The passage for today is Matthew 26:47-56. You can read this passage online or on your phone by following along with The Essential Jesus reading plan on bible.com, or you can read it in your physical Bible. Take a few minutes to read Matthew 26:47-56 carefully, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak to you as you read.
What did you see in the text? What is the main point being communicated? Here are some of the things that I saw.
“Do what you came for, friend.” This was Jesus’s response to Judas upon his betrayal. That Jesus would call Judas “friend” is striking. How that must have caught Judas off guard. I imagine it reminded him of those shared moments together when he really was Jesus’s friend, and not the faithless one who would betray the Lord. Perhaps hearing that word again is what led to Judas’s incurable remorse. Would that Jesus was angry or desperate at that moment, Judas could have lived with himself. But Jesus was calm. “Do what you came for, friend.” Friend. The final word Jesus ever spoke to Judas.
We do not betray Jesus into the hands of those who would kill him, but in our sin and selfishness, we betray the way of life he has given us. We disobey his command to love one another. Sometimes, perhaps, we even fail to speak up for him in the presence of unbelievers. Do we, in that moment, experience condemnation? Do you hear a voice that mocks and condemns you after you have sinned, or otherwise betrayed the Lord? It is not the voice of the Lord you hear. He did not mock or condemn even Judas. Instead, in the final hour, he called him friend. That is his word for you. “Repent of your sins, friend. Go, my friend, and sin no more. Take courage, friend.”
Jesus, may I hear your voice today. May I hear you speak the word that heals my soul: “Friend.” Amen.