After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” John 13:21
The Antidote For Betrayal
Have you ever been betrayed by an enemy?
No, you expect them to slander, slap, and stab you.
Because that’s what an enemy is supposed to do.
But a friend?
If you’re reading this—or putting it another way if you’re breathing—then you’ve been betrayed and have betrayed someone else.
What can betrayal look like?
Whether it was a slip of a secret, a word that should have been left unsaid, not standing up for them, an attack on the other person’s character, or throwing someone under the bus instead of taking rightful blame, betrayal is an experience we all know.
We betray, and we’re betrayed.
I can envision Jesus after His arrest, there in the courtyard, with Peter in the distance looking on—just after he had vehemently denied even knowing this Jesus.
Here was the same Peter Jesus said He would build His church upon.
Peter had boasted that all the others might fall away, but never him!
Jesus would feel the emotional pain foretold in the prophetic words in David’s psalm: “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” (Psalm 55:12–13).
So what did Jesus do?
Peter betrayed Jesus by denying Him three times; Jesus later restored him in a manner that allowed Peter to affirm his love for Jesus three times (see their conversation in John 21:15–17).
This allowed Jesus to go deep with the restoration.
Three times, Peter would claim and reclaim his love for the Friend who had given up His life for him.
So what are we to do when we betray or are betrayed?
We’re to ask forgiveness and forgive—through the power of the One who loves us, Jesus Christ.
Lord, You have forgiven us. You have given us the ministry of reconciliation so that we may bring Your love to a lost and dying world. May asking for forgiveness be as common as forgiving others. Amen