Your Daily Lenten Devotional
February 28, 2012
One of Your Will Betray Me
And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” (Mark 14:18)
Into the Wilderness
All four Gospels record Jesus’ words at the Last Supper predicting his betrayal at the hands of a disciple. (We will consider the reasons for that betrayal in a subsequent devotional reading.) They also record Jesus’ prediction that before the night was out, Peter would deny knowing him. On his way to the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went on to predict that the remaining disciples would abandon him.
Have you ever been betrayed, abandoned, or disappointed by a friend? Years ago one of my daughters came home in tears because a friend had “stabbed her in the back.” My daughter announced that she would never be the girl’s friend again. I understood how she felt. We all have felt betrayed by a friend at some point in our lives. Sometimes the person is not a friend but a family member or a professional we trusted.
There are forms of betrayal that are so severe and so psychologically damaging that breaking off the relationship is appropriate and necessary for emotional healing to occur. But most often what is required is grace.
Some years ago I was disappointed in a friend who had shared with another person something I had told him in confidence. My initial reaction was to decide he could not be trusted and to put some distance between us. But, prompted I believe by the Spirit, I called to mind moments when I had broken confidence or otherwise disappointed friends. It was hard to be angry with my friend when I had been guilty of doing similar things in the past. So I spoke to him, sharing my concern and disappointment; and he apologized. Our friendship was restored, and we continue to be good friends to this day.
Jesus knew his disciples would betray him, and yet he displayed extraordinary grace toward them at the meal. Knowing that Judas had already agreed to hand him over to the priests, Jesus still included him in the meal. Some scholars believe Jesus placed him to his left in the position of honor at the supper table. Knowing that Peter would deny knowing him, Jesus washed Peter’s feet. Knowing that all would abandon him, he called them his friends; prayed for them; and said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Have you ever played the part of Judas or Peter or the other ten disciples by betraying, denying, or abandoning Jesus through what you have done or failed to do?
As you journey with Jesus in the closing hours of his life, is there anyone who has betrayed, abandoned, or disappointed you that he may be calling you to forgive?
Lord, forgive me for the ways I have played the part of Judas or Peter through what I have done or failed to do. As you have shown me mercy, help me to be merciful toward those who have betrayed or disappointed me. Amen.
24 Hours That Changed the World Daily Devotions
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In this companion volume that can also function beautifully on its own, Adam Hamilton offers 40 days of reflection and meditation enabling us to pause, dig deeper, and emerge changed forever. The reflections, ideal for use in Lent, include Scripture, reflection on the events of Jesus’ final day, stories from Hamilton’s ministry, and prayers.
Used with the kind permission of our friends at Abingdon Press.