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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

“My heart has heard you say,’Come and talk with me.’ And my heart responds, ‘LORD, I am coming’ (Psalm 27:8).”

Gregory House has had many relationships over the last eight years of the TV medical drama that bears his surname. He has had several girlfriends and even a trumped up marriage meant to get a woman her green card. Dr. House has also had complicated relationships with the members of his medical team.

However, the most important connection he has had is the one forged between him and his best friend, Dr. James Wilson. They have been so close that some critics of the show have termed their friendship a “bromance”.

The pair met at a medical convention in New Orleans. As both recounted to a police officer in another state who was holding them on old charges,  Wilson had been arrested for assault and vandalism. (He threw an object through an antique mirror in a bar argument.)

House thought Wilson had spunk and was interesting, so he bailed him out. Thus began an enduring friendship.

Their relationship has hit the skids at times, however. An almost fatal rupture occurred when House indirectly was involved in the death of Wilson’s girlfriend. House didn’t cause the death, but his dysfunctional behavior led to Wilson’s flame Amber being in the situation which led to her demise.

Healing occurs when Wilson becomese part of a plot to make sure House goes to his father’s funeral. The ole curmudgeon has no intention of going because he despises the man and he believes he isn’t  his biological father anyway.

House is drugged by his boss.  When House wakes up, Wilson is driving him along the highway to the funeral location.

They have not seen each other in two months, as Wilson  quit to get away from House’s damaging and self-seeking  influence. When he notices House reviving, Wilson looks at him and says,”This doesn’t mean I care.”

After House confronts Wilson about his dumping him because of Amber’s death, Wilson becomes angry and throws an object through a stained-glass window at the church where the funeral is held.

House’s response? “Still not boring.”  On the way home House provokes Wilson as they discuss a current case:

“This is fun, isn’t it?”, House says, smiling knowingly at Wilson.

Wilson decides to take his old job back. When he tells House in the office, the latter says wryly,”If you’re coming back just because you’re attracted to the shine of my neediness… I’d be okay with that.”

Wilson tells House why he is truly coming back:

“I’m coming back because you’re right. That strange, annoying trip we just took was the most fun I’ve had since Amber died.”

Fast forward a couple of years. House drives his car into the front window of his girlfriend’s house (his girlfriend is also his boss) after she finally has had enough and ends it. In the process Wilson, who is a bystander, is injured.

Eleven months later House is paroled from prison and returns to the hospital. Wilson never visited and is cold as ice to him.

House reaches out to Wilson, telling him that he likes him, has fun with him. “Do what you have to do to get over this”, House says, suggesting a couple of acts of physical violence Wilson could perpretate toward him.  Wilson replies,”The thing is House, I DON’T like you.”

After House solves the case of Wilson’s dying patient, pushing Wilson in the process and making him a better doctor, Wilson walks into House’s office and punches him in the face, flooring him. “Dinner later?”, asks Wilson.

Fast forward in time to what is now the end of the series. The writers of “House” have chosen to sum up eight seasons by focusing on the relationship between Gregory House and James Wilson.

House learns that Wilson has cancer and has five months to live. Wilson refuses any further treatment after a dangerous chemotherapy experiment he requests House to perform “under the table” doesn’t get results.

Wilson is an oncologist and does not want to go through the slow death that he has seen from his patients. House, on the other hand, does everything he can to get Wilson to change his mind. “I need you” he tells his friend.

House is so frantic to keep Wilson around that he conducts a series of hospital pranks aimed at getting Wilson to give in. One collapses a bathroom, injures some doctors and damages an expensive medical instrument.

Wilson in the meantime is upset again with House. Even his own fatal disease is all about House, it seems.

In the meantime, House finally accepts Wilson’s wishes and their relationship is “good”.  However, House is told the vandalism has violated his parole and he will have to go back to jail.

“How long?”, he asks. “Six months”, the hospital lawywer tells him. House will miss any remaining time his friend Wilson has on this earth because of his hijinks.

House apparently collapses from the strain. He goes off to a warhehouse, does heroin with a dying patient. 

Wilson tracks him down after two days. However, the warehouse is now burning and as Wilson stares at House through the window of a blazing room, his friend is buried under the collapsing buillding.

However, House in typical fashion has had it all planned. He has faked his death.

