Most of us are familiar with Peter and Judas in the Bible. We remember both of them as disciples of Jesus. Peter, who was very close to the Messiah, was known to have a very strong and assertive character. Judas, on the other hand, was identified for being a shrewd treasurer and the one who betrayed the Lord.
Who is the friend and who is the enemy?
Of course, most of us would say that Simon Peter is the friend, and Judas Iscariot is the enemy of Jesus.
But let us look at things this way. Whom do you consider as more of your friend, the one who would lead you to do the will of God, or the one who would lead you away from doing the will of God?
“From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:21-23
Peter loved his Master so much that he did not want Him to die. Now, isn’t that a noble thing to say and feel? And yet, Jesus rebuked him. Why? Because during this time, Peter was not too discerning of the will of God that he did not want Jesus to die; he was only sadly thinking that he would lose his Master. Isn’t that selfish?
“While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him.” And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.” Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him.” Matthew 26:47-50
Judas was the traitor, the cheater, the black sheep, etc., but in this instance, he fulfilled the will of God: Judas betrayed Jesus so that the Messiah would die on the cross for the sins of mankind. And what’s amazing is, during the time of betrayal, Jesus called him “friend”.
In those two instances, Peter became the enemy, and Judas, the friend.
Our real friends are those who lead us and help us do the will of God in our lives. Sometimes, they even come in the form of, not only persons but, things and circumstances that seem difficult yet they push us to do what’s right.
The people who challenge us and sometimes anger us may be the same people who will get us in situations where we need to be stronger and wiser. Through these people, we became a whole lot better.
We only need to discern.