Friday, October 14

Hurt by friends 

Scripture: Ezekiel 21-22, Matthew 26

Matthew 26:21 While they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus said to them, “Tonight all of you will fall away because of me…

Matthew 26:34 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to him, “tonight, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”

Matthew 26:56 …Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away.

Observation

Betrayed, denied and deserted. On Jesus’ final night with His disciples, these 12 men in whom He had invested three years, this was His experience.

Betrayed by Judas for 30 pieces of silver.

Denied by Peter, despite Jesus’ warning and Peter’s promises.

Deserted by all of them, despite Jesus’ warning and their promises. When Jesus was arrested, rather than standing by Him, they fled. All of them. 

Jesus had prayed in the garden, “If it is possible, take this cup from me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Jesus surrendered to God’s will and accepted the cup of suffering which included these painful experiences with His closest friends. 

Application

I’ve experienced betrayal, denial and desertion by friends—not to the degree that Jesus did, but real nonetheless. And it hurts. I’ve invested deeply in people, and then grieved when they left. They deserted me…although that’s not how they saw it, but that’s how it felt to me. 

It happens. And when it does, I can go to Jesus knowing that He understands. He knows this feeling. (See Hebrews 2:17-28)

And then there is the mystery of God’s will in the midst of suffering. It was God’s will that Jesus suffer to redeem us, and His suffering included this betrayal/denial/desertion by friends. I have to believe that God is working redemptively in the midst of my pain too. 

Prayer: Jesus, my heart hurt for You as I read this story this morning. It hurts to be betrayed, denied and deserted by those you love—and no one knows that better than You. You surrendered to this suffering—and more—to redeem all of us. Thank you. I trust You to work redemptively in my suffering as well. 

PS: If you’re reading this and are concerned for me, please know that I’m thinking about past experiences. I’m not currently struggling with any friends who’ve betrayed me. I’m good! I was just reflecting on the experience of Jesus and relating it to things I’ve experienced…in the past.