Jane Fonda, Marcus Brutus, Tokyo Rose, John Walker, Jr., Benedict Arnold, Judas Iscariot

These names are easily recognized because they are part of a list of the all time traitors. Some turned on their country, some on their friends, and some just wanted the money. If you have ever been betrayed the ideology behind the betrayal is of small consequences. The pain is the same if it was for 30 shekels of silver or millions of dollars or just for spite.

Perhaps the hardest to deal with is the personal betrayal of a friend who gains little and loses a lot. We’re familiar with Caesar’s words as portrayed by the Bard. “You too, Brutus?” Not Brutus, surely not my friend, my companion, my faithful one.

Wives have been betrayed by their husbands and husbands by their wives. It is a hard thing to live with, to overcome, to forgive. The hurt is so grievous, the pain so deep. Many are not able to cope with the betrayal and seek revenge. They want to hurt the one who hurt them. The result is twice as bad as it was. Betrayal and then hatred. Neither is from God.

Oh that we could be like Jesus as he looked up to his father and said, “Please forgive them.” Not an easy thing to do hanging on a cross. Betrayed by a friend and abandoned by friends. No malice in Jesus, no anger from the cross.

Parents have been betrayed by children and the reverse is also true. When the parent thinks of all that he or she went through for the child it is hard to imagine that the child would turn against them. The greatest of love often torn asunder over a trivial matter or an imagined hurt. The child who has adored the parent all of his/her life, betrayal, estrangement, is more than he/she can bear. Angry words often widen the gap. Sooner or later one side will refuse to forgive and let the wound heal.

Benedict Arnold received lots of money but was never happy afterwards in view of what he did. Jane Fonda said she was sorry but she was never believed and to this day is hated by veterans. The name Brutus is ever linked with betrayal and falsehood. John Walker paid more than he earned. Lastly, Judas couldn’t live with the knowledge of his treachery and wanted nothing to do with his silver.

The only winner was the world which gained forgiveness from a love so strong it could withstand betrayal. If you’ve been sold for the price of a slave, like Jesus, what is your reaction. Hate is possible as is revenge. They will not solve the hurt you feel. Only complete forgiveness will do that. Name them now, and repeat the words of Jesus, “Father forgive them, they don’t really know what they’ve done.”

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