House sends Wilson a text message as the latter is blasting his friend in a eulogy. “Shut up you idiot” the text says.

Wilson now knows House is alive.  He meets up with House, telling him he has thrown his life away. House replies,”I’m dead. What do you want to do with your remaining five months.”

The series ends with House and Wilson sitting on motorcycles. Wilson tells House,”Uhh..when the cancer gets bad..”.

House interrupts, looks at Wilson and says,”Cancer is boring.” They drive off together, presumably doing what Steppenwolf sang about: “looking for adventure and whatever comes our way.”

What a friendship! Despite its ups and downs, the relationship between House and Wilson is an enduring one.

They both get fulfillment and complete satisfaction in it. This is despite the trials.

I was sitting at home a few days ago not feeling particularly close to God.  I believe this was because I hadn’t really met God’s expectations, just as House and Wilson did not fulfill each other’s wishes at times.

I understand, however, that  even though the closeness of these two men is admirable and even to be emulated, a relationship with the my Lord and Master Jesus is of a different kind on one important respect. Jesus told his disciples,”You are my friends if you do what I command (John 15:14).”  If we want God to confide in us like a friend, we need to fear Him (Psalm 25:14).

As I sat there on my couch, trying to have a quiet time, I missed the fellowship with God. There is nothing on this earth like it. 

I asked Him to take me back into His confidence.  He did.

There is nothing so precious as friendship with God. No experience, work, hobby, or any other relationship can replace it.

I was pretty scared when I thought that I might have lost His friendship for good. It gave me a clear perspective on what is important in this life and how to live.

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“The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you (Psalm 9:9,10).”

It’s a day to think about enemies. In two days, the 10th anniversary of September 11 will roll around.

Some people out there just have it in for you. That’s a big lesson we learned from the terrorist attacks in America on that fateful day.

Usually, it’s because they have an agenda and you are standing in the way. For those people to move ahead, from their point of view they have to abuse you or even take you out.

Some enemies are national and some are personal. Either way, when you run up against them, you encounter a plethora of emotions, including fear, frustration and anger.

It hurts when people you are loyal to and want to help treat you like an enemy.  The pain is deep because you feel misunderstood and lonely.

Just this week I had someone I am trying to assist demean me. Oh, they were pleasant enough. It’s just that behind the smile were teeth.

This person had a “suggestion” for me. When I tried to respond, they interrupted me. They had no desire to listen to me at all.

As it turned out, as I talked with this person I could indeed see behind the smiles that they had a not so hidden program that involved me and their selfish purposes.

I tried to be polite in return. although I did confront them on their interruptions. However, the interaction with this person was quite frustrating in the end.

People and nations that use subterfuge to get their way are difficult to deal with. You just don’t know what they have up their sleeve, although you are pretty sure that whatever it is, it doesn’t bode well for you.

What it seems to me we need when we have enemies like this is a friend, a supporter. Those who got wind of the September 11 attacks beforehand didn’t have that.

Newsweek magazine reports this week that some FBI personnel in Minnesota were beginning to piece together the terrorists’ plans. Yet, they were blown off by arrogant supervisors. We paid dearly on September 11, 2001 because these skilled law enforcement people didn’t have the backup they needed.

David knew what it was like to have enemies when he was even a young man. In his case, his opponent was the king of Israel.  Having the head person in your country against you is not a nice place to be. 

King Saul would have gotten him, too, except David had a friend in high places. His best friend Jonathan, Saul’s son, came to his aid.

Jonathan at first couldn’t believe David when he was told that his father was out to get him. However, he found out the truth and when he confronted his Dad about it, Jonathan was called a bad name and was almost pinned to the wall with a spear by his own father.

Jonathan made sure David got to know the situation. They wept and grieved over it together. Jonathan was a dear friend who saved the life of his pal and supported him to his own hurt (I Samuel 20:1-42).

When he had to flee Israel, David found himself alone and without support. In fact, he had to run to Israel’s enemy, the Philistines. He was so lonely and afraid he acted like a madmen so the Philistine ruler wouldn’t harm him in revenge for his previous military exploits for Saul and Israel (I Samuel 21:1-13).

At this point in time, David had to be depressed. He didn’t have a friend in the world, at least locally.

