betrayed woman November 5 Chronological Bible Study

Timeline. Map. Go to today’s Bible reading: Mark 14:43-52; Matthew 26:47-56; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:1-11; Mark 14:53-72; Matthew 26:57-75; Luke 22:54-71; John 18:12-27; Matthew 27:1-10


Betrayed, friendless, and falsely accused; at least once in our life this has or probably will happen to us. We are innocent but nobody thinks so, and some may even deny any association with us. How does (or would) that make us feel? Confused? Disillusioned? Bitter? Lonely? Sooner or later the truth is or will be made known, and we may be exonerated. Jesus also experienced injustice. In this Bible study we will look at what Jesus went through so we might know how to handle betrayals. We will also look at what we should do if we betray God and others.

We last left Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. Judas Iscariot has made a deal with the religious leaders to hand him over to them privately because they fear the Jews; most of the common people love Jesus. Jewish crowds are gathered in the city of Jerusalem to observe the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread (this feast is explained in the November 3 Bible study). It was because of this that the religious leaders knew that they must act swiftly and deftly. Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, seeing he could make no money off of him, betrays him to them. He offers to hand over Jesus to them for thirty pieces of silver, the price of a man or woman being gored by a bull (Exodus 21:32). Judas Iscariot leads a band of religious leaders and soldiers to Gethsemane to arrest Jesus at night. They come with flaming torches, clubs and swords. This was like a real nightmare!

What happens when the angry mob gets to Gethsemane? Do Jesus and his disciples fight? (John 18:1-11; Matthew 26:56). No. Jesus goes out to meet the soldiers and religious leaders and asks them what they want. He tries to protect his disciples (a good leader will do this for his followers). Judas betrays Jesus with a prearranged sign - a kiss of greeting. Peter attempts to defend Jesus and prevent him from being arrested by drawing a sword and cutting off the ear of the servant to the High Priest. Jesus puts a stop to that act of violence, heals the servant’s ear (Luke 22:51), and then submits himself to the soldiers and religious leaders.

Seeing this, the disciples flee (Matthew 26:56). It would be tempting for us to be critical of the disciples, but how would we respond to a very real threat of being arrested and persecuted for being associated with Jesus? The natural reaction to arrest and persecution is fear and flight. Following the example from Jesus, however, a proper spiritual reaction to betrayal and religious persecution is to trust our souls to God, keep following his will, seek his glory, and do what is right.

Jesus was taken first to the house of Annas, father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was the high priest that year. Evidently, he was highly respected and influential. The trial was one of three quickly arranged religious trials that night (Annas, Caiaphas, and the Sanhedrin). The trials are hastily conducted in order to have a binding verdict ready for a Roman judge by dawn, when Roman officials begin deliberating legal cases (only the Roman government has the power to execute convicted prisoners). The religious leaders fear the crowds of Jesus’ faithful admirers and do not want any chance for opposition to arise. The Jewish trials are illegal because they are carried on at night, and it is illegal by Roman law for Jesus to be beaten as a criminal without first being legally sentenced for a crime. The Chief Priests and the Sanhedrin (the religious ruling party) ignored that law (The Bible Knowledge Commentary of the N.T., by Walvoord and Zuck, ©.1985, p.182).

While Jesus is being tried at the house of Caiaphas, someone else besides Judas Iscariot was betraying Jesus, namely, Simon Peter (Luke 22:54-62). Peter betrayed Christ by denying him three times and even cursing with an oath that he does not know him. Peter's betrayal, however, differs from that of Judas. Peter does not simply feel remorse; he weeps bitter tears of repentance over his sins (Matthew 27:1-5). By the time Jesus is raised from the dead, Peter once again identifies himself with the disciples. In contrast, Judas never seeks forgiveness. Instead, he tries to fix his errors by attempting to give back the blood money. When that fails, Judas hangs himself.

Lessons to live by:

  • Following the example from Jesus, a proper spiritual reaction to betrayal and religious persecution is to trust our souls to God, keep following his will, seek his glory, and do what is right.
  • We may make mistakes and even betray Jesus and others by what we say and do, or what we fail to say and do. We must repent, confess our sins and ask forgiveness of God and others. If we truly repent (change our heart and direction) we will find forgiveness and restoration (1John 1:9, more...).

Today’s Bible memory verses:

1Peter 4:19 “So then, those who suffer according to God's will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” (NIV)

Acts 3:19 “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” (NIV)

praying girl Write a private prayer response to today’s Bible study:

Please send your comments to

Previous Lesson  |  Next Lesson

Back to top of page Return to Chronological Bible Studies main page
Go to Scriptures main page
Go to Topics main page
Go to Home page

Contact Us