Matthew: The Messiah of Promise Part #4
We are continuing in our series in Matthew and this sermon deals with a bitter betrayal from an old friend.
17 Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?” 18 He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and say to him, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’” 19 And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover. 20 When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. 21 And as they were eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22 And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”
I’m sure many of us have had a “Good Friend” betray us. This hurt runs extremely deep in our hearts and minds. Judas was more than a good friend; he was a confidant of Jesus who was entrusted with the group’s money. He sat near Jesus on the table indicating his standing with the Messiah. Jesus gave him much, but it wasn’t enough, Judas wanted/needed more. It is so easy to say we would have never betrayed Jesus in the same circumstance, but we can’t say that, since we betray Christ in many ways in our own lives now. Jesus knew exactly who Judas was, yet He continued to trust in and love Him. We don’t know why Judas decided Jesus wasn’t who He said He was, but we know that he was once a man that had hope in Christ, and for some reason, lost that hope. Many believe it was Judas’ desire to restore Israel to its nationalistic prominence, and didn’t feel Jesus was carrying through with this task, with which he had hoped he would. Maybe Judas did expect a ‘better’ Messiah; one who would ‘save’ Israel from Roman imperialism. Whatever the reason, Jesus wasn’t good enough. He didn’t line up with Judas’ hopes, dreams and expectations. It can be easy to fall into the same disillusion about Jesus when we fail to realize His purpose for coming in the first place.
- In what way(s) have you felt disillusionment with Christ?
- Why do you think Judas betrayed Jesus? Does it matter why?
- How can people so close to Christ, betray Him?
- In what way(s) does this reflect on our own walk with Jesus?
- What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to this earth? How does that matter in this story?