You Will Betray Me

And while they were eating, Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” They were deeply grieved and began to ask him, “Surely not I, Lord?” – Matthew 26:21-22

A friend recently went back on her word and I felt betrayed. How dare she!

After all, people are supposed to be unfailingly consistent and keep their promises. Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching. Honesty is the best policy. All that.

But the honest truth is I don’t always “walk the talk” when it comes to living all that. None of us do. We routinely lie, mislead and misrepresent. In doing so we betray ourselves, our values, our relationships, our God. If you deny that you lie, well, you just did.

“One you will betray me,” might be the biggest understatement of Holy Week. Jesus doesn’t mention which disciple he has in mind. He doesn’t have to. He’s talking about all of them. The betrayal didn’t only come when Judas handed Jesus over to the authorities with a kiss, it happened when the disciples denied they would ever betray Jesus. Their denials flew in the face of Jesus’ teaching that humility and repentance are more blessed than boasting and self-righteousness.

What makes this week holy is not our pretensions to innocence. What makes this week holy is the invitation to confess our betrayals and be forgiven.

Jesus, I have betrayed you and will betray you again. Forgive me. Restore me. Remember me when you come into your kingdom.

ddauthormattlaney2014.pngAbout the Author
Matt Laney is the Senior Pastor of Virginia Highland Church UCC in Atlanta, GA and the author of Pride Wars, a fantasy series published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers. The first two books, The Spinner Prince and The Four Guardians are available now.