Would Jesus Be Judas’s Facebook Friend?

Facebook now lets you label all your friends and place them in categories. I can label them, family, close friends, just friends and even acquaintances, if I don’t think they quite measure up to friend. You have more control and power over your Facebook world than you do the real world. On Facebook you can delete a friend if they let you down. Can’t do that in the  real world, or at least not without going to prison.  If someone is posting evil things on Facebook I can just delete them. But years before Facebook, how did Jesus label His friends and deal with evil?

Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

In Matthew 26:47-50 Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. If I had been Jesus my reply may have been, “you backstabber!” or “Traitor!”

But look at Jesus’ response. “Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” (Matthew 26:50 NIV)

Friend? Did Jesus call Judas, “friend?” yes He did. Was Jesus just trying to take the “high road?” Was Jesus Himself just trying to set a good example? I don’t think Jesus was just trying to be nice. Jesus was always straight with the people, especially the Pharisees when He called them hypocrites. Jesus called it the way He saw it. So when He called Judas friend, I am sure as far as Jesus was concerned they were friends.  Jesus looked beyond Judas and realized, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 NIV Jesus considered Judas a friend, realizing that the real enemy, being more than flesh and blood, was beyond Judas, and was actually Satan.

If Jesus refused to label Judas anything other than “friend,” C.S. Lewis explains why we  in our humanity can’t really label people as being sincere or fake friends. ““Humans are very seldom either totally sincere or totally hypocritical. Their moods change, their motives are mixed, and they are often themselves quite mistaken as to what their motives are.”

Judas was not the only disciple that night, who we in our humanity would have trouble labeling on our Facebook.

“When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.” Luke 22:49-51 NIV

John tells us this disciple was Peter, who later that night denied he even knew Jesus. Peter wanted to stand up for Jesus which was commendable, but his method was not. Peter thought he could overcome evil with the sword, but by healing the man’s ear, Jesus overcame evil with good. And the Apostle Paul positively exhorts us to do the same when He writes,  “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ( Romans 12:21 NIV) .

I am so glad that the same Jesus who healed the man who Peter hurt, can also heal the brother that I accidentally hurt in my misguided zeal for defending truth.

Jesus refused to label Judas an enemy. He saw past the mind games Satan wanted to play with Him and realized Satan was the real enemy.

Satan tries to play mind games with us too. We can overcome evil with good when we see beyond the flesh and blood and identify the real enemy as Satan. Satan will always use our friends and family to hurt us. Many times they don’t even know they are causing us harm. They are not the enemy. Satan is the enemy. They are our friends. They may, by their misguided zeal cause wounds like Peter did, but we need not “unfriend” them on Facebook or in real life.

We can overcome evil through the healing power of Christ’s  goodness. He will just as gladly heal our hurts as He healed the ear of Malchus, the servant of Caiaphas.



Would Jesus Be Judas’s Facebook Friend? — 23 Comments

  1. Lost my job today,so I felt upset with everyone,thought I would just come here to read.Since, funny enough I just unfriend everyone on Facebook and God lead me to read this post.He truly is an awesome God and I know He will show me the light at the end of this tunnel of uncertainty and darkness.

    • Truly it was a "God thing" Lillieth, for you to read William's post and for him to have written what he did this week. How devastating to lose your job. As an elementary teacher I used to tell my students that I could not promise that they would never have any problems as long as they followed Jesus, but I could promise them that He would be right there by their side to help them through whatever happened in their life. Courage, my friend, the Lord has a plan for your life. "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer.29:11.

    • Lillieth,
      May you feel God closer to you with the comfort and strength to carry on the purpose you set your heart to be led by Him through the tunnel of uncertainty. When you reach there, please share..

  2. Lillieth and Luana, I totally agree and love the verse that you shared. We will be praying for you Lillieth. Many blessings are still to come. Thank you both for being a part of our SSNET family.

  3. This is quite a though provoking piece Mr. Earnhardt! As a matter of fact, I think it would make a nice Facebook post on my page, if that is permitted. God bless you.

