Psalm 41 is a Messianic Psalm in that it is prophetically speaking of the betrayal of Jesus the Messiah by Judas Iscariot. Psalm 41 gives much understanding concerning betrayal. Jesus quoted from Psalm 41 concerning His betrayal.




In the Gospel of John 13, we find Jesus and His disciples gathered in an upper room to celebrate the Passover meal. While gathered, Jesus quotes (see below) from Psalm 41:9 when telling his disciples concerning His pending betrayal by Judas Iscariot. The Apostle John writes that the devil had already put in the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus.


And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, {the son} of Simon, to betray Him. (John 13:2, NAS)




Jesus, knowing that He would soon be betrayed or delivered up to be crucified, began to teach His disciples concerning the true heart of non-betrayal. The Greek word for betray is paradidomi (par-ad-id'-o-mee) and means to surrender, i.e yield up, intrust, transmit. Jesus began to teach the disciples by example how not to betray as He began to wash the feet of the disciples.


Jesus rose from supper, laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about.
Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.


The Apostle Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter." (John 13:7, NAS)


Jesus told Simon Peter that he would later understand the essence of this most unusual occasion. It was obvious that Simon Peter did not yet understand this profound principle of communion with the body of Christ when he said, “Never shall you wash my feet!”




Jesus answered and said to Simon Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Paraphrased Jesus was saying to Simon Peter that if you betray or surrender up my desire and right to fellowship or commune with you, then you have no part of me.


Simon Peter continued his inquiry and said to Jesus, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”


Jesus said to him, "He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all {of you.} For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, "Not all of you are clean." (John 13:10, 11, NAS)


Judas Iscariot did not allow Jesus to wash his feet; therefore Jesus declared him unclean. Unclean means to be sinful. Betrayal is to surrender or yield up that which one possesses. Jesus and Judas possessed with one another a trusted friendship.


Failure to allow Christ and those in Christ to wash our feet constitutes betrayal. This is deemed betrayal because we surrender or yield up our God given command to commune with one another. God orchestrates His ordained relationships for our lives. It is our responsibility to know with whom God has ordained to be our close and trusted friends.


Symbolically speaking, the washing of another’s feet is to become one with that person. Washing the feet of another brother is to wash your own feet. As Jesus said, we cannot be part of one another except we clean one another with water, water a type of the word of God. I also see that symbolically the washing of one another’s feet with the water of the word enhances and empowers the walk.




 The Gospel of John 13:18 says, "I (Jesus) do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but {it is} that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.”(NAS)


The scripture to which Jesus is referring is found in Psalm 41:9. 


Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9, NAS)




Why is it important to understand betrayal? As we know and understand, every believer will be betrayed. In the case of Jesus, His betrayal was a fulfillment of scripture. Jesus’ betrayal was an integral part of the perfect plan of God in fulfilling the redemptive work of Jesus on the cross.


It is important to remember that Jesus warned us. Jesus said that if they persecuted, reviled, reproached, mocked and betrayed me, they will do the same to you.


Rejoice! Betrayals are stepping stones to your destiny. Betrayals by trusted friends have never been easy for me. Understanding the quintessential need for betrayal and the nature of such, one is enabled to maintain constancy unto victory




I will draw by the Spirit of God several attributes of betrayers from Psalm 41. I will use the antithesis (opposite) of all the positive attributes and descriptions of the blessed of God written about in this Psalm. Every verse from which I will draw a description of a betrayer is a vivid description of one who is not a betrayer.


How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble. The LORD will protect him, and keep him alive, and he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, Thou dost restore him to health. (Psalm 41:1-3, NAS)


Again, this Psalm is describing those who are not betrayers; therefore it is easy to define a betrayer. From Psalm 41:1-3 we find that a betrayer is one who considers not the poor and helpless.


A betrayer does not consider the poor and the helpless and thereby has given up or betrayed the very heart of God. Jesus said that He did not come to be served but to serve. Jesus never gave up on the poor in spirit but continuously considered and delivered them from their enemies, day of trouble and from their sickbed.


The Lord will not deliver a betrayer from his day of trouble. The Lord will not protect, keep him alive and he shall be cursed. He will be given over to his enemies. A betrayer will not be sustained on his sickbed, in his illness and will not be restored.               


As for me, I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal my soul, for I have sinned against Thee." (Psalm 41:4, NAS)


Betrayers are void of a desire for mercy and repentance. Betrayers do not see the loving grace of God available for the healing of a sinful soul. Betrayers are constantly influenced by a spirit of death and purpose in their hearts to steal, kill and destroy any hope of the abundant life given to us in Jesus Christ.


Betrayers do not seek communion with God and others. This sinful influence brings forth weakness, infirmity and sleep (death) because they refuse to rightly discern our Lord’s body.


My enemies speak evil against me, "When will he die, and his name perish?" (Psalm 41:5, NAS)


A betrayer speaks evil of his brother and desires his brother’s death. A betrayer speaks evil and desires that his brother’s identity be totally destroyed. A betrayer is obviously one who is self-seeking and flaunts his identity over the name of others.


And when he comes to see {me} he speaks falsehood; His heart gathers wickedness to itself; when he goes outside, he tells it. (Psalm 41:6, NAS)


In your presence, a betrayer speaks vain chatter while at the same time gathering iniquity in his heart. A betrayer when away from you will tell others of the wickedness which he has gathered in his heart while in your presence. A betrayer is disconnected from you even in your presence because his heart is gathering wickedness to itself.


All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they devise my hurt, {saying,} "A wicked thing is poured out upon him, that when he lies down, he will not rise up again." (Psalm 41:7,8 NAS)


A betrayer finds those of like heart and sows discord. These betrayers plan your hurt. These betrayers whisper and declare that a wicked thing would happen to you and that you would not arise again.


Even my close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9, NAS)


In order to betray or give up something one must have first had it in their possession. This verse from Psalm 41:9 is quoted by Jesus concerning His betrayal by Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve Apostles (See John 13:18).


Jesus and Judas Iscariot had Godly relationship throughout all of the ministry of Jesus upon the earth until the point of actual betrayal. Jesus called Judas His friend even when encouraging Judas to do quickly the betrayal which had entered into his heart.


Jesus confirmed the pure relationship in which He and Judas walked when He said, “Friend, {do} what you have come for. "Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him. (Matt 26:50, NAS) Also Psalm 41:9 confirms that Jesus trusted Judas.


A betrayer will disdain trusting relationships. There are probably many reasons yet to be discovered as to why Judas betrayed the trust of Jesus.




10 But Thou, O LORD, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.

11 By this I know that Thou art pleased with me, because my enemy does not shout in triumph over me.

12  As for me, Thou dost uphold me in my integrity, and Thou dost set me in Thy presence forever.

13   Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen, and Amen. (Psalm 41:10-13, NAS)


The wages of betrayal is death. The wages of communion with God and our brethren is life. The Lord’s grace will constantly resurrect those in communion thereby righteously repaying the betrayer.


Betrayers will never shout in triumph over you and by this you can know that God is pleased with you. I am yet to see a betrayer in my life shout in triumph over me.


Integrity always makes the way for God’s people. Again, communion with God and the brethren (integrity - one with God and man) establishes the presence of the Lord forever.


We will forever and forever bless the Lord God of Israel.




Gale Maiden



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