What Matthew 27:3-4 Teaches Us About Betrayal And Liberation

How do you feel about those skinfolk who ain’t kinfolk? Those who hurt our communities with their words, actions, and views can have dangerous consequences for us, but should we forgive them for their harm?

What Matthew 27:3-4 Teaches Us About Betrayal And Liberation
Via Wikimedia Commons

Matthew 27:3-4 tells us about a dangerous person at the end of his story: When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders.  “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” 

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That's your responsibility.”

At the Last Supper, Jesus announced, "Truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me." He knew something shady would happen and knew it was Judas. 

Jesus gave Judas and the other apostles the spiritual authority to cast out demons and perform miracles. But Judas was moving funny. 

Judas was the treasurer but had been stealing from the communal money pot all along. His greed led him to make a deadly deal. 

As Jesus predicted, Judas betrayed him by disclosing his whereabouts to the chief priests and elders for 30 silver coins, ultimately leading to his arrest and execution. 

Although Judas later expressed remorse he didn't fully repent. "I have sinned," Judas said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood."

When it comes to our liberation and betrayal, should we forgive skinfolk who ain't kinfolk? 

We shouldn't ever betray our people, but Black Liberation Theology teaches that when harm is done, there are paths for reconciliation once one has repented and made amends through their actions. 

But like Judas, it's a choice for those who betray the community and seek forgiveness without doing the work. 

It's God's will for us to be in beloved community. Liberation can be ours, but not everybody will want to take the journey. That should never stop the rest of us. 

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