Small Group Support and Recovery – A Case Study of Judas vs. Peter

Having the support you need can make a world of difference.

When the associate minister of the church I attend asked if I would like to write an article on support and recovery groups, two of Jesus' disciple's came to mind: Judas and Peter. Each experienced significant brokenness as a result of failure, however, each received a very different reaction from their small group.

First let's consider Judas who betrayed Jesus. We find this account in Matthew 27:3-5: "When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins 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.' So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself." (NIV)

When Judas learned that Jesus was condemned, he became full of remorse so he turned to his newly found small group that he had been meeting with—the chief priests and elders—and confessed his sin for betraying innocent blood. All the chief priests and elders could say is that's your problem.

When Judas needed a loving arm around him and comforting words spoken to him, the small group told him to get lost, we have our own needs to attend to. Why he didn't go to Jesus' disciples we don't know. Maybe he felt that after what he had done they wouldn't want to see him, or maybe he was to ashamed to go to them. All we know is that in a time of need he was turned away and that he hanged himself.

Next, consider Peter, who betrayed Jesus by denying Him three times. We find this in John 20:1-2. "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. ...

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