The Price of Betrayal

Judas' regret

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         Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus. [Matthew 26:14-16]

         During supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him… [John 13:2]

         And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. [Luke 22:3]

         The devil and betrayal go together. One may wonder how a man such as Judas could have spent so much time with the Lord and still have such a wicked heart toward Him. One may also wonder why the Lord even allows betrayal in the first place. In His case, it was all a part of the plan. But why are His people betrayed?

         It may also be part of His plan. On the one hand it is a simple battle tactic, a method used by the enemy to inflict damage. On the other hand it is an insidious process to inflict pain on a higher level, a needless level of pain, one that goes beyond the mere achieving of a goal. It is used to strike at the deepest center of a person’s heart in such a way that recovery is often impossible. It’s a method of piling on or mutilating a corpse after murder. It reveals an enormous amount of pure hate on the part of the betrayer that goes far beyond a simple elimination of one’s opposition.

         I went to see The Passion of the Christ when the film first arrived in theaters in 2004. I never saw it again until a few weeks ago. Once was plenty for seven years. As we all know, the film illustrates graphically the nature of pure betrayal upon an innocent Man. They could have simply murdered Him, but the enemy wanted to inflict as much pain as possible. Though the House of Annas was the principal party behind the execution, and the Roman army the tool, it was the devil that was obviously lurking behind the entire plot. He would make an example of the Lord and attempt to put enough fear in the Lord’s followers that they would shrink from their duty and betray Him as well.

         The Lord Jesus was demonized in that He was made to appear evil or threatening in the eyes of others. He was lied about. Most people believed the lies. They had no idea a powerful demonic influence was behind the lies. They were manipulated. Many who saw the Lord in action and heard His teachings had grown to greatly appreciate Him. He made them feel free. His wonderful presence was a joy. But then they drifted off. They accepted the innuendo and false charges as fact, and allowed fear to take hold in their hearts. They would no longer stand with Him. They would not defend Him. At the time of His trial, the Lord was all alone. Not a single supporting voice of any disciple was heard. Even His right hand man denied Him.

         We may see this as a onetime event in the life of the Son of God that has no bearing on betrayal in general, but this is incorrect. Betrayal is what it is, regardless of the betrayed. It is something almost impossible to defend against because it involves loved ones and trusted ones—friends and family—those who are thought to be on one’s side. The Lord knew in advance. Few others know anything at all until the trap is sprung.

         “But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated by all because of My name.” [Luke 21:16] 

         “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another.” [Matthew 24:9-10]

         “But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.” As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. [John 6:64-66] [1]

         © 2011 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.

         Real Christianity—The Nature of the Church


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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Posted on May 14, 2011, in Teaching and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. How often we allow the betrayal of a trusted friend, relative or Brother to sour our relationships…not only with them, but with God as well. Some even withdraw from the fellowship of the Body. It’s like the betrayal raises a wall between us that can only be breached by the person causing the hurt…and so we wait for apologies, never expecting to receive them. We forget that to be forgiven we must forgive(Matt 6:14). Let us never forget that a betrayer can be forgiven (Peter is a prime example). If God can forgive, why not I?

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  2. Very well said, Don. Thanks.

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  3. In one point of view, Jesus had to suffer the cross alone. We as imperfect men and women could not have gone with Him that time. Many have had the fortitude to do so since. Jesus bought my freedom that day, I am very thankful. If a man went with Him that day, would things be different? I believe it was God’s plan all along. A gift to save us who cleave to the cross, and yes, to teach us, we can not be saved any other way.

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