Just Wondering…

Just Wondering…
By Pastor Lee Hemen
April 21, 2014

While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” (Luke 22:47-48 NIV)

I was just wondering; how do you feel about being betrayed? You know what I mean, you trust someone is your friend because they have said so and yet they betray that trust. One of history’s harshest examples of personal betrayal is when Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. He is selling out Jesus, his friend and Rabbi, out to those who would falsely convict Him on trumped up charges and then crucify him. We are all appalled at the almost flippant way Judas betrayed Jesus and he did it with a sign of friendship, a kiss on the cheek. Perhaps, he did it for money, perhaps to force Jesus’ hand so that He would proclaim Himself Israel’s King. But whatever the reason, he betrayed Jesus and we hold most betrayers with contempt. Kind of like many do when they betray fellow believers. Now, have you ever betrayed a friendship or a trust? We have all been dumped by a schoolyard crush who then says something like, “We can still be friends!” Yeah, right. Yet don’t we do the very same thing when we say we love our church, our fellow Christians or church members and yet dump them at our slightest whim? It is kind of like kissing them on the cheek and slapping them as we slam the door. The Apostle John experienced the frustration of this kind of betrayal when those who said they loved Jesus and His church, but then left. “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” (1 John 2:19 NIV) Why is this seen as betrayal? Because we forget that Jesus views fellow church members as His body in the world doing His work and will and not their own work and will. Today many think that they can leave a church for whatever reason they desire or they simply never join a church. Both are not biblical. Just as the disciples fell asleep and were chastened by Jesus, many of those who think church membership is simply going through the doors of worship or leaving when things get tough will find that it is a form of betrayal as well. Not just to the church in general, Jesus’ Body, but to the Lord Himself. We cannot “kiss” Jesus on the cheek, then walk away whenever we desire from His church. We cannot remain “fiends” with Christ when we still have thirty pieces of silver jingling in our pocket as we take a hike. Makes one wonder…

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