Communication Builds Our Community

Love Your Enemies

"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (Matthew 5:43, 44)

Jesus foretold of His impending death many times times during His earthly ministry. We find this declaration no less than six times in Matthew's Gospel (Matt. 12:40; 16:21; 17:22,23; 20:17-19, 27,28; 26:1,2). But it wasn't until the time that He was assembled with His disciples in the upper room that He spoke of being betrayed by one of those in the room.

When Jesus told the apostles that one of them would betray Him, each one asked, "Lord, is it I?" None of them pointed a finger at Judas. None of them even suspected Judas.

However, Judas's treacherous act was no surprise to the Lord. After spending the night in prayer, Jesus hand-picked, out of the multitude of disciples, twelve men to be apostles (Luke 6:12-16). Jesus was fully aware that one of them, Judas, would betray Him. (John 6:70,71).

Although Jesus was fully aware that Judas would betray Him (Luke 6:64), there was nothing in his behavior that caused the others to suspect Judas. Judas was the treasurer further demonstrating that the others trusted him.

What I find interesting is the fact that, even though Jesus knew from the very beginning that Judas would betray Him, there was nothing in the way Jesus treated Judas in the three years prior that would give the other disciples reason to suspect him as the one who would betray Him. Along with the other eleven, Jesus even washed the feet of Judas. (John 13:5-12)

Perhaps nowhere in Scripture is this truth more clearly displayed for us than in the Lord's treatment towards Judas.

Michael Wilder is pastor of New Life Baptist, which meets at 428 Linden Lane in Lake Wales. Wilder can be reached at 606-465-3097.

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