Byron Norrod—July 22, 2023

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Today I would like to talk to you a little bit about betrayal in the Bible. Have you ever been betrayed before? Perhaps as a child you friend took your toy, or maybe your friend in high school stole your boyfriend or girlfriend. Or perhaps a close friend stabbed you in the back by talking about you behind your back or telling on you.

Maybe a co-worker or rival or even a boss stole your promotion. Maybe somebody published something that you had thought about, written or preached on something before you had a chance to do it yourself. Something even worse, what if your mate had cheated on you and betrayed you in that fashion?

Today I would like to explore some of the betrayals in the Bible and draw some conclusions. First, I would like to start with a definition from The American Heritage Dictionary (5th edition).

  • to give aid or information to an enemy; to commit treason against
  • to inform upon or deliver into the hands of an enemy in violation of a trust or an allegiance
  • to be false or disloyal to

Let's start the most memorable betrayal ever in the Bible. Let's look at Judas' betrayal to Jesus Christ.

Matthew 26:14: "Then one of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests, and said, 'What are you willing to give me, and I will deliver Him up to you?' And they offered him thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought an opportunity to betray Him" (vs 14-16). Two things I'd like to take from this Scripture:

  • 30 pieces of silver was the price of dead slave

In the Old Testament if a man had an ox that had gored somebody, and gored and killed a slave, then he had to compensate the owner of the slave with 30 pieces of silver. That's what the slave's life was worth, 30 pieces of silver. That's what Jesus was, in a sense, to us. He was our Passover Lamb, and He paid the price for us as a servant.

  • "…from that time he [Judas] sought an opportunity to betray Him"

This is just bazaar! He hadn't done it, yet, but:

  • What could have been going through his mind.
  • Why would he have thought that?
  • Why would Judas even had considered going and selling out his Master? his Lord?

By the way, the Sermon on the Mount had already occurred. This is toward the end of Jesus' ministry. So, Jesus had already elevated the level of the Law to our minds, that we had a greatest onus from the Sermon on the Mount. So, if Judas is thinking the thoughts of vanity, to sellout his Master, is he not sinning already?

Acts 1—this when the disciples are waiting in Jerusalem for Pentecost to be fulfilled for the Holy Spirit to come upon them.

Acts 1:17: "For he was numbered with us, and had obtained a part of this ministry." Judas had a full part of the ministry!

Matthew 10:1: "And when He had called His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every kind of sickness."

Wow! That's amazing authority! By the way, this is before the disciples even had God's Spirit. The Holy Spirit hadn't come down from on high, yet! They didn't have the Holy Spirit, but God gave them the authority to cast out demons and to heal the sick.

Amazing! What a responsibility! Now let's see what he did here; he names the 12 disciples, and they're not only disciples, what does He call them even before His death?

Verse 2: "Now, the names of the twelve apostles… [Judas was one of the 12 apostles] ...are these: first, Simon who is called Peter… [v4]: …and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him" (vs 2, 4).

Judas was named among the 12 apostles! Judas had a very close personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Judas was sent out with the 70. He was one of the 70 who went out and came back to Jesus amazed, saying that 'even the unclean spirits obeyed in Your name, when we called on Your name we were able to cast out the unclean spirits.  Judas had that power, entrusted with that power.

Not only was he that close to Jesus, he was one of the 70, but he was closer than the other 58 because he was part of the 12 who were chosen out of the 70. so, closer than the 70, Judas was in the inner-sanctum, the close, personal relationship of Jesus Christ. He had such a closeness, such a proximity, such a personal relationship, a peer intimacy with Jesus Christ that few ever had.

He was an apostle, and as we will see, Judas was not only at Jesus' last Passover, but he also had Jesus Christ wash his feet.

In Mark 14:10: "Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order that he might deliver Him up to them. And after hearing this, they were delighted and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray Him" (vs 10-11).

Judas wanted to make it easy on himself; he wanted to figure out a way to betray Jesus, and he was looking for th opportunity. Is it not sin in his mind already? He hadn't done the deed, yet! He hadn't sinned! But he's working out a plan of how he could betray the Master.

John 13:1: "Now, before the Feast of the Passover, knowing that His time had come to depart from this world to the Father, Jesus, having loved His own who were in the world, loved them to the end."

Jesus loved all of His disciples, all of the people He was working with, all mankind/humanity, and especially the disciples, the apostles, until the very end. That includes Judas!

Verse 2: "And during supper began (the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, that he should betray Him).:

Verse 5: "Next, He [Jesus] poured water into a washing basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel, which He had secured.

