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Jesus, Judas, Conflict, and Cure

black shirt that says pray for your enemies
March 31, 2021
Erin Branham

Jesus will flip your thoughts about how to interact with someone who is hurting you UPSIDE DOWN. In conflict with someone? Watch how Jesus handles it.

Jesus knew Judas was a thief, but he still kept him around.

“But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, ‘That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.’ Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.” – John 12:6

Jesus knew Judas betrayed him, yet he served him.

“It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” – John 13:2-5

Jesus could have ordered Judas from the supper room, but he invited Judas in.

“When it was evening, Jesus sat down at the table with the Twelve.” – Matthew 26:20

Jesus didn’t let Judas escape from being called out, but he gave Judas the opportunity to confess and ask forgiveness.

“‘One of you who has just eaten from this bowl with me will betray me. For the Son of Man must die, as the Scriptures declared long ago. But how terrible it will be for the one who betrays him. It would be far better for that man if he had never been born!’ Judas, the one who would betray him, also asked, ‘Rabbi, am I the one?’ And Jesus told him, ‘You have said it.'” – Matthew 26:23-25

You may be thinking, “That’s nice…but that’s Jesus. He’s perfect.”

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.” – Hebrews 4:15

You may be reiterating, “Jesus was perfect – I can’t and won’t do that.”

“I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” – Jesus (John 13:15)

You may be switching gears to say, “You have no idea who is testing me right now.”

“I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:43-48

We often feel justified in our response to conflict, hurt, or pain. We’ve been hurt, so we will hurt in return and/or hold it against the person who hurt us, but in the end we only hurt ourselves by holding on to the hurt and unforgiveness. But see how Scripture reminds us that Jesus saw and felt all those things. He was the most hurt, betrayed, scarred human in history, who willingly took on Judas’s sin…and yours and mine.

We can forgive. We can choose to listen to Jesus and do as he did for us. It is not easy. It was not easy for Jesus, either. It comes from love and yielding to our Heavenly Father just as Jesus did.

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