Matthew 26:47-56 (Part 1) – Are You Cheating on Jesus?

Posted: April 10, 2016 in Gospel of Matthew

Matthew 26:47-56 (Part 1)

Jesus is Betrayed and Arrested

 

Have you ever suffered betrayal? Have you ever had a spouse be unfaithful to you? Have you ever suspected it and then had it confirmed? They act like everything’s normal and nothing has changed. They even kiss you and hug you but there are things happening that we know are not right, but you just can’t prove it yet. But there has not been an affair yet that has not been found out at some point. Even though you suspect that an affair is going on, it does not change the shock, sadness and feelings of betrayal that you feel when you have it confirmed either by confession or confrontation. You don’t want it to be true but the facts all point to it. Yet, at the same time, you don’t really want to face the truth. The pain and suffering are overwhelming when the truth is confirmed. You know when those words come out of your spouse’s mouth, there will be a perceptible cracking sound in the universe for you. Everything will change when those words of revelation are uttered. It will change your world. It will rock your world. At that seminal moment, everything changes. All the years of intimacy. All the years of confidences. All the years of shared existence. All the years of shared experience. All shattered. Everything changes. All betrayed. Because of the selfishness of one spouse, the other gets crushed. Because one spouse was not getting the marriage that they wanted, they act selfishly. They want the convenience of the marriage but the selfish desires of an affair. They want to keep things the same, but they set the course for things to be forever changed. There is justification that being married and having the affair is OK. They want to be on the inside and the outside at the same time. However, there comes that moment that choices have to be made. There will be that moment when a choice has to be made. There is that confrontation moment that sends two lives (and the lives of children, if there are any in the marriage) on new courses. That intersection, that moment of truth, lives are changed forever. One goes one way. One goes another. Forever altered by that one moment of confrontation. Choices are made. Real colors are revealed. Have you ever been there? That is what I think of when I think about this moment in the first half of this passage for today, Matthew 26:47-56. Let’s read the passage together, shall we?

 

 

47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. 48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” 49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

 

50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.”[a]

 

Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

 

52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”

 

55 In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. 56 But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.

 

I know that Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him. He knew that this was the vehicle that God was going to use to make His plan go into motion. But I still think Jesus was heartbroken over Judas’ action. Like a spouse who knows that his/her spouse has been unfaithful but still loves them. It hurts deeply like a torrential rainfall of emotional pain but the love is still there. I think Jesus felt that way over Judas. Betrayed by Judas but still loving him. That moment of revelation that you suspected was coming and that you had been preparing yourself for, does not take away the pain that the actual revelation brings. Jesus was that way about Judas I bet. Heartbroken but still loving. Heartbroken because Judas could not see beyond his own selfish desires and heartbroken because those desires would lead to ruin. Notice that even till the end, Judas still does not call Jesus, Lord, as do the other disciples. Judas still sees Him as a teacher and as an asset to be managed and used to get what he wants. Judas calls him, Rabbi, but not Lord. Judas still is not seeing Jesus as the Son of God but rather as a teacher, an influential teacher. He still sees Jesus as someone that he can hitch his political wagon to. Maybe, Judas betrayed Jesus to force Jesus’ hand. Maybe, he was trying to goad Jesus into rebelling and leading a revolt. But it was all selfishly motivated whatever the reason. He wanted Jesus to be what he wanted Jesus to be. He wanted him to be a leader in a brave, new world and Judas would be on the inside of that. His selfish desires blinded him to the Savior, the Lord, the Messiah and what the Messiah had come to do.

 

What can we learn from Judas, Jesus and the kiss in this moment that we can use in our lives today? First, I think we can learn that Jesus is heartbroken over us when we try to make Jesus fit our agenda rather than the other way around. He is heartbroken when we try to make Jesus into what we want Him to be rather than who He truly is. We break His heart when we do not see Jesus as Savior and Lord. Many of us want to make Jesus into our own image. We make Him sometimes to be all forgiveness and no judgment so that we can continue to live the lifestyles that we want to live. Sometimes, we want Him to be all forgiveness when our actions are clearly against the Word of God. Sure, Jesus forgives our sins but He does judge those who fail to repent of them, those who revel in their continued sins. Sometimes, we want Jesus just to be a good philosopher so that we do not have to deal with Him being God in the flesh which would require us to see Him as the only way to heaven. With Him as just a good philosopher, it means that we can pick and choose what parts of Him we want to follow. Sometimes, we want Him to be a political revolutionary so that he can support our agenda of disdain for anything established and accepted. Sometimes, we want Jesus to be our cover for our own greed by submitting that our prosperity is Jesus’ blessing upon us. Sometimes, we want our Jesus to be something that is not even scriptural by using Him to support hate, racism, and lots of other things that are on our political agendas. Jesus is heartbroken over this. Jesus wants us to know Him as our Savior and Lord. He wants us to know the real Him. He wants to know Him and trust Him as the Holy One. He wants us to be submitted to Him as the one and only way to the Father. He wants us to see Him as the only way that we are prevented from being separated from God eternally.

 

The other thing that I think we can learn is that we cannot let our selfish desires blind us to who Jesus really is because the results can be devastating. Just as a cheating spouse does is blind to the damage that their affair can do those around them and especially to themselves, so too are the consequences of being blind to Jesus. To a cheating spouse, they have this idealized view of what their life with their lover is going to be like that is far from what it will actually turn out to be. Those relationships that begin in affairs may well turn out fine in some cases but often it only leads to an entirely new set of problems added on top of already existing problems. When we follow our selfish desires and reject Jesus because we do not have a place for Him in our lives, we often send ourselves down a road of bad choices and the consequences of them. Rejecting Jesus allows us to make ourselves our own gods. We cater to our selfish desires and leave behind a trail of dead bodies behind, so to speak. We keep seeking those selfish desire that we think will make us happy. We always come up empty and searching again. We are made with a God-sized whole in our soul that only Jesus can fill. He awaits. He is heartbroken over your choices so far in your life. He is heartbroken over the path your life is taking. He knows that you are self-destructing though you don’t even know it. He simply wants you to come to Him and call Him Lord and Savior.

 

Are you betraying Jesus today? Are you breaking His heart? Come to Him now and make Him your Lord and Savior. Not rabbi but Lord and Savior. Amen and Amen.

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