Friday of the First Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 27:1-24; John 20:1-18

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. (Proverbs 27:6)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. At some point in our lives we've all experienced that feeling of betrayal by someone we thought was a friend or was trustworthy, and who turned out to be secretly betraying us the whole time. Or there's that person who gushed with good things to our face, but secretly was gossiping (or worse) behind our backs. Solomon is right, "Profuse are the kisses of an enemy."

But Solomon's proverb is more than practical advice for dealing with frenemies. In this word of wisdom, Solomon points us to the Wisdom of God in human flesh.

Jesus knew this feeling of betrayal all too well. On that Thursday night of Holy Week, His disciples fell asleep, fled, denied him, and even betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver. This proverb is a prophecy fulfilled on that night in which Jesus was betrayed: "Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?"

And this proverb is also fulfilled the next day, on Good Friday. Jesus was led up to Mt. Calvary, pierced with nails in His hands and feet, and a spear was thrust into His side. In Jesus' wounds we find healing from all the betrayal we've received, and forgiveness for all the times we've betrayed God and others close to us. In Jesus' wounds we are no longer enemies with God. In Jesus' wounds we are saved and set free to bear one another's burdens.

Solomon was right: faithful are the wounds of a friend. But as good as it is to have friends who have your back, it's even better to know that Jesus gave His back, His hands, feet, head, and side for you. Jesus, the Friend of sinners, was wounded for us. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friend" (John 15:13). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Come not in terrors as the King of kings, But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings; Tears for all woes, a heart for ev'ry plea. Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me. (Abide with Me, LSB 878:3)

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