Learning about Humility
December 19, 2017
Making Meaning out of Chaos
December 19, 2017

Letting Go of Bitterness

I have read that one of the ways certain kinds of monkeys can be trapped is very interesting. The traps are bottles that are fixed with something sweet inside. When a monkey comes along and sees the treat, he places his hand inside the bottle, but with the prize enclosed in his palm, his fist is too big to get it back out of the bottle. The monkey pulls and pushes to get the treat out, but he will not let it go, not even as his captors approach. How often this happens to us when we hang on to hurts that have been inflicted on us. Unless we let go of our hurts and bitterness, we will become trapped by the past resentments. Even if we get something out of carrying the anger and resentment around, it is not worth it. If we do not let go, we risk losing our authenticity. We have to let all bitterness go.

No man held on to his resentment any tighter than Judas Iscariot. This man was chosen to be one of the twelve apostles, and yet he betrayed Jesus. Luke says, “Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus” (Luke 22:4). How is it even possible that one of Jesus’ own could do this? One who knew Jesus up close and had witnessed his mercy, grace and power for over three years. There is a clue when Luke says that Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve” (Lk 22:3).

Many a marriage has broken up, and no one ever suspected it to happen. Many relationships have become completely broken, and no one ever thought it could happen. It can happen just like that. It did to Judas.

What was it that caused Judas to betray Jesus? Most likely, whatever it was started small. Things like feeling slighted, being taken advantage of, not getting your fair share, or disappointment can be deadly. It is incredible to think that Judas who lived with Jesus and witnessed his power and presence could take such a wrong turn in his life. It should be a warning to all of us that we, too, could change for the worse if we don’t guard our hearts and our authenticity before God.

Luke says that Satan entered Judas. It is for sure that Satan will jump on top of our resentment and use our resentment and hurts to fulfill his plans. Judas was on the inside, and he chose the time and the place to betray Jesus.

At the Last Supper Jesus told his disciples that he knew that one of them would betray him (John 13:21). Apparently, Jesus was very moved when he said this. The response of the disciples was one of shock and dismay. John says, “His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant (John 13:22). Matthew adds, that they began to say one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?” (Matt 26:22).

Judas played the game by saying “Surely not I, Rabbi?” No one but the Lord knew how treacherous his heart was. The thing that stands out to me here is the restraint the Lord exercised. It’s clear that Jesus gave no indication to the disciples that Judas had a problem because none of them suspected Judas. Had Jesus showed any attitude toward him, the rest of the disciples would have turned on him immediately. What restraint and what love Jesus had even for the likes of Judas.

Luke says that Satan entered Judas. It is for sure that Satan will jump on top of our resentment and use our resentment and hurts to fulfill his plans. Judas was on the inside, and he chose the time and the place to betray Jesus.

At the Last Supper Jesus told his disciples that he knew that one of them would betray him (John 13:21). Apparently, Jesus was very moved when he said this. The response of the disciples was one of shock and dismay. John says, “His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant (John 13:22). Matthew adds, that they began to say one after the other, “Surely not I, Lord?” (Matt 26:22).

Judas played the game by saying “Surely not I, Rabbi?” No one but the Lord knew how treacherous his heart was. The thing that stands out to me here is the restraint the Lord exercised. It’s clear that Jesus gave no indication to the disciples that Judas had a problem because none of them suspected Judas. Had Jesus showed any attitude toward him, the rest of the disciples would have turned on him immediately. What restraint and what love Jesus had even for the likes of Judas.

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