You know the story, Peter says, 'Not me, Lord, You'll never wash my feet.' And Jesus says, 'If I don't, then you have no part with Me.'

Verse 10: "Jesus said to him, 'The one who has been washed does not need to wash anything other than the feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all.' For He knew the one who was betraying Him…" (vs 10-11).

Do you see that, it's that present tense participle, was actively doing it. Judas was actively betraying Jesus right then at that point! He was in the act of sin in his mind!

"…this was the reason He said, 'Not all of you are clean.' Therefore, when He had washed their feet…(vs 11-12).

So, we see that He had washed all of the disciples' feet as an example.

It's interesting, Jesus was acting as the 'doulos' the servant of the apostles.

Verse 18: "I [Jesus] am not speaking of you all; for I know whom I have chosen… [Jesus Himself chose Judas to be His betrayer] …in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me."

Verse 21: "As He was saying these things, Jesus was troubled in spirit, and testified, saying, 'Truly, truly I tell you, one of you shall betray Me.'

Verse 26: "Jesus answered, 'It is the one to whom I shall give a sop after I have dipped it.' And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, Simon's son. And after the sop, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, 'What you do, do quickly.'" (vs 26-27).

It appears that Jesus is speaking to the man Judas standing right in front of Him, but He's actually speaking to Satan the devil saying, 'You have a job to do, go get it done! Go take care of it and what you have to do, do quickly.'

Matt. 26—here is where I'm trying to get to with this betrayal and the lesson we can learn from Passover and take with us throughout the year.

Matthew 26:21: "And as they were eating, He said, 'Truly I say to you, one of you shall betray Me.' And being sorely grieved, each of them began to say to Him, 'Am I the one, Lord?'" (vs 21-22).

Jesus could have answered 'yes' to each of them, because would they not all have sinned and betrayed Him and caused His death, His sacrifice to be applied to them personally, just as it is to us?

Verse 23: "But He answered and said, 'He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish, he shall betray Me."

I would like to use this term as a mnemonic aid that we can use throughout the year, for us to keep our hands out of the dish! I need to keep my hands out of the dish who that I don't betray my Lord and Savior!

If we can use that as a mnemonic aid to keep our hands out of the dish, we can think of that every time we're working toward finding out a devious plan and figuring something out in our mind, and saying, 'Oh, what about this? How would that happen?' And sin blossoms like an evil flower!

Every time we sin, we betray God the Father and Jesus Christ! Every time we commit that sin, even after we have had this deep intimacy with Jesus Christ and God the Father, we betray that intimacy just as Judas did, and it starts in the mind! It's not only a betrayal of Them, but it's also a betrayal of our faith!

So, even the thoughts of unrighteousness can be a sin, and can be a betrayal toward God!

Verse 24: "The Son of man indeed goes, as it has been written concerning Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed!…."

Does that not apply to all of us? Certainly, He is talking specifically about Judas, but if we can take Jesus Christ's sacrifice and apply to us individually, personally, we are those betrayers!

We'll bring this home a little bit more later. By the way:

"…It would be better for him if that man had not been born" (v 24). The key thing here is repentance!

As much as we can betray God, we can repent! How faithful we are for the opportunity and blessing to be able to repent.

Verse 25: Then Judas, who was betraying Him…"—right there, right then at that moment in his mind, even though he had not done the deed!

When the thoughts come into our mind, that's not sin! The thoughts of vanity can be insinuated into our mind, we can think a thought, but the sin comes when we:

  • dwell on it
  • we mull it over
  • we try to flush it out
  • we think about it

How we can do this?

Then we see the process of sin, just the thought of vanity is not sin. James 1 tells us the process. The starting thoughts are not sin. But as we mull it over, think about it, then it becomes sin for us! When the initial thoughts come, put it out of our mind!

No, that's not for me! I don't want that! Lord Jesus Christ, please help me! God the Father in heaven, I ask You for Your help so that I can put sin far away from me.

Didn't David say that? The thought of vanity were in his mind and said he didn't want that!

Had I been thinking these thoughts of vanity, certainly You would not have heard me.

When the thoughts of vanity come, we can put it out immediately! Get rid of it!

As previously mentioned, Jesus had elevated the Law to our mind and how we handle the thoughts of evil and vanity. Satan is always, continuously striving to input. Satan and his demonic world are trying to put satanic, evil, wrong thoughts in our heads! How often do we listen to those thoughts?

Psa. 77 is very interesting Psa. The Psalmist Asaph set the stage for the Psalm by expressing sadness and despair, frustration, and even anger at God for what Asaph erroneously perceived on an error on God's part.

Please let me make this perfectly clear, because this has been misunderstood in the times past.

