March 28, 2018

The Betrayal of Jesus

March 28, 2018


John 13:21-32

Isaiah 50:4-9

Psalm 70

This weekend’s reading: John 20:19-23

“Betrayal. An abandonment of trust by someone close to you. A husband betrayed by his wife. An employee passed over for a promotion by an employer who had promised it. A secret between friends brought to light for all to see. A promise made to a child so easily broken by a parent. How do we deal with that inevitable betrayal that will affect us in our everyday lives?” (from Dr. Drew Randle, Suffering through Betrayal).

In our Scripture reading from John today, we move into the beginning of the Passion narrative. And it begins with betrayal. This passage of scripture is preceded by the beautiful imagery of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, one of his final actions of truly humbling himself as a servant to all people. I have to imagine that the disciples felt a deep sense of community with Jesus and each other as they all participate in this intimate act, as Jesus once again reverses the roles and makes them question what they previously knew. And then, Jesus brings up the small fact that one among them is about to betray him.

In this passage, we do not get a picture of all-knowing Jesus who is calling Judas out on his inevitable sin, pointing fingers or verbally lashing out all the ways he has been wronged. But in verse 21 we see that Jesus was “troubled in his spirit” and “deeply disturbed.” Our Savior was not excluded by sadness and hurt that accompany betrayal, especially the betrayal by a loved one. But, Jesus responded to Judas calmly and graciously, instructing him to do what he knew was going to happen. And then these words, “the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him.” When we follow the example of Jesus and respond to betrayal with love, patience, and forgiveness, God is glorified in us.


  • Imagine you are in the room with Jesus and his disciples when the betrayal is announced. How does that make you feel? How would you respond?
  • Is there a time that you have felt betrayed? What feelings surface when you think about this betrayal?
  • Is there someone in your life you need to forgive for betraying you? Ask God for the strength and wisdom to do so.


  • How do you think Jesus felt knowing that one of his friends was about to betray him?
  • Have you ever been betrayed or had your feelings hurt by a friend?
  • How did it make you feel?
  • Ask God to help you forgive those who have hurt your feelings. Reach out to someone who has had their feelings hurt.

God of forgiveness and love, you know the deep wounds that betrayal has caused in my life. Help me to develop a healthy sense of forgiveness toward those who have hurt me. Thank you for the example of your Son, Jesus. Amen.