We say it several ways:
- “No good deed goes unpunished.”
- “Those with capacity to hurt you deepest are those who are closest to you.”
- “Biting the hand that feeds you.”
It’s about the pain of betrayal. And lest we think our God is without experience here, Jesus broke bread with Judas on the fateful Maundy Thursday. The same man who dipped bread with Jesus walked out of the room to betray his feeder.
I often talk with people who have experienced the pain of betrayal in a way that drove them from their faith. Why God seems distant when we are betrayed may have something to do with our desire for a God more swift to judge and execute justice. That certainly is how the Psalmists of the Lament Prayers felt—and may be what was behind Jesus’ prayer from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Read Psalm 22 for the true depth of all that was being prayed by the crucified Jesus. It is a Psalm about being betrayed by enemies and needing help.
Yes, we will be betrayed in painful ways. People very close to us will hurt us. Some of us will even be the betrayers—biting the very hand that feds us.
Maundy Thursday may be saying that when betrayal happens, Jesus is very near.