  • God does not sin!
  • God is not in error!
  • God does nothing wrong!
  • God has no culpability!

His motivations are pure! His agenda is to bring us into His Kingdom and into His Family!

  • God has no evil inclination!
  • God is purest of pure!

However, we sometimes erroneously blame God! Why would we do that?

  • I prayed for this situation and God didn't answer!
  • I prayed for this person and she died! God didn't answer my prayer!
  • It didn't happen in my timeframe, in the timeframe that I wanted; I want it to happen now, but God didn't do it!

God is not on our timeframe! We have to get on God's page, He doesn't have to get on our page! Anytime we blame God it's an error on our part!

  • God is sinless!
  • God does not sin!

Asaph positions and expresses his wrong perspective. In the first 9 verses it's all him crying out and showing where he's saddened, frustrated and anxious!

Psalm 77:1: "I cried to God with my voice, to God with my voice; and He gave ear to me."

God heard Asaph, but the implication is that God did nothing, that God wasn't responding to him.

Verse 2: "In the day of my trouble I sought the LORD; my hand was lifted up, and my tears ceased not in the night; my soul refused to be comforted.…"

I'm in a bad place, I'm just so sad. I remembered God and was troubled. I called to God and He didn't answer me!

Verse 3: "I remembered God and was troubled… [because didn't answer me] …I moaned, and my spirit fainted. Selah.… [think about this or repeat it] …You keep my eyes awake… [I can't sleep because of this; this trouble is so great] …I am too troubled and I cannot speak" (vs 3-4).

Have you ever had that experience, where you're just on the verge of tears and if you even open your mouth to say something you're just going to start babbling? Just crying?

Verse 5: "I have pondered the days of old, the years of ages past. I remember my song in the night; I commune with my own heart, and my spirit made diligent search" (vs 5-6).

What is he doing here? This is all negative self-talk! It's not positive self-talk; he's not pleading to God as his High Tower or his Shield in fight. He's not looking to God and saying, Help me through this trial

He's looking back reminiscing and saying: Where was God when all of this was occurring. Why isn't God answering me?

Verse 7: "Will the LORD cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more?"

Is He going to throw me away like a worn-out tool? Where is His favor to me? I used to His favor to me! I used to enjoy His favor and now it's gone!

Verse 8: "Is His mercy gone forever?.… [Can you hear the man crying?] …Has His promise failed for all generations?"

God made promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! God made promises to Moses! He led the children of Israel out! He gave promise after promise. Yet, God is not answering those promises in my life.

I'm adding input here trying to read between the lines and trying to see what the Psalmist Asaph is talking about, because he's in anguish and frustration here.

Verse 9: "Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? Selah."

Now we see that something happened to Asaph right here. He realize his error, his wrong and he sees a way out of his problem and dilemma. God helped him to see it and in v 10 we find the bridge, the transition, from the plaintiff wailing, moaning, frustration, anguish, and even anger to faithfulness, thanksgiving, and praising God in the second half of the Psalm. What does he do? He quotes himself:

Verse 10: "And I said, 'This is my grief, that the right hand of the Most High could change.'"

There's a couple ways that I can think of that this could be interpreted. Perhaps you have another way.

    • he wanted God to change and do things his way; he wanted God to do his will
    • the right hand of God is not longer delivering blessings to him, mercies have been taken away

Either way, Asaph is expressing:

Can you believe that I even thought this? I was thinking the same thoughts of vanity that even the Prophet Job was, thinking that God was wrong and that He needed to (inaudible).

He thought that God was in error and that he was right. Asaph is saying the same thing:

I was so wrong! I thought that God was wrong and I can have even thought of such silliness?

Now what does he say? Now the bridge goes into praise and righteousness:

Verse 11: "I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old."

How You led the childrenof Israel through the Red Sea on dry land! How He delivered time and time again! How He helped David and fought the battles of ancient Israel and specific individuals. How He worked miracles through the judges.

Verse 12: "I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your doings. Your way, O God, is in Holiness; who is so great a God as our God?.… [Who is so great a god as our God? Nobody! There is no God as great as our God!] …You are the God Who does wonders; You have declared Your strength among the people. You have with Your arm redeemed Your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah" (vs 12-15).

Might he be hearkening back when he mentions God's arm, back to v 10 when he says:

Verse 10: "…the right hand of the Most High could change."

That was the bridge from the old bad wrong, evil men that we're commissioned to bury every day when we repent of sin. But he could be referring to God's arm that gave deliverance again.

