When we betray Jesus!
By Pastor Lee Hemen
March 7, 2011
“Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” (Mark 14:42 NIV)
When the President of the United States enters a room, they declare, “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States!” When the Queen of England enters a room, they proclaim, “Her Royal Majesty the Queen!” We see a similar occurrence when a judge enters a courtroom where the bailiff announces, “All rise, this court is now in session. The honorable Judge so-and-so presiding.” All of these signify someone of importance entering the scene and we should recognize the fact in some way. How sad then to be announced by Jesus with the words, “Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
How awful to be known for all eternity as the one who betrayed the Messiah. Yet, this is exactly how Judas is remembered. In fact, his name has become synonymous with betrayal.
Recently, there was a TV program that related they thought Judas received unfair treatment by New Testament authors that Judas was in reality just trying to fight for the freedom of his people. It is an old excuse for Judas’ actions. The narrator even tried to say that Judas may not have even existed because his name is a direct derivative of the same name given to Israel: Judah. And so, this was a means to vilify the Jews for killing Jesus in the first place; however the program completely neglected the words of Jesus himself.
National Geographic in a display of deliberate animosity toward Christianity did a bias program on the Gnostic gospel of Judas. They tried to translate it as relating Judas was really a hero, the disciple Jesus loved, and was betrayed by the jealous disciples. Yet, when major Greek translators, biblical scholars, and other academics got a closer look at the rediscovered manuscript it became evident that this is not what it said at all. National Geographic was showing their bigotry. Why would a major organization do such a thing? I believe it was another misguided attempt to chip away at Christianity’s integrity. Also, no one likes to be called, “Betrayer!”
Sadly, National Geographic and other biased organizations do not have to chip away at Christianity’s integrity; Christians do that all by themselves! Every time Christians argue, take one another to court, or treat one another just as the world treats its own, we betray Jesus. Christians betray Jesus when they do not share their faith, when they do not join a church, or when they do not give or serve in a church. Far too many like what the body of Christ has to offer, but far too few want to be an involved part of the body of Christ. When we do, it is a betrayal of what Jesus came and died for. He came to establish his kingdom, through his church, in the world. While Jesus walked this earth he came to seek and save the lost, and he left behind his church to continue his work until he returns again. You cannot say you are part of his body without belonging to his church. And when you say you love Jesus yet do not belong, give, and serve in his body, you betray Jesus.
Pastor Lee Hemen has been the outspoken pastor of the same church for 25 years in Vancouver, WA. He writes regularly on spirituality and conservative causes and maintains several web blogs. This article is copyrighted © 2011 by Lee Hemen and is the sole property of Lee Hemen, and may not be used unless you quote the entire article and have my permission.