wow. I read those words this morning and the floored me. I haven't gotten them out of my mind all day. (I've probably read them many times before, but for some reason today they grabbed me...)
I've been reading through the gospels over and over and over for a while. I was about to finish Matthew again this morning when I got knocked over by that phrase Jesus said.
It was when Judas came with his posse to betray Jesus. He says "W'sup Rabbi" & then kisses Him to greet Him and also point Him out. Then Jesus said it...
"FRIEND... do what you came to do."
Are you kidding me? FRIEND? Obviously Jesus knew what He was doing there. 1) because... well, He's Jesus & 2) because He straight up says "do what you came to do." so He know Judas is selling Him out.
And He still calls him friend. I couldn't help but think HOW DIFFERENT Jesus' response is compared to His followers' response when people wrong them. how different Jesus' response is from my response when peeps betray me, wrong me, sell me out, etc... I'm usually not calling them friend.
I think it's obvious that we don't follow Jesus in this kind of love because I grabbed a commentary on Matthew that happened to be nearby. It's a famous NT commentary from a famous commentator that most peeps would know if I said his name... He wrote for pages on this passage but NEVER ONCE said anything about how awesomely loving and kind and gracious it was for Jesus to call Judas "friend". He only talked about how those were the last words Judas heard Jesus say and how those words will ring in his ears while he's burning for an eternity in hell. hmmm... shows where we are as Christians I guess if that's our reaction.
but I just say -*What radical grace and love! I've been overwhelmed by it all day. What if I lived this way? What if ALL of us followers of Jesus lived this way? the way Jesus lived... what a novel idea.
Not to mention just across the page Jesus washed Judas' feet the night before he betrayed Him. Wrote a research paper on that one time and was also overwhelmed by Jesus' unconditional love for someone we would want to hate.
So, how can we be more like Jesus? how can we show radical grace & love to people who don't deserve it?