“And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.”
One of the most disturbing incidents in the Scriptures is the betrayal of Christ. Of all people who betrayed Him, you would never think it would come from one of His disciples. You would expect the Pharisees or Sadducees to betray Him, but being betrayed by the ones closest to Him would seem impossible. Yet, according to verse 50, it was a friend who betrayed Jesus.
It is never easy to be betrayed, much less being betrayed by your friends. However, we should never think that we could go through life without being betrayed by our friends if Christ was betrayed by His. Several lessons about being betrayed can be learned from this incident of betrayal in the life of Christ.
First, you are going to face opposition. I was reading a biography about J. Frank Norris, and the writer was amazed how those closest to him often became his fiercest enemies. You are going to have to understand that you are going to face opposition by those with whom you were the closest. The reason the fiercest opposition comes by those who were closest to you is because they know you the best and can be hurt the most. You must expect opposition if you are going to serve the LORD.
Second, many opponents will be those with whom you worked closely. If Jesus experienced the opposition by one of His disciples, you must expect that those with whom you work could at some point become your fiercest opposition. Don’t be disheartened when this happens because it happened to your Saviour as well.
Third, opposition often causes many good people to leave you. It is sad that everyone left Jesus when Judas betrayed Him. You will find out that good people often get caught up in the wrong scenarios, but you must not hold it against them. They are still good people, but they are often misinformed people.
Fourth, silence is often the best response to the opposition. When Jesus had the opportunity to speak for Himself, He chose not to say anything at all. Most of the time the best response to those who oppose you is to be silent and keep doing what you are supposed to be doing. You cannot get caught up in attacking them because that is what will drive them away forever.
Fifth, time always reveals who is right. It took time for everyone to see the Jesus was right, and it will take time for everyone to see that you are not as bad as your opposition says. It may not be easy to hear the accusations and attacks, but time is on your side and it will reveal that you are right if you keep doing right. If you quit or begin attacking your opposition, you will soon validate their attacks against you.
Sixth, if you treat the opposition right, they will often become your closest friends and allies. Jesus never called Judas His enemy, but He called him His friend. You always have the opportunity to win people back in battles if you treat them as opposition and not enemies. Always remember that your friends may become your opposition, and when they do, if you will remember that sin has broken them, you won’t treat them as an enemy. You can see them become your closest ally if you don’t destroy them when they are your opposition.