Betrayal and Denial

A.  Betrayal

  1. Betrayal was unfortunately woven into one of the most important evenings of Jesus’ earthly ministry.
  2. Judas’ Bargain – Matt 26: 14-16 or Luke 22: 1 – 6

           i.    V14 -Jesus was betrayed by one of his ‘inner circle’

           ii.    V15 – 30 pieces of silver was the price of a slave. Huge contrast between what the woman did in the verses immediately before this with the woman, the costly fragrant oil, the alabaster flask, versus the cheapening in these verses of Jesus life and the mere 30 pieces of silver that Judas would be paid for betraying Jesus.  It is spoken of in Zechariah 11:12 prophetically.

          iii.    The betrayal was convenient for the Jewish leaders, as they could claim that Jesus was ‘turned in’ by one of his own – By Judas.

3. In the same evening that Jesus had the Last Supper with the Disciples, He also told the disciples that one of them would betray Him – Luke 22: 21-24

               i.    John 13:2,11 –2-‘The devil already having put it in the heart of Judas to betray Him’, 11- Jesus knew who would betray Him thus speaking that not all of them were clean – there was a traitor among them.

              ii.    Psalm 41:9 speaks of this betrayal. It was both our sinfulness and the pre-determined plan of God that Jesus was delivered to death for us. (Acts 2:23)

            iii.    V22 – Jesus said ‘woe’ (much grief will come) to that man who betrays Him.

            iv.    Notice the disciple’s cluelessness and fascination in focusing who is the greatest among then just on the heels of Jesus’ announcement to them.

             v.    Jesus first told them that it would happen and then sure enough it did just a few hours later.

4. Judas betrays Jesus – Luke 22: 47-53

        i.    1stMatt 26: 48-50 – Judas was the only one in the Gospel of Matthew to address Jesus as rabbi. The kiss was supposedly a sign of affection. (But see Prov 27:6 for it is not always). In v 50, Jesus calls Judas ‘friend’, perhaps an offer for Judas to change his mind. I don’t really imagine that Jesus and Judas were friends, but they had spent the better part of the last 3 years together traipsing all over the countryside.

       ii.    What is it like to be betrayed by someone close to you, someone you trusted and knew well?? Perhaps you have been. If so, and if you still have a wound in your soul over it, our God is here today to heal the brokenhearted. If this speaks to you, I urge you to give your situation to Him and be open to His healing and encouragement in your heart. I also encourage you to try to forgive that one that betrayed you.

      iii.    V50 – The Gospel of John tells us that it was impulsive Peter who struck the ear of the high priest’s servant.

      iv.    V51 – Jesus showed love for His opponents by healing the man’s ear.

       v.    V52 – Jesus rebuked His captors for treating Him as a robber or bandit.

5.  Judas’ remorse – Matt 27: 1-5

      i.    Maybe Judas hadn’t planned on things happening like they did. Maybe Judas thought that by betraying Jesus that Jesus would take action against the Romans and Judas’ other enemies. Maybe that would get Jesus to begin His kingdom rule. This was not the time for that.

     ii.    Compare verse 5 with Acts 1:18, which says Judas’ death was due to a headlong fall. If the tree that Judas hanged himself on was over a rocky precipice then it helps us to understand more of what was behind Acts 1:18.

 B.  Denial

  1. Denial in our culture is a regular thing. We are used to hearing politicians, celebrities, and many others deny that they did this or that, said this or that, or were involved in this or that. I did not, I was not. They want us to believe that they always have pure motives, never meant any harm, and of course were always honest. We also hear their PR machines, the spin meisters/lawyers who proclaim their innocence even to the point when their clients go to jail.
  2. Today however we are talking about denial in a different way. Denial by someone who knew and walked with Jesus. Denial that he even knew Jesus.
  3. Jesus told Peter in advance that he would deny Him – Matt 26:31-35

             i.    The rooster crow in that day referred to the time between midnight and 3 am.

            ii.    Take note of the account of this in Luke 22: 31,32, where the Lord indicates that He has restored Peter even before his fall and denial.

4. Peter denied he knew Jesus – Matt 26: 69-75

            i.    Denial 1 – to a servant girl

           ii.    Denial 2 to a girl, These 2 girls were not formidable foes. Why was Peter intimidated by them to deny that he knew Jesus?

         iii.    Denial 3 was to the people who stood there with him. With each denial Peter grew more angry & defensive.

         iv.    Afterwards Peter wept bitterly. This likely indicated that Peter was disappointed & angry with himself, plus likely his repentant attitude about what he had done.

         v.    Why did Peter deny Jesus? Fear for his own skin? Fear that he too would be arrested?

       vi.    Isn’t another word to describe this sort of denial lying?

      vii.    We need to stop and reflect on the weight of the events of that night, of the actions & words taken by Judas and Peter and of the huge impact they had on Jesus.  We also need to reflect on how Jesus handled them. Jesus did not back down from His mission. He did not feel sorry for Himself. He showed love throughout and pressed on in His passion as our redeemer and savior.

   viii.    As we reflect on all that went on that last week, let praise and thanks well up inside us to Him for His incredible grace.

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