Verse 15: "You have with Your arm redeemed Your people…"

God/Christ paid for the price of redemption first through ancient Israel through the death of the firstborn in Egypt. He paid that price to redeem Israel out of Egypt to pay for or cover the sins! Then He paid the full  price by redeeming our lives, all of the Christians who obey and love God, whom He has called according to His purpose with the blood of Jesus Christ. That's how He's paid! That's how He's redeemed us!

Verse 16: "The waters saw You, O God, the waters saw You; they were afraid; the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water…" (vs 16-17).

By the way, water can be men, peoples, languages and tongues. But when it's talking about floods or the depths, it's talking about armies.

So, here it talks about the waters, meaning many peoples, and:

"…they were afraid; the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; Your arrows also flew here and there. The voice of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way is in the sea, and Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps are not known" (vs 16-19).

Does this remind you of something that might have happened after this case when Jesus walked on the water, and when He commanded the water and wind stood still. They were afraid of Jesus Christ! "…and Your path in the great waters, and Your footsteps are not known." They were covered by the waters!

And what that refers to is that all through mankind Jesus Christ is walking through all of mankind all down through time and having a positive affect in our lives.

This perceived betrayal that Asaph foisted erroneously upon God; he saw beyond it and he understood his error, the error of his ways. He was no longer caught in this wrong concept of blaming God or feeling as if he was betrayed.

Verse 20: "You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."

God takes us in safety. The way may look treacherous! The way may look bad and wrong! Yet, He leads us through the many waters to success! To the Kingdom of Heaven by which He's leading us to.

There's no more negative self-talk here! Asaph is now past these feelings of wrong thinking and erroneously blaming God! So, we can thank God that He gives us repentance!

Matt. 10 talks about a man's family, and this is very poignant because this will help us to bring this home to a personal level to us!

Matthew 10:33: "But whoever shall deny… [a betrayal of Jesus] …Me before men, that one will I also deny before My Father, Who is in heaven. Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man at variance against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's enemies shall be those of his own household" (vs 33-36).

Luke 21:16: "But you shall be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they shall put some of you to death; and you shall be hated by all because of My name" (vs 16-17).

It's terrible to think that some of our own family members could betray us and have us put to death! But that's what it says! That our own relatives might turn us in and cause us to be killed, martyred, thinking they're doing God a service!

Perhaps we may be betrayers to others in our family. Or specifically, that we could be betrayers to others in the Family of God, in the Household of Faith. Maybe we backstab somebody! Maybe you have a wicked stepmother in your family. Maybe we are that wicked stepmother to somebody else. It's sad for us to think about, but have we ever been angry with our brother without a cause?

If we do not continue to keep our hand out of the dish, we will continue to sin. We will continue to betray Jesus by putting Him to death afresh!

  • Are we not in the Household of Faith? Yes!
  • What is that Household?
  • Eph. 2 talks about that we are fellow citizens in the Household of God.
  • Eph. 4 says that God is in you all!

1-Corinthians 3:16: "Don't you understand that you are God's Temple…" If we are in God's Temple and in the Family of God:

  • Are we not betraying Jesus when we sin? We've already established that!
  • Are we now becoming household enemies?
  • Are we now becoming household betrayers?

Just as Jesus forecasted and foretold that we would told on and given up to be killed, we do the same exact thing to Jesus the Christ! We betray Him through our sins and cause Him to be killed afresh!

Are there any other examples of betrayals in the Bible? Yes! There are plenty:

  • Cain to Abel—brother killing brother
  • Lot to Abraham—when he chose the better land, acting selfishly
  • Jacob to Esau—brother to brother
  • Rebekah to Esau—mother to son
  • David's own progeny and household was in such disarray; so much dysfunction
  • brothers killing brothers
  • brother comprising his sister
  • Absalom killing that brother for compromising his sister

They were household enemies! We don't want to be that!

It's important for us to intently avoid betraying God by sinning, and having sinful thoughts! Entertaining them and developing them. If we can learn this lesson and take this lesson from Passover throughout the rest of the year, of using this mnemonic aid to keep our hand out of the dish; let's not put our hand in the dish and betray Jesus Christ.

How do we do that? We avoid being an enemy of God, a Household enemy of God, by choosing not to sin! Through repentance we can be at-one again with God!

Scriptural References:

  • Matthew 16:14-16
  • Acts 1:17
  • Matthew 10:1-2, 4
  • Mark 14:10-11
  • John 13:1-2, 5, 10-12, 18, 21, 26-27
  • Matthew 26:21-25
  • Psalm 77:1-15, 10, 15-20
  • Matthew 10:33-36
  • Luke 21:16-17
  • 1 Corinthians 3:16

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • James 1
  • Ephesians 2:19-22; 4

Transcribed: 7/26/23

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