Today is called “Spy Wednesday”

Today is called “Spy Wednesday” in some churches because Judas Iscariot bargained with the religious authorities to “spy” on Jesus, making arrangements to betray him.

Time is short and events are moving to their terrifying conclusion. What do you do now?

Today is called “Spy Wednesday” in some churches because Judas Iscariot bargained with the religious authorities to “spy” on Jesus, making arrangements to betray him. We all know the story: in the end, Judas betrays Jesus by kissing him as a signal that he was the one to be arrested. 

This part of the story makes our blood boil! Here is Jesus facing tremendous opposition from every corner for carrying out the mission he received from God. Suddenly, one of his own – one of those closest to him –  betrays him! Who could have seen that coming?

When we hear this story we must always remember this betrayal was always known to Jesus! John 6:64 tells us “…Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him.” Can you imagine going through your days sitting and looking at your eventual betrayer and knowing what he was to do, and yet drawing him in to your inner circle, having him hear the most important teaching you could offer and know that it was all for naught?

There was a difference, though. Jesus never let his knowledge of this coming opposition stop him from pursuing and living out his calling before God. It wasn’t just Judas Iscariot either. Peter and others betrayed and denied Jesus, with one of the disciples running away naked when they grabbed him by his clothing. In the end, Jesus was betrayed by so many who had proclaimed him Christ, God’s anointed one, just days before. And yet he kept on doing what he was called to do.

The message for every Christian has to be crystal clear: if Jesus expected and persevered through persecution and betrayal, so must we and so can we. There is often opposition we face (sometimes from within) to obey the call of God in our lives. This is not an aberration. This is what we should expect.

There may be a perfect world somewhere, where the good are honored and rewarded in immediate terms and the evil waste away in their depravity. In this world. however, it takes expecting and working through the bad times to achieve the good. With only hours left, Jesus remembers this is his calling as well and saw it out to the end. So can we.


About The Author

Robert Johnson

Robert Johnson is the pastor of the New Hanover Presbyterian Church - and feels blessed to be there! “New Hanover is a uniquely caring and close community” said Dr. Johnson. “Serving here has been a great privilege for me, and has given me a real sense of joy in ministry!” Robert has been at NHPC since 2015. Before serving this congregation, he was a parish pastor in Ohio and Virginia, a theologian in the Office of Theology and Worship of the PC(USA), and a missionary in Pakistan where he was a college and seminary professor. Originally from the Great State of Texas, he has degrees from Austin College, Princeton Theological Seminary and holds the Ph.D. from Union Seminary in Virginia. Robert enjoys cooking, travel, reading up in World and National affairs and playing at singing, guitar, bass guitar and trombone. His wife of 36 years, Marianne Vermeer, is the Chief Administrative and Financial Officer for the Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. They have two adult sons, Nathan and Peter and an elderly dog named Cinnamon.

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