In my opinion, the worst type of enemy is a back-stabber or anyone who betrays me, for that matter. I see trust as the cement to all relationships. Even in work relationships, there must be a level of trust and knowing someone has your back if there is going to be cohesiveness in the work place. Even more so in friendships and romantic relationships.
So here goes a HARD lesson today…are we called to “LOVE” the back-stabbers too!!?! How can God expect us to love people that betray us? Is it even possible to love them? Let’s look at some scripture and see. Read this story & let it soak in a few minutes!
John 13: 1-15
1Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.* 2It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas,* son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.
6When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.”
8“No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet,* to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.
What really got me as I read this story again:
Jesus even washed the feet of Judas… the one who was to betray him in just hours! Jesus knew Judas was the one who would betray him! Jesus knew he was about to get stabbed in the back!
BUT get this…
He served & loved Judas anyway.
Jesus did not skip over him. Jesus did not smirk and mumble while washing his feet…He served & loved regardless.
Think about it! Jesus was giving up all his glory, power, and majesty he could have demanded from them. He gave it all up to serve in the lowest position for His friends and Judas, His betrayer!
Now I know me and I am not sure, I could …. or WOULD do this for someone who had betrayed me! Not only was Jesus being nice, He was serving Judas and the others by performing the task that was given to the lowest servant on the totem pole!! Washing feet was entry level and just downright nasty back then! It would be much easier for me to call Judas out & tell everyone of the injustice. The “Judases” deserve to be shamed and held accountable, right??
Jesus says no, not by you Sheila. Ouch .
It is easy to serve & love the ones who appreciate our efforts but not the “Judases.” It is humanly impossible to love those who betray us, but with God all things are possible. Jesus example is a hard one to follow when the last thing we want to do is good to those who hurt us and therefore ‘do not deserve it’ in our eyes.
The moment we deem the “Judases” unworthy of love will probably be the moment the Holy Spirit reminds us that we did not deserve salvation either, but Jesus didn’t withhold it from us. (Another punch to the heart!)
So HOW can we LOVE one who has betrayed us? Christian agape love is different than a friendship love or romantic love. Christian LOVE means you work diligently to forgive the offender, through prayer, godly council and obeying what God leads you to do to overcome this hurt. Christian love doesn’t mean you must invite them to dinner or do lunch on a regular basis.
This choice to LOVE the “Judas” is between you & God more than between you and the offender, really. It doesn’t mean what the offender did is excused, it only means you want a growing relationship with God MORE than you want revenge.
To love and serve requires that we forgive. Can you say H.A.R.D? But remember, with God all things are possible!
I can promise that change will come when you begin to work through the hurt and anger, going to God in prayer, and a willingness to be obedient to what He tells you! He will begin to change your heart and the way you think of that offender. It won’t be easy or overnight, but He will make it happen if we truly want it.
He begins with us. He grows our heart’s ability to see what Jesus did for us as we betrayed Him. Only when we understand that forgiveness, can we begin to forgive and love others in that Christ-like way!
The more I study the Bible and get to know my Jesus, the more I see how amazing He is! The night before he was to be crucified, he didn’t ask for a special event. He didn’t fall into a pity party. He didn’t make it about himself at all!
Jesus used his last night with the disciples to serve them. Jesus humbled himself by washing the disciple’s feet. He showed them by example on his last day of life what they were to do for others.
Jesus taught them that night to SERVE & LOVE even the betraying back-stabber.
Jesus showed us – you SERVE & LOVE Me & others, God takes care of the rest.
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