betrayed woman November 5 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading (NIV) or alternate versions (use your browser arrow to return): Mark 14:43-72; Luke 22:47-71; John 18:1-27; Matthew 26:47-75


Betrayed, friendless, and falsely accused—at least once in our life this has or probably will happen to us. We are innocent but nobody thinks so, and some may even deny any association with us. How does (or would) that make us feel? Confused—Disillusioned—Bitter—Abandoned—Lonely? Sooner or later the truth is or will be made known, and we will be cleared of blame.

Jesus also experienced injustice. In today's Bible reading, the Lord is betrayed. We will look at what he went through so we might know how to handle betrayals. We will also look at what we should do if we are disloyal to God and others.

We last saw Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane with eleven of his disciples nearby (Judas Iscariot had left Jesus to betray him). Meanwhile, Jewish crowds are gathered in the city of Jerusalem to observe the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (this feast is explained in the November 3 Bible study). The religious leaders want to kill Jesus but fear the Jews—most of the common people love him. Because of this, they know they must act swiftly and secretly. But what should they do and how can they do it? The answer comes from an unexpected but welcome source.

Judas Iscariot, seeing he could make no significant money off of the Lord's ministry, betrays him to them. He agrees to hand over Jesus to the religious leaders for thirty pieces of silver, the compensation price of a man or woman being gored by a bull (Exodus 21:32). The betrayer leads a band of religious leaders and soldiers to Gethsemane to arrest this Jewish Messiah at night. They come with flaming torches, clubs and swords. This is like a real nightmare!

What happens when the angry mob gets to Gethsemane? Do Jesus and his disciples fight? (John 18:1-11; Matthew 26:56). No, the Lord goes out to meet the soldiers and religious leaders and asks them what they want. He tries to protect his disciples (a good leader will do this for his followers). Judas betrays him with a prearranged sign—a kiss of greeting. Perceiving the deception and seeing the threat of violence or arrest, Peter draws a sword and cuts off the ear of the high priest's servant in an attempt to defend Jesus. The Lord puts a stop to this act of violence. He heals the servant’s ear (Luke 22:51), and then submits himself to the soldiers and religious leaders.

Seeing the soldiers grab him and lead him away, the disciples flee (Matthew 26:56). It would be tempting for us to be critical of them, but how would we respond to a real threat of being seized and persecuted for being associated with Jesus? The natural reaction to arrest and persecution is fear and flight. Following the example from Jesus, however, a proper spiritual reaction to betrayal and religious persecution is to trust our souls to God, keep following his will, seeking his glory, and doing what is right.

Jesus is taken to the house of Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas, who is the high priest this year. Evidently, he is highly-respected and influential because he is taken here first. The trial is one of three quickly arranged judicial meetings this night (Annas, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin). The trials are hastily conducted in order to have a binding verdict ready for a Roman judge by dawn, when government officials begin handling legal cases. They want Jesus to be executed, but only the Roman government has the power to do that.

The Jewish trials are illegal because they are carried on at night, and it is illegal by Roman law for Jesus to be beaten as a criminal without first being officially sentenced for a crime. The Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin (the religious ruling party) ignore these laws (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the N.T., edited by Walvoord and Zuck, ©.1985, p.182).

Later in the night, while Jesus is being tried at the house of Caiaphas, someone else besides Judas Iscariot is betraying Jesus, namely, Simon Peter (Luke 22:54-62). Peter betrays Christ by denying him three times and even cursing with an oath that he does not know him. Peter's betrayal, however, differs from that of Judas. Peter does not simply feel remorse; he weeps bitter tears of repentance over his sins (Matthew 26:75). By the time Jesus is raised from the dead, Peter once again identifies himself with the disciples (John 20-21). In contrast, Judas never seeks forgiveness. Instead, he tries to fix his errors by attempting to give back the blood money. When that fails, Judas hangs himself (Matthew 27:3-5). We see that in our next Bible reading.

Lessons to Live By

  • Following the example from Jesus, a proper spiritual reaction to betrayal and religious persecution is to trust our souls to God, keep following his will, seeking his glory, and doing what is right.
  • We may make mistakes and even betray Jesus and others by what we say and do, or what we fail to say and do. We must repent (be grieved and truly remorseful), confess our sins and ask forgiveness of God and others. If we do this, we can have forgiveness and restoration (1John 1:9, more...).

Focus Verses

1Peter 4:19 (NIV) “So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

Acts 3:19 (NIV) “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”

Watch a dramatized version of the events leading to Jesus' crucifixion

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A Look Ahead: After Jesus is betrayed and dragged to a quickly assembled court of religious leaders, he is subjected to more illegal Court Trials and Injustice. This Next Lesson will help us deal with injustices we have or will experience. Join us!

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