There are those who would betray, or encourage others to betray the most basic duties of parents, of a family, for money, for ideology, or so they can profit by requiring a bribe so you can love your children.. Those who tell us to live a life without progeny, or joy, or beauty because of some model of disaster are generally not doing this because they are disinterested. There has always been profit in being an acceptable predictor of doom.
If you mock such, they will hate you. If you look at the consequences of the policeis of such — from Greenpeace to those within the churches who are more aligned with the Chinese Communist Party than with Christ — you will see nothing but death, doom and destruction.
Such fools call all truth and beauty and decency colonial oppression, and rage against it.
We have to cast this off. It is a sin that besets us, though we know it not: because we live in a debased society we have to consciously remind ourselves of what it is to be based.
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I used to think that Judas was uncommon, but I have seen too many people betrayed for much less. People want to show their virtue to those who are in power. They want to ingratiate themselves into the great and good. They want to be a success. And with that ambition, Satan enters.
We have to at times give up the hope of promotion and praise to run the race Christ as set us.
21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
But what to make of Christ? He knew this would happen, and that Satan would enter Judas. But he was deeply troubled. He had held all the disciples under his protection until now, when Satan entered one of his closest companions, who knew what he would do next, and where he could be arrested quietly. Calvin’s commentary on this is useful.
The more sacred the apostolic office is, and the higher its dignity, the more base and detestable was the treachery of Judas. A crime so monstrous and detestable struck Christ himself with horror, when he saw how the incredible wickedness of one man had polluted that sacred order in which the majesty of God ought to have shone with brightness. To the same purpose is what the Evangelist adds, that he testified. His meaning is, the action was so monstrous that the bare mention of it could not be immediately believed.
He was troubled in spirit. The Evangelist says that Christ was troubled in spirit, in order to inform us that he did not merely, in countenance and language, assume the appearance of a man who was troubled, but that he was deeply moved in his mind. Spirit here denotes the understanding, or, the soul; for I do not assent to the opinion of some who explain it, as if Christ had been driven by a violent impulse of the Holy Spirit to break out into these words. I readily acknowledge. that all the affections of Christ were guided by the Holy Spirit; but the meaning of the Evangelist is different, namely, that this suffering of Christ was inward, and was not feigned; and it is of great importance for us to know this, because his zeal is held out for our imitation, that we may be moved with deep horror by those monsters which overturn the sacred order of God and of his Church.
From this we should take a couple of points.
The first is that we should not be shocked when those who are given high authority in the church turn out to be either ignorant, feckless, or heretical. Indeed, some will be all of these things. If a man who is seen as a man of God falls, Satan does rejoice, knowing that the scandal will rock the faith of some.
There have always been those who are apostate, and betray Christ.
The second is that we should watch ourselves. We should not have any confidence in our holiness, but in Christs. Santification — becoming the man of God that we are called to be — is a process and during this ofteh things that happen that are bad are turned to Good by the providence of God. Not always, but often.
We are protected from tempations we can’t handle at times though we don’t know it.
Finally, Christ said that he was to be glorified. Those converged, those aligned with the Satanit spirit of this age, that age and any other era since the fall, were nudged or actively coorperated in getting him crucified. On that day, seeing God incarnate damned by the secular and sacred powers of Jerusalem and Israel, Hell rejoiced.
Three days later they knew they were defeated. Christ knew that also before the eveints.
So let us pray for our enemies and those who hate Christ though they say they worship a God of the same name. Let us pray that God blesses them with sufficient difficulty that they repent.
For no one should remain aligned with death, despair and walk in darkness. Let us all repent, and walk in the light.