The story of Absalom is always one that is a bit shocking to me. The son of King David, who rebels against his father and seeks to kill him and take his throne. Not the behavior that any of us would wish for our son to present. The story is filled with intrigue, betrayal, surprises, espionage, and everything else you would hope to see in a major motion picture (I really hope they make that movie soon). While it is a very engaging story, there is a much bigger picture for us to notice here. The Gospel of Matthew makes the connection between the betrayal of Absalom and the betrayal of Judas. There are striking similarities. Both Absalom and Judas betray their king with a kiss, hang themselves, and are buried in pits. Furthermore, in both stories, pieces of silver were important. In Absalom’s story, a bystander refused to lay a hand on Absalom for 1,000 pieces of silver offered by Joab. Judas, on the other hand, was more than happy to betray Jesus for only 30 pieces of silver. Matthew’s Gospel is sure to point out that Jesus is the truest and final king. Like David, Jesus is God’s anointed king, betrayed by those closest to Him.There are many lessons that can be pulled from this story, but perhaps the one we are most likely to miss is the one we need to learn the most. We learn that lesson by placing ourselves in the shoes of Absalom or Judas. We have all put a price on our loyalty to the King of Kings. Maybe it isn’t silver for you. Maybe, like Absalom, it is long-harbored anger toward God. Maybe it is pain or frustration from the past. Or, maybe it is like Judas. Maybe you are more than happy to be loyal to Jesus until that loyalty requires you to give up some of your own wealth. While we may all have a price on our loyalty, there is good news. Much like David wanted to take Absalom’s place, Jesus wants to take the place of traitorous sons and daughters as well. Jesus never held Judas’ betrayal against him and He did not kill him for his treason. Instead, Jesus allowed Judas’ rebellion to win. Jesus died like a traitor to Rome so traitors like Judas (and dare I say…us) could live. The Absalom/David story points our attention to a story that would happen much later but be so much more significant. It points to the story of a King who weeps over traitors, dies for the disloyal, and gives rebels power in His Kingdom. His name is Jesus and He seeks to do for you just as He did for Judas.

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About the Author: Tony Johnson
Tony Johnson is the lead pastor of 2|42 Community Church where he is helping people take next steps with God. Prior to his time at 2|42, Tony served for 15 years in various capacities within the Methodist denomination. He has degrees in broadcasting and marketing from Vincennes University and Ball State University, and he’s also a graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary. Tony is passionate about helping people discover and embrace their God-given purpose and potential. In his spare time, you can find Tony cheering on the Miami Dolphins or camping and fishing with his family.

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