It was at times like these that David found that, despite all appearances, he did indeed have a friend he could depend on absolutely.  David could call on God anytime, anywhere.

James Taylor says it best:

When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there 
to brighten up even your darkest nights.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah,you’ve got a friend.

Immediately after September 11, Americans thought this way about God. Church attendance skyrockete. Out of the smoke of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, they sought the presence of the Lord.

Again, Mr. Taylor has the best words to describe that time:

If the sky above you should turn dark and full of clouds
and that old north wind should begin to blow,
keep your head together and call my name out loud.
Soon I will be knocking upon your door.
You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there.

However, 10 years later, Americans are back where they were before the day. It seems we are as far from God as a nation as we have ever been, and in fact some of our people are in league with our enemies, and His.

At the end of a long week, I am sure glad to hear from the Scriptures that I do have at least one friend out there. I may not be able to see Him, but He is there.

James Taylor has some encouragement and some good advice for my personal situation this day:

Hey, ain’t it good to know that you’ve got a friend? People can be so cold.
They’ll hurt you and desert you. Well, they’ll take your soul if you let them,
oh yeah, but don’t you let them.

You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call, Lord, I’ll be there, yeah, yeah,
you’ve got a friend. You’ve got a friend.
Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend. Ain’t it good to know you’ve got a friend.
Oh, yeah, yeah, you’ve got a friend.


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“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13).”

He comes to visit speech therapist Lionel Logue as  “Mr. Johnson”. He wants help with his stammering. In reality,  he is Albert, the Duke of York, third in line to the throne of the United Kingdom.

This is the storyline that opens “The King’s Speech”, this year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture. While I am sure the moviemakers embellished the facts, the story is essentially true.

 The celebrity and power of his patient doesn’t impress Lionel. In his therapy room, he is the boss. “My castle, my rules”, he tells his royal visitor. He even calls the son of the king, “Bertie”, a nickname only his family is allowed to use.

At first, the Duke of York chafes under the seeming impertinence and hubris of his therapist. In fact, he tells him at the end of the first visit that Lionel’s methods aren’t for him.

However, after listening to a recording of himself, which Lionel gave him upon taking his leave, the Duke relents. The therapist’s methods have allowed Bertie to speak fluently for the first time in his life.

After a while, Lionel’s work with Bertie bears even more fruit, both in the latter’s speech, and in his heart. Bertie begins to open up to Lionel. 

“You know, Lionel, you’re the first ordinary Englishman…”, Bertie says.

Lionel interrupts, “Australian”. 

Bertie continues,”…I’ve ever really spoken to.  Sometimes when I ride through the streets and see, you know, the Common Man staring at me, I’m struck by how little I know of his life, and how little he knows of mine.”

Lionel, with his wry wit, says,”What’re friends for.”

Bertie replies,”I wouldn’t know.”

Bertie’s sardonicism would be funny if it weren’t so true of his life. He is a lonely man. He has no friends -until now.

Lionel has become his closest and only friend. It is clear to Bertie that this man, who is doing everything he can to heal him, is more than just a professional.

Bertie perceives that Lionel really cares for and about him. Lionel is not in this for the money, although he is being paid handsomely.

Part of what makes him effective as a therapist is his sympathy for the emotional condition of his patients. One might call this “sympathy” by another name: love.

He is the kind of friend described in the lyrics from a popular alternate country hit composed by Ryan Williams:

“Where do you go when you’re lonely
Where do you go when you’re blue
Where do you go when you’re lonely
I’ll follow you
When the stars go blue…”

“The King’s Speech” reveals that when Bertie is blue, he visits Lionel. He feels comfortable in the presence of his friend. And Lionel is there when Bertie’s stars go blue.

In one scene, Bertie drops by Lionel’s quarters unannounced. This doesn’t perturb Lionel. He receives his friend, and asks him if he wants to do some work on his speech impediment.

In the meantime, Lionel’s wife is shocked to learn when she meets Bertie that her husband is friends with such a royal personage. Lionel has never revealed their relationship to her.

But, Mrs. L regroups and asks if Bertie and his wife will stay for dinner. Bertie’s wife demurs, claiming a previous engagement (can’t imagine what!), but in doing so adds.”What a pity.” Two couples from different addresses in society might as well be neighbors talking about planning a night of cards.

