My Friend in Whom I Trusted
“Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalms 41:9)
On the night before Jesus died, He met with His disciples to eat the Passover. During the meal, Jesus took a basin of water and washed the feet of His apostles – all of His apostles – including those of Judas Iscariot, who had already plotted to betray Him for thirty pieces of silver.
In teaching the disciples to show humility and a servant’s heart, He quoted these words from the Psalms. It is hard to know when David wrote this psalm. It was apparently during one of the times when he was on the run. How discouraging it is when your own friend turns on you. Jesus felt the sting of betrayal, hours before Judas planted the kiss on His cheek in the Garden of Gethsemane.
None of us are exempt from the risk of betrayal. Regardless of how upright we try to be, Satan works on the hearts of all, and may try to use someone we really care about to hurt us. It might be a co-worker who wants to advance his or her own career. It might be a friend who sides with those he or she should not. It might even be a family member who chooses not to do what is right, or support you when you try. We learn from Jesus to be humble, to trust in the Heavenly Father, and to keep the heart of a servant, even when a friend lifts up his heel against us.
This example should elevate the level of respect we have for Jesus, our Savior. In spite of the great suffering that He knew was coming, along with Judas’ betrayal, Peter’s denials, the abandonment by the rest, the agony in the garden, the mocking, the beatings, and the other acts of humiliation, finally culminating in His death by crucifixion, He did not sin. He did not respond to their evil with evil in His mouth or in His heart.
Before they would leave and go to the Mount of Olives, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34,35). Our Lord calls upon us to take another step beyond “loving our neighbors as ourselves.” He calls upon us to love as He loved. This is a love that is real even if it is not returned. This is a love that is sacrificial. This is a love that does not quit when it is hard to be loving. He showed this love to them . . . and to us.
Again, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:13,14). Consider the love of Jesus and how He wants you to be His friend. Do His commands. Never betray that love and trust. And follow Him all the way.