This Latin sentence means, “Even you, Brutus?” and is from the play Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. Caesar utters these words as he is being stabbed to death, having recognized his friend Brutus among the assassins. The sentence describes the surprise and dismay at the treachery of a supposed friend.
Like most who have lived over half a century, my husband and I have felt the stab wounds of betrayal, and we know the wounds are deep. You don’t easily recover. But, as Bob says, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Surviving those experiences is probable -- you will live. But overcoming them is optional.
Jesus knew betrayal. Two of His close associates turned on him during the hardest time of His life: Peter denied knowing Jesus on the very night Jesus needed His friends most. Thomas stopped believing in Him, demanding proof positive. We know Peter and Thomas acted under pressure and without malice; but Jesus must have been deeply hurt by their fickle and conditional friendship.
The lesson Bob and I have learned through life and ministry, and the one Jesus models here, is the lesson of forgiveness and restoration. When Peter and Thomas wanted back in His good graces, Jesus forgave and restored them as friends. Hard stuff to do. Frankly, it’s easier to nurse hurt feelings, write those people off like a bad debt, and move on. After all, your blood is on their knife. But instead, Jesus brought them back into His bosom -- as friends. He took a risk, and if we are smart, we will follow His example.
We all get a turn. The knife of betrayal will go deep, and we will bleed. But we will also forgive, if we want to be like Jesus. And at some point if the desire for restoration is mutual, we will do that, too. Even if it’s for Brutus.