The Beauty of Judas…

31 Comments
March 11, 2014

Several months ago, a conversation with a friend sparked something in me.  A revelation of sorts, about Judas.  In our conversation, we were talking about love.  More specifically, we were talking about the Lord’s desire to give us a love that is good enough for enemies for one another in church life.  My friend’s use of the phrase a love that is good enough for enemies really impacted me and caused me to think.  Wow, what kind of a love could actually be that strong that it could withstand the actions and brutality of an enemy?  Certainly only the divine indwelling love of Christ would be sufficient for that.  Anything less than divine love would be offended at much less.  

Soon after this conversation, I began to think of Judas and his betrayal of Jesus.  I sensed the Lord correcting me of an incorrect assumption that I had made about Judas, and the nature of Jesus’ relationship with him.  Judas was not simply someone who Jesus picked to be His disciple because, after all, someone had to do the dirty work of betrayal.  

No, although Jesus knew what Judas would do, He picked him because He loved him with all of His heart.  He saw beauty in Judas.  They became the best of friends.  After all, can you really be betrayed by an enemy?  No.  Only your friends can really betray you. The greater the friendship, the greater the sting of betrayal.  The betrayal of Judas was severe because the friendship was so strong.  Jesus did not use the term friendship lightly.  The term carried a lot of weight with Him.  Jesus referred to His disciples (including Judas) as His friends.  He meant it.  Although Judas was often religious and misguided in his thinking, he meant well.  Jesus saw beauty in Judas, and He loved him with an un-offendable love.    

As a result of these thoughts, I wrote a letter.  It’s a letter written from Jesus’ perspective to His betrayer.  I would like to share this letter with you today, but before I do that I would like to remind you of a few important things.  

1. I wrote this letter several months ago.  Although the timing of me sharing this letter with you is ripe, this letter was not written to be a commentary regarding anything specific going on in my own life.  

2. This letter is also not written about anyone specific in my life.  Please understand the heart of this letter.  This letter is written from Jesus’ perspective regarding His own betrayal.  

3. Please do not read this letter analytically.  Please read this with your heart.  As the nature of this letter is heavy, you may not want to read it until you feel ready.         

Dear sister,

You betrayed me with a kiss.  I saw all the signs of your treachery from the beginning, yet my love for you blinded me.  I opened my door to you knowing what you would do, yet I loved and welcomed you nonetheless.  You became familiar to the inner workings of my life, and I truly held nothing back from you.  I shared the deepest parts of my heart with you.  There were many times I desired to protect myself from you.  I wanted to separate from you as I wanted this impending cup of death to pass.  Love knows no separation, however.  I hated the fact that I loved you so.  In the end, my love won and I referred to you using a most sacred term.  

I called you friend.  

Shortly after I bestowed that term of endearment upon you, it happened.  My worst nightmare.  You misunderstood my ways.  You saw my love as something broken and you desired to fix me.  You didn’t realize that everything was going according to my Father’s perfect plan.  You wanted something deep and profound, that’s why you originally accepted me.  Unfortunately, you didn’t know what that something was.  What I was offering you, you weren’t interested in.  You thought something was missing from me.  In your mind, something was off.  In your desire to help me become who you thought I should be, you in fact betrayed me into the very hands of my enemies.     

Although I knew you would do this, the moment you revealed your betrayal to me was more than I could bear.  No premonition could have prepared me for the stinging loss of friendship that I felt in that moment.  The fact that you cloaked your decision within a kiss felt like a brutal slap from the most rugged of hands.  I was not able to cry.  Oh, how I wish I could have cried the pain away, but no cry would come forth.  You wounded me in an inaccessible place deeper than my tears.  It was a blow to my spirit that I didn’t think I could survive.  I did survive, however, long enough to walk that narrow path down to my appointed death.  

Do you know what hurt the most?  The pain I saw in your eyes, and the sound of your cries.  I know you didn’t intend to hurt me.  Your intentions were noble in your eyes, yet when you saw what happened to me, you regretted your decision.  I wanted to take away your pain.  I wanted to tell you that it would be ok in the end when all is accomplished.  I wanted to tell you that I am making all things new.  You couldn’t hear my heart, however.  I wanted to hold you and comfort you the way a mother would comfort an inconsolable child.  It was not the appointed time for that, however.  Oh, how I wish it was.  Oh, how I begged my Father to let me come to you.    

Sister, I want you to know that your betrayal was not able to destroy my love for you.  It simply opened it up the way sunlight opens a tightly closed flower.  I will not abandon you forever.  I will come to you again my sister, my bride.  I will cut you down from that cursed tree.  I will breathe my life into you, and you will live.  On that day, all of our enemies will know that I have truly not lost one of the precious ones My Father has given me.  That includes you, my betrayer.  I have chosen you too from the beginning.

“Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil (adversary)?” (John 6:70, NASB)

 ”No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  (John 15:15, ESV) 

“Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me.” (Psalm 41:9, NLT)

“But Jesus said, “Judas, is it with a kiss that you betray the Son of Man?” (Luke 22:48, GNT)  

 ”…Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one.” (John 18:9, NASB)

Jamal Jivanjee

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31 responses to The Beauty of Judas…

  1. True Love is filled with passion, and deep emotion. True Love loves to Love. True Love casts out fear, fear of all that isn’t True Love. Only True Love can love when betrayed. Only True Love can restore the broken, the misunderstanding, only True Love…only True Love.

    True Love, Loves until all that isn’t True, becomes True ‘in’ Love.

  2. I had a similar understanding “sparked” in me not too long ago when I was reading about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. I realized that Christ also washed the feet of Judas, even though he knew Judas was going to betray him. He never stopped loving Judas.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 11, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      Catherine,

      Amen! This kind of love is too wonderful for me to comprehend.

    • this foot washing image is so powerful a very dear saint and I were discussing redemption and healing.

      it came to us that you are set free from an offense against you as you can picture washing the feet of the one who betrayed or offended you, ‘in’ Love, and that it is received ‘in’ Love.

  3. Absolutely beautiful. His love knows no bounds.

  4. Speechless…..I am undone.! This is why I am madly, deeply head over heels in love with HIM !
    I pray that I can enter into and love like this……..please Lord.

  5. Yeah brother I have experienced this about four times since living in body life and the Lords life takes over and carries you through it, and it’s beautiful how love overcomes you for that person. What an honor though hard, to fellowship in our lords sufferings. Thanks for the post brother, amen and amen.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 12, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      Nathan,

      Thanks for sharing your experience in this area. It truly is an honor to fellowship in our Lord’s sufferings. Glad you enjoyed the post:)

  6. Jared Gustafson March 11, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    WHHHHOAAAAS! Jesus! Sham wow! While we were still enemies, disinterested and hatful, he have Hinself as an offering for us, that we would foreve know the measure of his commitment and grasp the grandeur of His love! YAY!

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 12, 2014 at 5:55 pm

      Jared,

      I appreciate the joy that oozes from your comment. The grandeur of His love is truly beyond understanding. Yay is right:)

  7. Kenneth Dawson March 11, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Yes this post reminded me of my ex-wife who divorced me after 28 years of marriage..i wanted to save the deal but god told me to let her go..then I found notes she had written in her journal that she had been trying to change me and I realized that by going through the divorce god was changing me and now I’m learning to love one who betrayed me.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 12, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Kenneth,

      Your comment is profound. I am sorry for the pain you have experienced. The love you are discovering through the process is a gift, however. This love is the substance of life.

      • Kenneth Dawson March 12, 2014 at 6:09 pm

        Thanks Jamal..I guess the only way us conditional type loving human beings can learn about gods agape-unconditional,self sacrificing love is for us to experience it and it’s strange that god would use my wife to teach me but he is the boss so who am I to argue.

  8. Only through a broken and contrite heart that has experienced the cross that we can know such a resurrection power to love so deeply those who have caused us and Jesus such heart pain .
    Our lords last words while he was yet in his earthly body , ” Father forgive them , for they know not what they do. ” was such a love ! And I see this in you dear brother. Your words brought me to tears of joy and hope .
    I believe as His bride we are being wooed to love more intensely ,more purely and more intimately then we ever thought possible…yet from fear many will try and quench this love from flowing , But as a dear brother once said, ” love will kill us “. And it is in this death that His love really comes alive in and through us and His love always wins even over our enemy.
    Jamal it is a beautiful and wondrous thing The Lord is doing with you , His bride. You are a BraveHeart and great is His love in and through you . This blesses me more then words can say. Love you my brother, my friend .

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 12, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      Mille,

      I greatly appreciate your words. Thank you for seeing me sister. It gives me great hope to know that Love will have His way. I love you too. You are very dear to me:)

  9. Jamal, can you expound on John 17-12 where Jesus said that none were lost except the son of destruction. I know Jesus died for all of us and loves the world absolutely. Scripturely I always believed Judas was lost. Is there another view on this or is the true depth of your letter is how God loves the ones who even betray Him even being a friend, the love God has for all including His enemies, which is indescrible love.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 12, 2014 at 6:50 pm

      Mary,

      Thanks for your question. I have a few general thoughts to share with you that could be helpful regarding what you’ve asked.

      First, scripture alludes to the fact that there are many ages, not just the one we are currently in. There is much that we don’t know about those future ages. We do know that, in this age, the scriptures tell us that the majority are heading down a wide path that leads to destruction. We live in an age of time, and of death.

