Dealing With the Betrayal of a Friend

Could you imagine if tonight you knew one of your closest friends would betray you and you’d be arrested?

The Jewish passover began at sundown Thursday evening. So that meant he had a long day of waiting for the sun to set.

At sunset, Jesus and his disciples went to the upper room to share their passover meal. Before this dinner – Judas had already betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.

Matthew 26:14 tells us this was Judas’ own idea – he was not propositioned by the religious leaders, he went to them! He said “what are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” And now Jesus sits in the upper room and the first thing he says is “one of you will betray me tonight… Woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Can you imagine the pit in Judas’ stomach? What was he thinking? How could he sit there without saying a word?

After dinner, Jesus goes into the Garden of Gethsemane to pray and there Judas arrives with the soldiers following him and he greets Jesus “Greetings Rabbi (Teacher)! and he kissed him.” Jesus replied “FRIEND, do what you came for.”

Did we just hear Jesus correctly – did he call Judas, his betrayer, his friend? Trust me, if a “so-called” friend had just turned me in for something I was innocent of – “friend” is not the term I’d use to describe them.

Jesus treated his betrayer as if he was faithful.

Max Lucado says of Judas “Jesus could see something we can’t… Jesus knew Judas had been seduced by a powerful foe. He was aware of the wiles of Satan’s whispers. He knew how hard it was for Judas to do what was right. He didn’t justify what Judas did. He didn’t minimize the deed. Nor did he release Judas from his choice. But he did look eye to eye with his betrayer and try to understand. As long as you hate your enemy, a jail door is closed and a prisoner is taken. But when you try to understand and release your foe from your hatred, then the prisoner is released and that prisoner is you.”

Has a close friend or relative betrayed you? How have you responded? Jesus treated his betrayer as if he was faithful. The word “Christian” means a follower of Christ. If you are a Christian – follow Christ’s example. Try to understand that there is a powerful foe that is having victory in your betrayer’s life.

In the end, Judas was overcome with guilt. He tried to return the money to the chief priests but they would not accept it. “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hung himself.” (Matt. 27:5)

Your betrayer is in his own prison of misery. Release your foe from your hatred – and be free. Jesus went to the cross so you could live in freedom!

Walk with the King!

Receive Courtney’s free eBook by clicking here–>> The Proverbs 31 Woman~One Virtue At A Time.
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  1. Sharon says

    It is so true that we are the prisoner when we hold a grudge. Did the quote from Max Lucado come from a book? If so, which one? I’d love to read it. Thanks for sharing, Courtney!

  2. says

    Although I’ve surely been betrayed many times in my life, the current season of betrayal is the most excruciating kind. While forgiveness is rarely something we feel like doing, that is ok. God will always give us the strength to do that which he has called us to do. I whole heartedly agree that the issue isn’t really between me and my betrayer, but rather a battle with a very evil foe. I think that when I can remember that, it makes it easier to look in his face and offer a smile.

    • says

      Kim – I’m so sorry that you are hurting :( Betrayal is so painful. Our enemy does not want us to live free – he wants us to be miserable and bound by our hatred and bitterness. Our battle is not with “flesh and blood…but with the spiritual forces of evil.” Eph. 6:12. Stand firm! Be free!

  3. simpletidings says

    My husband and I experienced the betrayal of very close family members and it is painful. However, I am amazed at the work of the Lord in me that has come fromit. Not only has it has not caused any bitterness in me (pain, yes, but not bitterness) it has prompted me into a closer walk with the Lord and a deeper empathy for those trapped in the enemies grip. There is no freedom outside of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for the great article! :)

    • says

      Simpletidings! Wow – what a work God has done in your life. This is such a testimony to those who are still in the thick of pain and sorrow from betrayal. Turning to God and walking closer with him makes all the difference in the world!
      Keep walking with the King!

  4. JMB says

    I have dealt with betrayal in my life and it is no fun and very hard at times to find that forgiveness that Christ tells us to have towards our transgressors. The betrayal in my life was infidelity with my previous marriage and it has been very hard to find that forgiveness because they have never asked for forgiveness. My relationship with Christ has help me overcome this area in my life. God has blessed me with a Christian husband and has given us 3 beautiful children.

    For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

    • says

      Oh JMB – I am so sorry. There is no pain like the spouses betrayal and finding forgiveness when they have not admitted their wrong…is the absolute hardest forgiveness to find. It truly is supernatural and can only come from God. Your strength is unbelievable and I love how God has blessed you with a Christian husband and 3 children!
      Keep walking with the King!

  5. Deanna @onestepwomanblog says

    Betrayal is so hurtful! Unfortunately it is so common even with people who are Christians. We have to remember that everyone’s walk with GOD is at a different pace. I pray for the women with whom my trust is lost. I apologized for any hard feelings I may have given them for them to talk about me and was told I was being “holier than thou”. It never ends, but I feel at peace.
    Very good post today!

  6. Jennifer G says

    Praise God for Judas’ betrayal. I’m sure our salvation would have come anyway, but Judas is the route the Lord chose. What a horrible realization he had to come to once it was over. I am sure that my sins pain our Lord over and over, but I would not have wanted to carry the burden Judas did.

    I have needed this message for a while. And I’ve needed to read the comments, as well, especially simpletidings’ comment: “it has prompted me into a closer walk with the Lord and a deeper empathy for those trapped in the enemies grip. There is no freedom outside of the Lord Jesus Christ.” That is what I need to strive for. I do have bitterness, and I need to turn more to Jesus to let that go.

    Thank you

  7. Cynthia Lau says

    Wonderful post! Thanks so much for sharing this. I never noticed before that the betrayal was Judas’ idea. What guilt he must have felt.

  8. craftymom says

    Betrayal is the worst pain anyone can go through. While the person is motioning with their right hand for you to come closer, they switch hands and stab you in the back. I have experienced the worst kind with infidelity with my husband and a friend. Betrayed by both of them. Lied to for so long makes it difficult to trust again. It is a feeling you can never forget. Forgiveness is hard. I decided that the evil one will not destroy me, my family or my marriage. It has been the hardest thing I have dealt with. I still have a hard time with forgiveness. I try not to let bitterness creep into my life and only through prayer can I deal with that.

  9. Toni says

    This was POWERFUL to read, Courtney. Those last three paragrapsh describe my extended family in some ways; holding grudges, someone always wanting to avenge a “wrong” (perceived or real) committed against them by another family member. I am FREE from that. FREE in Jesus. I have known the bondage that you spoke of, but I choose to be free from it today. Sure, there are some hurts that…..hurt. But Jesus can heal my hurts and I can feel so very peaceful when I am able to release someone from from my expectations of them. I know God is working in me and through me and my family as we try to live by example in the midst of our extended loved ones. I am always so encouraged by your wise insight from the Word. THANK YOU and have a blessed Easter!!!


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