The Judas Test
The Judas Test
I’m driving to the beach — my happy place — sunroof open, seeking to soothe my soul after a child sought to discredit us. An old Joyce Meyer CD is playing, one I grabbed from a dusty box in the garage. Joyce begins to teach about “The Judas Test” and I knew immediately that God had intervened for me in that moment. I had never heard this term before and it was for me. “The Judas Test” is when someone you have loved betrays you, and you must choose how to respond.
Few things hurt more than the betrayal of one we love, and when it is a foster or adoptive child, that hurt is especially cutting. In our community of Second Mothers, we understand the love and sacrifice we pour out for our children, so these betrayals can feel especially crushing. Commonly in our families, we face a child who speaks against us to siblings, relatives, social workers or even on social media. How can we look to Jesus to know how to respond in these moments?
Judas was chosen by Jesus and served with him as one of his disciples. Before the betrayal, we hear nothing of any dissension or issues with Judas Iscariot. Then suddenly, Judas turns against Jesus and betrays him.
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. Luke 22:3-4.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. John 13:2
Jesus knew this betrayal was coming. In fact, he alludes to it more than once. Yet when it happens, Jesus speaks with love to Judas.
Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Matthew 26:48-50
I am so grateful to God for putting everything we face in Scripture so that when it happens, we know we are not alone. He knew we would face this test. And He gave us an example of how we should respond. We never see Jesus condemn Judas for his betrayal. Peter similarly denies Christ, and Jesus later forgives him very beautifully over breakfast with friends. But poor Judas is so wracked with regret that he takes his own life before the Resurrected Christ can speak such forgiveness over him.
Despite anything my child may have done or said to condemn me, I want nothing but goodness for her. I don’t want her to be wracked with guilt and shame. Through the love of Jesus that I have experienced, I want her to know that the same forgiveness stands ready for her. Nothing any of us can ever say or do can separate us from the love of Christ.
If you are facing the Judas Test, stand your ground with love and let God work for you. You do not need to respond or even defend yourself (unless there is a social worker sitting in your kitchen…been there, done that.) You are the righteousness of Christ. He will fight for you. You are acting in truth and love. Cling to that truth and love and cast your hurt and disappointment upon the throne. Time will vindicate you…you need do nothing but remain in faith. Remember that you are not alone…even Jesus was betrayed by those closest to him.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1. In gentleness, stand your ground and know that the God of the universe is standing with you, and we are too.
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