Lionel’s sincere love for Bertie is biblical in nature and magnificent in its effect. The wise man of Proverbs wrote,”One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend(Prov 22:11).”

Lionel’s ability to “speak with grace” was passed on to the King. The King was forever in his debt. 

Todd Rundgren wrote a song in the early 70s that hits on the the lonely void in Bertie’s heart that his friend Lionel filled.

“Hello, it’s me
I’ve thought about us for a long, long time
Maybe I think too much but something’s wrong
There’s something here that doesn’t last too long
Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine…

Seeing you
Or seeing anything as much as I do you
I take for granted that you’re always there…

It’s important to me
That you know you are free
‘Cause I never want to make you change for me

Think of me
You know that I’d be with you if I could
I’ll come around to see you once in a while
Or if I ever need a reason to smile
And spend the night if you think I should.”

Bertie knows the status that separates them. He doesn’t care. He loves his friend. It’s not a sexual love, but it’s love just the same.

Damn Yankees star Jack Blades wrote a song that could apply to Bertie and his relationship with Lionel:

“Can you take me high enough
Can you fly me over (fly me over) yesterday
Can you take me high enough
It’s never over
Yesterday’s just a memory, I’m running
I was running for the door
The next thing I remember
I was running back for more…”

Having a life changing friendship is a scary thing. It involves vulnerability.

After he came back to see Lionel following the first speech therapy visit, Bertie learned how high Lionel could take him if he opened his life to his friend. As portrayed in “The King’s Speech”, Lionel nursed Bertie through the dark days of World War II, when as King George VI he had to do his own comforting.

He had to give public speeches to assuage the fears of an entire people. Through Bertie, Lionel’s love and use of his talents impacted a whole nation.

I am not a person with the gift of elocution, but I do fancy myself as a person gifted by God with abilities with the written word. I want to use this gift for others, as Lionel used his.

Jack Blades writes lyrics for a living, but he says this of his work:

“I had a letter that was sent to me, it was some … lyrics that I wrote,…’ that this young man said, ‘because of your lyrics, I ended up not killing myself. Because your words said life is what you make it, you can do anything with your life.’ And Tommy (his fellow musician) and I always talked about that, it was kind of like, maybe that was the whole reason that I’m a musician. Maybe that’s the whole reason I was on this earth is to save that one person from making probably the worst mistake they could ever make in their life. Maybe that was the whole reason we even exist was to save that one person. It’s pretty cool, I think.  It is pretty stunning when you think about it. It makes you sit back and go, Well, okay, I did something right in my life. You know what I mean? I did something good, that’s a good thing.”

Blades saved one person. So did Lionel. His save-ee just happened to become the King of England.

Blades, in an interview with the website Songfacts discusses the source of his gifting. He tells his interviewer that a colleague couldn’t understand how lyrics just come to writers like him. Blades explained:

“I thought that was interesting, because to me it just happens. It’s not something that’s really cool, or something that’s really a big thing, it’s just something that happens that I do. Like I drive a car – except I come up with rhymes. I don’t look at it as anything special. It’s just how I’ve been all my life, so I don’t see it as something really unique and amazing, because it’s just what I do. Half the time it is like you’re like channeling something. When you sit down and write a song, it’s almost like you’re channeling a higher power, whom I choose, of course, to call God…”

Of course this “higher power” is God. If God speaks to a man, as a man speaks to his friend it is sweet indeed (Song of Solomon 5:16). 

And if that same man passes on what he hears from God, then the sweetness is multiplied (Proverbs 27:29). If he does it when times are tough, he is more than a friend, he is a brother (Proverbs 17:17).

I’ve got a couple friends who are like brothers. They have literally saved my life at times, as Lionel did with Bertie.

These men have used their gifts to bless me in my pain. When I was doing a “stutter and go” in my life, they came to my rescue.

It costs to do that. It takes courage. It takes time. It takes a man.

I don’t earn any money writing, but make my bread teaching. Therefore, I am around young people every day.

Sure, I get paid to serve my students, but I am beginning to see that not everything can be defined in professional terms. These young adults are human beings, some of them with spouses and children.

I don’t get paid to love them, not in money anyway.  I get to do that for free. So did Lionel Logue.

