At some point, we’ve all felt betrayed. It could be a big friendship falling out, or a breach of trust on a smaller scale. In my life, I can think of a few times this has happened and I’ll be honest: I never saw it coming. I was blindsided by the comment or the hurt that came my way.
So it really shocks me that Jesus knew exactly what was about to go down when he says, “One of you will betray me.” He knew who it was and how it would happen and yet, he let it happen. He didn’t beg Judas to change his mind, even though he knew this betrayal would lead to his own death. And then, what does he do?
Love One Another
He charges them to love one another. To be kind and care for and encourage one another. If someone with nothing to lose tells us to be kind, we may listen. But if a man experiencing major betrayal—by one of his own followers—can say it? Surely we should take heed. Because Jesus has a way of knowing the ugly parts of the story and choosing to lay down his life for us anyway.
We aren’t commanded to love as long as people are loving us back, we are commanded to love.
When I think back to the times I have felt hurt or betrayed, what always rises to the surface is the reality that Christ is the only one who never does that. Humans are, well, human. Everyone I love has hurt me in some way over the course of our relationship, even if it was just a misunderstanding we later worked out. If only those who never hurt me are counted worthy of my love, I’ll never love anyone. Rather, I can be wise in my approach but still care for that person by wanting their best or praying for healing in the places they need it most.
Written by Melissa Zaldivar
Artwork by Lauren Wright Pittman, The Kiss, © A Sanctified Art