192. With Friends Like That . . .

“Hey, my friend,” Stan said, “you look really low this morning.  What’s wrong?”

“You ever been stabbed in the back by someone you thought was a friend?” I responded.

“Indeed I have,” Stand replied.

“Did that happen to you?” He asked.

“I don’t want to go into the gory details,” I said, “but, yes, someone I trusted betrayed me.”

“The most vivid memory I have of that sort of thing,” Stan replied, “was with a colleague I worked with.  I considered him a friend, but when a situation arose where one of us was going to be out of a job, he did all he could to see that I was not the one to be retained.  And he was successful in that.”

“That hurts a lot,” I said.

“Yeah,” Stan responded, “you know the expression, ‘with friends like that who needs enemies.’”

Shifting the conversation, Stan then said, “Jesus had an amazing response to such a situation that I am not sure I understand.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“You know the story of Judas and his betrayal of Jesus,” Stan replied.

“Oh, yeah,” I said, “Judas was a bad one.”

“But do you know what Jesus said to him in the Garden of Gethsemane when Judas showed up with the gang of guys from the chief priests and the elders to arrest Him?”

“What?” I asked.

“Jesus said to Judas,” Stan replied, “‘Friend, do what you have come for.’”

Continuing, Stan emphasized, “Jesus called Judas ‘friend’ even in light of what Judas was doing, and what Jesus knew he was doing.”

“How could Jesus do that?” I asked.

“Not positive,” Stan replied, “but it may have to do with Jesus knowing that Judas was just playing his role in what Jesus was to accomplish in redeeming the world.”

“Plus,” Stan said, “Jesus is a whole lot better at forgiving people than I am!”

__________________________________

And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.”  Matthew 26:50.

Prayer:  Thank you, Lord, that I can be yours.  You know and I know how many times I betray you by not being who and by not doing what you have for me to be and to do.  Please forgive me for all of those times.  And please, Lord, lead me in not betraying you in any way, shape, or form.  Ever.  Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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