I was calling people Benedict Arnold before I even knew who Benedict Arnold was. I didn’t need to know what Benedict Arnold did; I just knew that he was a traitor.
Nobody wants to be a traitor. We value loyalty in our friends and we want to be loyal to our friends. We shake our heads at people like Benedict Arnold or Judas who could betray their country or their friends.
Holy Wednesday is also known as Spy Wednesday. It’s the day during Holy Week when we reflect on Judas Iscariot and his betrayal of Jesus. No matter how many times I think about it, I cannot fathom Judas’s betrayal of Jesus. Judas had committed himself to following Jesus. He had seen all the miracles that Jesus performed. Yet, in the end, 30 pieces of silver outweighed everything.
While not as universe changing as Judas’s betrayal, Valeris’s betrayal in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is still rather treacherous. Unlike Judas, Valeris wasn’t motivated by financial gain. She wasn’t prepared for the undiscovered country and peace between the Klingon Empire and the Federation. Valeris and her conspirators feared change and betrayed anyone they needed to in order to maintain the status quo.
We like to look down our noses and people like Judas and Valeris. Judas betrayed the Messiah and Valeris turned her back on all of Starfleet’s principles. We can’t be too quick to judge, though, because it’s like we betray Jesus every time we sin.
If we say that we’re committed to Jesus, then we’re turning our back to him when we sin. It may be a little betrayal compared to that of Judas, but it’s still a betrayal. Jesus wants to lead us into a new life, our own undiscovered country, but sometimes we’d rather cling to our sin and our status quo.
Jesus wants to take us someplace amazing. That can be scary, though, because getting there means surrendering more and more of our lives. We can’t allow our fear, though, to lead to small betrayals. Even though they’re small, those little betrayals can undermine the work of Jesus in our lives. The more we can remain true to Jesus, the more we’ll see his transforming work in our lives.
How do you keep from turning your back on Jesus?