Lord, help me to be grow to be the kind of man Lionel Logue was, and  my own friends and brothers are.

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 “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love (I Corinthians 16:13,14 NASB.”

A couple of nights ago I was standing around a campfire at a men’s retreat, trying to stay warm. It was a chilly, starry night out in the “holler” where a group of men from my church had gathered for a retreat.

As I stood there, I got in a conversation with the man on my right. We talked about our histories and our kids. We found out our kids went to the same Christian school. He showed me a photo of his children on his mobile phone.

As we continued to talk and ask questions, I shared about a problem I was having. My new friend exhorted me to take care of it right away.

I mentioned that the situation was complicated, and most American men I know would have left it at that, not wanting to pry. Perhaps because this man was not originally from the U.S., he didn’t let my vague responses hinder him. He continued to ask questiosn.

I finally told him I could not handle the problem because of the finances involved. Right then and there this fellow looked at me and said,”I’ll help you.” I told my friend the cost of handling the issue, but he did not demur.

I babbled back some responses: “You’re incredible.”; “You don’t even know me.”

The man had told me earlier that he had arrived in the U.S. in difficult circumstances, and he now had a business. I told him after his offer,”Business must be good!”. He smiled and said,”I’ve had a good year.”

My hesitation and replies did not stop this man. Before I left the conference the next day, he approached me again and we exchanged contact information.

As I reflect on this encounter, I am amazed that people like this man still exist in this world.  In a “I don’t want to get involved” society focused on money, he reached out to someone he didn’t even know and offered to solve a problem with his financial assistance. It just blows me away.  More than that, it motivates me to do the same for others.

I tend to be a person that ignores problems: my own and those of others.  I don’t want to even look at them because doing so involves giving energy or resources I don’t think I have. Sadly, I haven’t even taken leadership in my own family to deal with our issues.

I was admonished by one of the speakers at this retreat, however.  Speaking to this audience of men of all ages, he said,”We have to recognize problems and be man enough to fix them.”

The speaker said men are by nature “fixers”. We fix things. However, we get tired of “fixing.”  He encouraged us to do the things God has created us to do and not quit fixing, and to do it in humility.

As a young man. I was around a group of believers who were leaders. They wanted to save the world.

One of the “mantras” of these leaders was to avoid problem centered people. If someone came around who  was having difficulties they couldn’t handle, some of these fellows would call them “problem centered”, and the implication was that they were not the kind of people we “leaders” should be focused on helping.

In retrospect, I see this attitude was horribly wrong, even prideful. The right thing to do would have been to help these people deal with their problems, not ignore them.

The Scriptures indicate this: ” Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (James 1:27).”

Solving problems is what real men are supposed to do. We are to do this, as the speaker I mentioned said, in humility. We also need to be holy to be effective.

One ofher speaker added a final quality, that of love. He reminded us of the apostle Paul’s admonition that if we pursue godly activiries without love, we are nothing and gain nothing (see I Corinthians 13).

This speaker said to be loving, we as believing men needed  extreme friendship. This is what the man I met around the campfire was doing before he had eve n heard the message. 

Former president George W. Bush wrote,”My friends have truly been one of the greatest gifts of my life. It’s been said you can judge a person by the friends he keeps—and if that’s true, then I’m a fortunate man indeed.”

This weekend I met a man who was a gift from God. I have met other men like him in the course of my life, but they are few and far between.

My goal is to be one of those rare men, a person who recognizes problems and fixes them, in humility and love.

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 “O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent…(Psalm 109:1).”

Last night I was at a local coffee shop doing some work when the Internet went down.  I asked the guy who was online behind me, and was walking by, if he was having similar problems.  A few hours later, when the place closed, Mike and I stopped talking.

This fellow and I had a lot in common.  Mike was my age, we had children of the same age, and we held similar opinions. However, there was one characterisitic we didn’t share: He might have been the gabbiest man I have ever met.

After talking to this man for  long time I realized something: he was lonely.  I could tell it by his story.  I could sympathize because I have experienced isolation and it’s not a nice place to be. 

 Mike even mentioned loneliness as one of the real problems in today’s society.  I couldn’t agree more.

