If you were Jesus, and you knew you were only hours away from all the events that were about to take place, wouldn’t you think you be troubled? However, if we link His “troubled in spirit” to what was going on in the previous verses, it is pretty easy for us to surmise that Jesus was troubled because of what He knew Judas was going to do – betray Him.
Betrayal is tough to overcome. When a spouse feels betrayed, it can be insurmountable. When a coworker or partner feels betrayed, trust goes out the window rather quickly and rarely returns. It’s not that trust can’t be rebuilt. It’s just difficult to rebuild. It has been said “that for every act of mistrust or distrust in a relationship, it takes 10 acts of trust to rebuild it.”
I did a quick search of history’s most “Infamous Betrayers” and names like, MARCUS BRUTUS, BENEDICT ARNOLD, Tokyo Rose, Alfred Redl, The Rosenbergs, Aldrich Ames were a few who were repeated. BUT one name that was mentioned on almost every lists was JUDAS ISCARIOT. He has become the “poster child” for betrayers. Matthew and Mark record this same statement from the lips of Christ on the night of His betrayal:
The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.” Matthew 26:24 (NIV)
That is a strong statement. It would be better if he had not been born. Why? The writer of Hebrews offers this thought.
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6 if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Hebrews 6:4-6 (NIV)
Could there be anything worse than knowing the Son of Man, the Messiah, and not receiving what He offers? Consider that for all of eternity, Judas will look back forever to what could have been.
Yet, lest we become arrogant and fall prey to the same deceiver’s deception, we do well to remember that only by grace through the Holy Spirit, who has given us the gift of faith, will we escape too!
We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him. Hebrews 2:1-3 (NIV)
Holy Father, save us from the pride that may arise in us so that we won’t fall prey to the same deception that would lead us astray or into great shame and vice. Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You are proved right when You speak and justified when You judge. Holy Spirit, You who have chosen my heart as Your throne, create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me. Then, I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will turn back to You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
(prayer-a-phrase from Psalm 51:1-4,10-13 NIV)