To Love Completely – Showing Grace in the Face of Betrayal

1st John 4:8 and Matthew 1:24 teach us that “God is love” and that Jesus is the “Immanuel –which means, ‘God with us.’” Therefore to love completely in this life, one must study the love of God embodied in Christ Jesus. There is no better example of a life filled with love then the life of Christ.

Next to His death on the cross, perhaps the most profound example of the love of Jesus is the order of events in chapter 13 of the Gospel of John. This is a chapter often referenced for the story of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet but new depth is added to the meaning by studying the context of the foot washing. The setting of the chapter is the Lord’s Supper in the upper room. Prior to the meal, the other three Gospels all record Judas going to the chief priests and agreeing to betray Jesus (Mt 26:14-16;Mk 14:10,11;Lk 22:3-6). In addition to those accounts, John 13:2 records, “…the devil had already prompted Judas…to betray Jesus.”

What does all this mean? It means that Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him before He washed the feet of the Disciples (John 13:11). Jesus could have easily accused Judas of his betrayal earlier, but Christ waited until after He had washed everyone’s feet (John 13:18-30). Sure many of us can put on a smile and even engage in small talk with those who have hurt us, but how many us are willing to humbly get on our knees and serve those who have betrayed us? For to do so, is to love completely.

Father God, thank you for loving me even though I so often betray you with my sin. Lord, help me to follow Christ by loving in the face of betrayal. Amen.


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