A fellow blogger ‘Unconventional Speculation’ posted a short blog yesterday on a bible verse he/she had read in which the word ‘friend’ stood out. (Click here for the Blog post). Jesus called Judas a friend just before Judas betrayed him. As I read that I couldn’t help but think of how often I let someone’s actions negatively affect me instead of remembering what the person has meant to me. As I pondered the post, I thought of how Judas must have felt when he looked back and remembered the endearing word Jesus had spoken. After Judas took the money, he must have flashed back to Jesus’s final words and realized what he’d done and how Jesus had reacted. Jesus didn’t react in anger or hurt. He acted in love, forgiveness, compassion, and grace. He called Judas a friend just as he had the day he met Judas and called him to be a disciple. Nothing had changed. It didn’t matter that Jesus would die because of what Judas did. He loved him just the same.
The next time a friend of mine hurts me, how will I react? When my husband disappoints me or frustrates me, will I still say “I love you” or will I store up a little bit of bitterness to use against him later. Can I look someone who wrongs me square in the eye and say “Friend, you did what you had to do”? I can if I remember Jesus is my role model. If he can call Judas, ‘friend’, why should I do any less.