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Jesus personally selected Judas to be a disciple. Jesus taught Him just like all the others. Jesus made him “treasurer” of the group and trusted him to keep the money. Jesus knew how it would all end.

Jesus picked him anyway.

When Judas betrayed him, Jesus called him “friend”. Jesus said it in kindness and love for Judas.

Jesus knew.

Jesus loved anyway. All the way to the end. And still today!

Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him. And Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you have come for.” Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. | Matthew 26:50

Betrayal is very, very painful. Sometimes it seems like I just can’t let it go. It haunts me. Other days, not so much. This is common for many of us. We can’t get over it somehow.

Jesus knew the pain of betrayal firsthand. The worst, most treacherous betrayal of all time was Judas’s betrayal of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver (Matthew 26:15).

Betrayal carries acute feelings for its victims. Jesus brings healing and binds the wounds of our hearts.

Despite the pain, there is a way we can overcome betrayal. The power comes directly from God and the strength of love and forgiveness.

Jesus did not become vindictive, bitter, or angry. Just the opposite. After receiving the traitor’s kiss, Jesus addressed Judas as “friend” (Matthew 26:50). Jesus shows me how to love. God is love. Jesus only does what He sees His Father doing.

Jesus shows me how. Jesus chose Judas to be an apostle. Jesus loved him to the end, even though the devil entered his heart.