Losing Sight of Jesus.

Losing Sight of Jesus

As we exit Easter  and reflect on the story of the cross, and all the events leading to it, we walk through Matthew 26 – the story of how Jesus was betrayed by his friend, Judas.

Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me to betray him to you?’ And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus. Matthew 26:14-16

It’s the story of a man who sold out his Lord for 30 coins. It’s a tragic story, to say the least. We read it, and we shake our heads because we know how the story ends. The story is being narrated for us so that we know Judas’ motives before he acts, and we know that he succeeds in betraying Jesus – which ultimately leads to Jesus’ crucifixion {and resurrection}.

It is easy for us to shame Judas by shaking our heads and thinking terrible thoughts about him. “How could he? Didn’t he know Jesus is the Lord? Didn’t he know that Jesus was there to save him? How could he treat Jesus that way?”

But then I started thinking about how we see this same situation played out in our own lives, yet respond to it so differently.

When we see our Christian brothers and sisters betray those around us – the homeless, homosexual, and the hurting – we don’t respond to it the same way. We justify the reasons why we choose to judge or mistreat them, instead of shaking our heads and thinking, “How could they? Don’t they know Jesus is the Lord? How can they treat Jesus that way?”

 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,  I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

 The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 34-40

But then, if we’re honest with ourselves we would see that oftentimes we are the ones doing the mistreating. We look for ways to cash in on someone else’s weaknesses. That sounds malicious, doesn’t it?

There have been times in the grocery store that I have been stuck behind someone moving the speed of molasses in January, and each time I huff to myself and think, “Gosh, can’t they hurry up? I’ve got to get in and get out, I’m in such a rush already!” I neglect to address the fact that the woman in front of me is 80 years old, on a cane, struggling to put one foot in front of the other. Instead of caring for her and praying that this trip to the store is painless for her, I rush her along and pat myself on the back for dodging in front of her.

I could come up with many other situations that we find ourselves in daily where we betray Jesus – and what He has asked of us – for something ultimately worthless.

It’s easier to see Jesus in the girl scout, rather than the dirt-covered man asking for change.

It’s easier to see Jesus is someone you know, rather than a stranger.

It’s easier to lose sight of Jesus when we are motivated by greed, or maliciousness, or pride, rather than our love for Him.

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