The Psalmist in Psalm 109 expresses his lonesome condition.  He had been friendly toward some people, but in return they had run their mouths against him.  The Psalmist describes these enemies as hateful, wicked and deceitful.  Apparently they deserved the description because he had done nothing to deserve such treatment (Psalm 109:2-5).

The impact of this unfriendliness on the Psalmist was great physically and emotionally.  He was under such great stress that he lost weight and felt weak.  The Psalmist’s feelings were also deeply hurt (Psalm 109:22-24). He was truly alone in his suffering.

Contrast the behavior of the Psalmist’s foes with that of a fellow in the Bible called Gaius. He was a faithful friend and servant to some fellow believers, even though they were strangers.  He must have been a nice guy because the apostle John loved him and was looking forward to talking to him face to face (III John 1, 5-6,13-14).

Somewhere in my long discussion with Mike I sometimes wondered if he was an angel because I had been feeling lonely lately.  Although he was a very nice man, I concluded that he wasn’t because he was into some things I don’t thing God is too pleased with.

Still, it was nice to have some male comradeship, to have another man to talk with. Jesus is a brother who is there in that capacity, also.  I look forward to the day when I can have a conversation with him face to face.

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“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:15,16).”

Who would have thought it?  Benedict Arnold was a patriot, wounded twice during battles to help free his country from British tyranny during the American revolution. Yet he is mostly known for betraying his country by attempting to hand West Point over to the British for a large sum of money.  He didn’t succeed.

But why wasn’t  Benedict Arnold discovered?  The signs were there.  Arnold was brought up on misconduct charges as military commander of Philadephia and court-martialed.  However,  he was cleared.  So friends such as George Washington still were not suspicous.  But surely his wife knew?  It didn’t matter.  According to Cokie Roberts in the book Founding Mothers Peggy Shippen Arnold  was in on the betrayal. The signs were there with her, too.  She came from a family with British sympathies.   She helped deliver correspondence to and from the British, and apparently had rich tastes. And when her husband was discovered, she did such a great job of acting distraught over the betrayal that founding fathers such as Alexander Hamilton were convinced  she had nothing to do with it.

So the other patriots never caught on.   Benedict Arnold sold out, embittered by his treatment from his fellow Americans and seeking to enrich himself for his wife’s sake.  His name has become an epithet in America for anyone who is a traitor. 

Another famous name in history used to characterize a disloyal person today is Judas, surnamed Iscariot.  As is well known, Judas sold Jesus Christ out to Jewish leaders who wanted to kill Him.   Judas was one of Jesus’s closest confidantes.  He was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus and even had the responsibility of taking care of the group’s finances.  Judas participated in the Last Supper, and took communion with Jesus and the other disciples (Luke 22).  But, the only one who knew of Judas’s impending betrayal of Jesus was Jesus himself.  

However, the signs were there with Judas, also.  Earlier he had complained about the symbolic anointing of Jesus with expensive perfume, asking why it wasn’t sold and given to the poor.  The disciples should have known.  After all, they were around him for several years. But they were too self absorbed. When told by Jesus during the Last Supper that one them would turn him over to the Jews,  they could only question whether or not they themselves were the culprit and discuss who was the greatest among them.  They even fell asleep during Jesus’s agonizing prayer time in the Garden of Gethsemane.   Jesus went to the Cross without his friends.  Ultimately, like Benedict Arnold Judas didn’t succeed either, as Jesus rose from the dead.   

As one of my old bosses used to say, what can we learn from this?  

1)With friends like these, Jesus could have easily felt duped and ended up  in the pit of despair.  But he perservered and fulfilled His purpose despite His faulty friends.  So can we. 

2)Not only did Jesus persevere Himself, but He also hung in there with His traitorous pals .  (From the cross, He said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”) Eventually, all the disciples but Judas were anointed with the Holy Spirit, became changed people and were  used to build His kingdom. We can pray for the people who betray us, asking that God would bring them into a Spirit-filled relationship with Christ. 

3) If we are believers in Christ, we also have the Holy  Spirit. We don’t have to be self absorbed like the disciples were while Jesus was with them.  He can help us discern when we are dealing with people who are not looking out for our best interests, or those of Jesus,  and teach us to deal with them.

 Jesus surely knows what we are going through when we feel betrayed and deserted by people we trust.   And He can give us the grace to keep on going with ourselves and others.

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