Breaking the Heart of Omnipotence?
“After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, "Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."”
John 13:21 ESV
What does it take to trouble the heart of the Son of God? Scripture records a wide range of emotions our Lord demonstrated while walking among us. Joy, sadness, and righteous indignation each at times characterized Jesus. In Christ's final days, however, a new emotion came upon the seen.
What was it that troubled Jesus about the betrayal of Judas? Betrayal is indeed a deeply offensive experience to endure, but the betrayal of Judas was not a surprise and it did not effect the destiny which Jesus came into the world to fulfill. Christ was aware from the beginning that Judas viewed the promised Messiah as simply a means to his own greatness. Amazingly, none of what Jesus knew about Judas hardened our Lord's heart to the betrayer.
It was Christ's love for Judas that troubled his spirit. The weight of the world had already begun to descend on him during that last meal, but the loss of Judas was felt most keenly. Jesus voiced the reality that he was to be betrayed, but he longed to deliver Judas from playing this part. When John declares that Jesus loved his own until the end, in a special sense this seems to apply to Judas. Even Christ's final act of dipping the bread and giving it to Judas was a gentle appeal. Jesus never exposed or shamed Judas, but in the end Jesus let him go because that is what love does.
Nothing troubles the heart of God more than letting go of the objects of his affection. It is only with great pain that Omnipotence yields to people determined to self-destruct, but the nature of love requires genuine freedom.
We have each played in part the role of the betrayer, but our lives need not be characterized by the legacy of Judas. When we consider what troubles God's heart, we come face to face with the infinite value our Father places upon us. Meditating on this draws us into the relationship and away from attempts to manipulate God for personal gain.
God is the culmination of everything our soul craves, yet this can only be discovered within the covenant of relationship. Judas broke the heart of God by resisting the friendship of heaven. Let us instead be a source of rejoicing in the courts above by daily taking the hand stretched out to comfort, deliver, and transform us.
Still Seeking His Face,