      On the other hand, the scriptures also allude to another age in which time is no more, and in which death (in all its forms) is completely done away with because all things are being summed up in Christ. Death (in all its forms) have been defeated in Christ. Christ also declares that He is making all things new. In this temporary age that we currently live in (which will come to an end) things break down in the aging process. In the kingdom age (which has no end), all things are continually being made ‘new’. ‘Newness’ is the natural aging process in the Kingdom of our Christ.

      Eventually, the scriptures tell us that every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. God is love. A good friend of mine likes to say that “God is not a rapist”. The meaning behind that statement is that love does not need to force its way to have its way. Love eventually overcomes all that is not love. Love woos and wins over. There is nothing stronger than love. Love is eternal, but everything else is temporary. Every knee will bow and declare the beauty of this love personified in Christ. This includes Judas. This declaration will be done in love, not fear. As the scriptures say, perfect love drives out all fear.

      I hope that makes sense:)

  10. Shelby Shock-Marsh March 12, 2014 at 3:50 am

    Great insight into the great depths of true unconditional love. Magnificent, pure, undeserved love! Ah-MAY-zinG!

  11. Your post reminds of all our brothers and sister who today face brutal persecution yet find in Christ resource to genuinely love their persecutor. Wandaro Dabaro comes to mind. He’s from Ethiopia and lived thru the time when all missionaries were expelled. He met with other believers in his home and was arrested by the village chief who had him arrested. When he wouldn’t give up his faith, he was whipped for 3 hours with strips of hippo hide then held for a year in a bamboo cage. When he was released, he first went to give thanks with other believers, but then gathered them together to go help harvest the crops of the chief who had him beaten. Amazing love only possible in Christ. Richard Wurmbrand lived thru persecution and said, “If the heart is cleansed by the love of Jesus Christ, and if the heart loves Him, you can resist all tortures. . . If you love Jesus as a bride loves her bridegroom, then you can resist such tortures. God will judge us not according to how much we endured, but how much we could love.”

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 13, 2014 at 3:38 am

      Alan,

      Thank you for this comment. I read it at just the right moment. It was life to me in a very difficult moment this evening. I am grateful you took the time to post this.

      • So glad man that it meant life to you. . . how much do we need the real deal. These brothers and sisters although they have so little of the resources we have, know Christ in real and living ways and for me, can see Christ in them.

  12. So what your saying is that regardless of what Judas has done in betraying our Savior and all who put Jesus to death and all who denied Jesus in persecution will be overcome by the power of God’s love so they will be able to joyfully confess that Jesus is Lord and serve Jesus for all eternity. This is what I think I am hearing in your response. What is the phrase “none will be lost except the son of destruction”, mean then? I am not being argumentive but seeking deeper understanding, please explain.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 12, 2014 at 7:42 pm

      Mary,

      I really appreciate the dialogue. Some of the things I brought up are big picture concepts. There is a lot that I don’t know about all the implications of what I shared. My understanding of the phrase “none will be lost except the son of destruction” is indicitive that Judas is the only one of Jesus’ disciples that did not recover. He was lost in this age. I just don’t think that’s the end of the story. Remember, like the rest of us, Judas was prayed for by Jesus on the cross. He said this about Judas, and the rest of us who put Jesus to death…

      “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing”. -Jesus

      Judas didn’t know what he was doing. Neither did we. Through the cross, I believe that the Father answered His Son’s prayer that all involved in His unjust death be forgiven. What a glorious love!!!

  13. Well this would certainly be our Savior’s love. All judging is given to Jesus, praise the Lord, who is the righteous judge. Are you saying, however, that the love of Jesus for the world will never fail for everyone and they will be accepted into the kingdom of God? Just wanting to know how you are thinking on this.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Mary,

      Thanks again for your question. Although I am not trying to dodge your question, I would like to not answer it with an across the board answer. There is a lot that I do not know. I do understand that although I have asserted things that could lead to many conclusions, I want to avoid making those conclusions as statements of fact. I think the most important part of this conversation is grasping the texture of the Lord’s heart.

  14. I am sorry I have put you on a spot, the point is to believe in this amazing love of God for all of us and especially for Jesus enemies to counter attack the condemnation and guilt many of us have been taught in growing up in religion, to live in His amazing love that never fails and gives life to our being so we may give it to others. Now this is the point and I see how I have gotten off track. I apologize for that and thank you for your responses to me. I appreciate it Jamal, that you hung in there with me.

    • Jamal Jivanjee March 13, 2014 at 3:25 am

      Mary,

      Dear sister, your heart is precious. You have no need to be sorry. The dialogue is great. We are on a discovery of His heart together. This dialogue is necessary toward that end:) I love you!!

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