  4. Peter and Judas sinned equally. Peter came to Jesus for forgiveness but Judas took care of it himself by killing himself. There is no sin too big for Jesus to forgive and He truly loves us more than we love Him. We need to ask and when we are forgiven we can give that forgiveness to the world.
    I think that we can all pray for Lillieth and the Lord will take care of her. Our Church has started an early morning Prayer meeting and things are starting to happen. I know He will hear us as we pray for God's blessing for her as well.

  5. Dear Lillieth, your situation is so heavenly, these are the similar moments that our Jesus faced, BUT the God in the valley he is the God on the mountains and the God of the night is the God of the day.

  6. I read this post earlier in the week. Then a day or so ago, felt some real hate for a couple of people in my life. This is not normal for me. I keep reading the post and realize these posts are always a help. We have to get rid of the hate and love everyone and this is not always easy, but possible thru God's grace. Thanks William for another gem.

  7. So here's a tricky question... why didn't Jesus say the same things to the money changers in the temple "do what you have to do friend" and give the same consideration to their inarticulate motives? Instead he drove them and their goods out with a piece of rope. And they were only violating the temple - an inanimate building, Judas unwittingly was about to orchestrate the death of a human being who was believed to be the Son of God... I think this article makes an interesting hypothesis... but it may not be applicable in light of other reactions of Jesus. One has to wonder why Jesus would not use the same strategy to deal with the Pharisees - by speaking to them kindly rather than calling them hypocrites and even vipers... wasn't the real enemy behind the Pharisee's and the money changers actions Satan too? I feel this article makes a good point, that using good to overcome evil can have some efficacy... however, assertiveness, anger and calling a spade a spade (or a shovel as the case may well be) in some situations is also a rational and reasonable response in establishing appropriate interpersonal boundaries and minmizing exploitative and bullying behaviors - a tool that Jesus himself also used. 😀

    • Leanne, whenever I look at Bible texts I always try to consider the context. Only then do I have any hope of understanding what the writer is trying to say. If we don't and treat each event in isolation then what Jesus did becomes very inconsistent.

      In the case of the money changers we are dealing here with much more than an inanimate object or those people themselves. In doing what He did He was dealing with several issues. To us the main one was the cheating and dishonesty that was involved for the sake of wealth but that alone wasn't enough for Jesus to do what He did for Judas was stealing money as the group treasurer (Jn 12:6) yet Jesus said nothing concerning it.

      What we need to ask is what effect those two actions had on the salvation of other people. For Judas to steal money from the group was a very minor thing, so what if they couldn't buy an extra loaf of bread the next day. That was not a salvation issue to the group but to impose an extreme hardship on the poor and making it very difficult for them to worship in the temple because of a lack of a required offering was an offense that often drove them away from the temple and away from God.

      We also need to ask why Jesus spent time doing something He knew very well would only last a few hours at best. The result lasted only as long as Jesus was in the temple but as soon as He left the sinful traffic came back in and set up shop as usual. I believe the answer is in thinking of it as an enacted parable, an allegory concerning the temple of our body (1 Cor 3:16-17; 1 Cor 6:19; Jn 2:19-21). That lesson would have lasting effects on the disciples and their teaching for many years after the ascension.

      As for Judas, he was a smoking flax (Mat 12:20) and needed to be treated gently so that no blame could be charged on Jesus in His treatment of the man. The problem with Judas was that he thought that he was smarter than Jesus and decided to manipulate Christ's ministry into what he thought it should be. The act of selling out on Jesus was an effort to force Jesus into proclaiming himself king and ruler when in fact His ministry was to be a sacrifice for the sake of the controversy and our salvation. Judas had a love and concern for Jesus and His ministry but thought it was going in the wrong direction and loved his own opinion above that of his lord.

      Each incident was entirely different and required entirely different approaches but the goal was the same - salvation for as many as possible.

  8. It is amazing. I've been in deep thoughts of what should I contribute to make my parents marriage work. I've been in prayers but sometime I hated them and their deeds, it is so embarassing to hold in hearts their daily troubles. This post is helpful in this situation. Thanks.

  9. Jesus was Judas friend though he was misled by devil, Jesus was ready to forgive him, instead of repent he made a bad decision.


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