22 July 2009

Luke 22 The 2 betrayers?

In Luke 22, Jesus and the apostles are dining together and Jesus tells them that he wanted to eat this last passover meal with them before he was to suffer. He then says, "But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”

Much like the disciples, I think my first inclination would have been to ask who the betrayer would be. Thoughts running through their heads, "certainly it cannot be Peter, nor John, but who?" They are looking for the person who will betray the Christ. In their humanity, they lose sight of the fact that this will be their last meal with the man they have spent 3 years with, their rabbi, their Messiah. He has just told them that he is about to suffer and that he will be betrayed. What do they do? They start fighting about who is the greatest? You can imagine Peter, who was so passionate, in there mixing it up.

Judas is clearly the betrayer referenced, but 13 verses later, as a part of the same conversation, we find out that Simon Peter, "the rock" will also be a betrayer of sorts. Christ tells Peter that he will deny him 3 times--he will betray Christ. What a shock to one who was probably in the thick of the "Who's the greatest" rally.

What happened to these 2 betrayers?

Peter denied Jesus 3 times and the rooster crowed. He went out and wept bitterly, repented and through the mighty power of God, was an unswerving voice for the early church, never (as far as we know) denying Christ again. In fact, in John 21:15-17, Christ asks Peter 3 times "Simon, do you love me more than these?", in a way reversing the three denials. Peter preached Jesus as Messiah until he was martyred.

Judas on the other hand felt remorseful but not repentant. He recognized he had sinned and attempted to undo his actions on his own by speaking with the chief priests to no avail. He hung himself and his bowels were spilled out in a field.

Did you ever think about this? Judas' betrayal was to fulfill scripture (Zechariah 11:13), but had it not been, he could have repented and asked for forgiveness from the father and he would have been forgiven?

I think we all have tendencies to be like these apostles. We lose our focus on the cross, we think about ourselves, and we deny Christ. When you do this, who do you want to be like? Do you want to be like Judas who tried to fix it on his own with no success or do you want to be like Peter, who recognized the power of the risen Messiah?

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