PART THREE: Assumption to Adversity ...
Exposing the different types of betrayal that confronted Jesus persists beyond the community and crowd to an area one wouldn't expect. Knowing the life of this forgiving, grace-giving man, we wouldn't expect church leaders to allow Jesus to be persecuted and arrested. We would assume they would fight for Him. An assumption like this could lead to adversity and painful conclusions.
"Then Jesus spoke to the leading priests, the captains of the Temple guard, and the elders who had come for him. "Am I some dangerous revolutionary," he asked, "that you come with swords and clubs to arrest me? Why didn't you arrest me in the Temple? I was there every day." Luke 22: 52-53
"Pilate turned to the leading priests and to the crowd and said, 'I find nothing wrong with this man!' Then they became insistent. 'But he is causing riots by his teaching wherever he goes—all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem! … the leading priests and the teachers of religious law stood there shouting their accusations." Luke 23:4-5, 10
Jesus faced betrayal from misled religious leaders
Jesus' life was marked by following the promptings and assignments of His Father. He told the truth about His Father. He said what God told Him to speak in God's timing.
I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. And I know his commands lead to eternal life; so I say whatever the Father tells me to say." John 12:49-50
This is a tough one to face, challenging for most Christians. If you have gone to church for any length of time, you might have experienced adversity due to assumptions. We might have times when we made assumptions about the church's people. We might have had high expectations of the church leaders, leading to adversity or deep disappointment.
ADVERSITY defined… calamity, hard times, mishap, sorrow, suffering, trouble.
We might be thinking… "Why do we have to push past the betrayal from the people of the church? Out of the entire world, aren't they supposed to be the ones guided by the Lord and free of deficiencies?"
How did Jesus gain Victory after Betrayal?
Jesus followed God step by step yet was misunderstood and accused by leaders in the church. In fact, He was betrayed by the same religious group He had been a part of since He was born. Jesus understands being betrayed by misguided people of the church. Although His actions were being questioned and accusations shouted, He knew what His Father had said about him. Named the Son of God by the Great I Am, Jesus was the world's Savior whether they wanted to believe it or not. His Father's plans would prevail!
"You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:21
Jesus didn't get stuck in rejection and betrayal. He moved past it because He knew the truth amid the lies. Jesus knew that they didn't understand. Jesus knew they were lacking divine perspective.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." Proverbs 3:5-6
The Son of God knew religious leaders, teachers, elders, and church members could misunderstand and be misled, yet He didn't throw them away. Jesus didn't return his own accusations. Instead, He came up to a higher place to see things from God's perspective. He leaned on a heavenly understanding and the heart of the Father for the people of God's church. The chosen sacrificial Lamb of God sought the truth only His Father could share with Him.
Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing." Luke 23:34
Do you trust in the Lord with all your heart?
Are you leaning on your own understanding?
Are there accusations that you spoke out of a betrayal?
Is there someone in your current or past church you need to forgive?
STOP. Take a breath, or maybe three. Pause and give God an offering of your time. Allow Jesus to come to you right where you are. Allow Him to invade the eyes of your heart. Allow Him to speak and show you what He wants to reveal. Let Him come and minister. Allow Him to move freely and bring victory to hurt places in your heart. Let Him apply His love and power to move you past the betrayal and into His loving arms of peace, redemption, and victory!
[Picture Jesus in your mind as you pray. Pray and speak with Him.]
Pray and speak with Him... Jesus, thank you that you are called Emmanuel, God with us. You are with me right now. I'm grateful for your tremendous sacrifice and how it gave me access to a heavenly perspective. I choose to surrender now my human understanding and lean instead on you. Please forgive me for any assumptions I made about the people in my church. Forgive me for holding them to a standard that you never did. Help me to see them as you do. I choose to forgive them today with your forgiveness. I forgive them for betraying me (or others) and release them to you. Thank you for being my Savior and my defender. I trust you with all my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Sparkling Brooks Ministries
If you have missed Part 1 & 2 of Betrayal Ending in Victory, click link below...