“If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God” (Ps. 55:12-14).
Betrayal is one of the most difficult tests that we will ever face because it involves being wounded by someone we trust. It’s hard not to become bitter when a friend or family member wounds us. It takes a lot of Christ-like grace to forgive a traitor.
You have probably faced the Judas Test yourself. Everyday you and I work in a marketplace that is rife with betrayal, deception, duplicity, and treachery. Perhaps you have been betrayed by your boss or a coworker. Or perhaps somebody betrayed a confidence or stabbed you in the back. It may have even been someone you’ve gone to church with or prayed with – someone you trusted as a brother in Christ.
The Judas kiss stings worse than a slap across the face. Almost every leader I know has experienced that sting at one time or another. Yet God is watching to see how we respond to the Judas Test. If we pass the test, He can then take us to the next level, the next test. If we fail, we’ll probably have to repeat the test until we learn to forgive.
The Judas Test is God’s graduate level course in faith, designed to reveal the truth about ourselves: Are we willing to trust Him enough to forgive the Judases in our lives? The book of Hebrews warns, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many” (Heb 12:15). When we refuse to forgive we risk infecting others with a “bitter root” of resentment.