The Betrayer

John 21:20
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

This sweet time of food and fellowship with Jesus brought to Peter’s mind another meal shared with Jesus, the calm before the storm of the crucifixion and Peter’s own trifold denial of his Lord.  And though Peter knew that Judas had sold Jesus away to the priests and then cast himself to his own death, did he perhaps feel in his heart that he was the actual betrayer of Christ that shameful night?  Did the recollection of his own actions bring upon him the sharp point of conviction once again for the bitterness he felt in denying his Lord?

The other disciples had not sold Jesus into the hands of the priests for monetary gain, but had they not all forsook Him and fled that night when He was taken away and bound and brought before Pilate like some criminal?  Hadn’t Peter denied Him verbally in front of all those people?  Hadn’t James and John along with Peter fallen asleep when Jesus asked them to pray?  Hadn’t they run when danger came, though they all said they would die with Jesus?

In a sense, we’ve all betrayed Jesus in some way.  Our sin sold Him and sent Him to die on that cross.  Our hearts have turned away from Him at times.  Perhaps we’ve denied Him as our Lord out loud or just in our hearts.  We’ve made empty promises to Him.  We’ve fallen asleep when we should have been toiling in prayer.  We’ve turned and fled when a trial came.  And ultimately, every sin we’ve committed was a betrayal of our innocent Savior.

But though we may betray, Jesus never leaves our side.  He is with us and always will be.  He is always an open door inviting us to come back to Him time and time again.  He’ll continue to lead us and guide us if we’ll choose to follow.  And He sweetly ministers to us even though we sometimes neglect Him.  Though we have regret for those things we’ve done, those wretched sins that come back to mind at times, let us allow Jesus to restore us.  We’ve betrayed, but we’ve repented, and now we can walk once again in that close fellowship with our Lord.