As a middle school student, I was shy. I didn’t make friends easily because I didn’t speak to others. But I did join a group of people every morning waiting for classes to start. One of those mornings, a “friend” had the brilliant idea to put paper in his mouth and shoot it through a straw at a student from a different group. The wet paper hit him square in the back of the head. He felt the impact. He told the appropriate teachers and I, as a member of the guilty group, was called out of class by the assistant principal. The student who was hit was an acquaintance of mine. We rode the same bus and knew each other through classes. I wasn’t “friends” with him but I knew him and I knew blowing spitballs at him was wrong.
Looking back, I feel this was a betrayal. I betrayed the humanity of the student. He was made in God’s image just as I was and I treated him as less than that by giving in to peer pressure. I let him experience the pain of being bullied when I could of stood in front of that straw. Judas and I have betrayal in common. He betrayed someone for coins. I betrayed for fear of being ostracized. We all know what Judas did was wrong. It’s easy to see. It needs no explanation. But what about betrayals like those described above? Life is full of choices every day and Jesus asks us to choose to treat others with respect. Doing so restores relationships and allows God’s kingdom to flourish. Let us choose humanity over coins, fear of being ostracized, and all other “reasons” we justify our betrayals. Let us choose to love.
Scripture: Luke 22:1-6
Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.