. William Tyndale, first translated the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into English, making a Bible for the common people. In 1535 he was betrayed by a friend, taken prisoner to the castle of Vilford, and continued to work on his translation. He was unable to finish his work because he was sentenced to die a heretic's death: Strangulation and burning at the stake. On October 6, 1536, he cried out his last words.

There is always a deeper story of betrayal in our life. Whether for personal gain, from a prideful heart, a desire to control, or just being controlled by Satan. It can happen to any of us, and along with it comes the argument by Satan for it to be ok and accepted. The deeper story of betrayal always has a parallel to the betrayal of Judas and the Lord's work is always affected in a negative way by it. Here is the result of the deeper work of Satan in our life Luke 22:6 So he agreed and began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus so they could arrest him when the crowds weren’t around.

The Pilgrimage Continues..

David Warren

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