by Tim Hall
The morning sports talk show was all abuzz with talk about Roger Clemens. “The Rocket” had just appeared before a Congressional committee to defend himself against accusations of using steroids to extend his baseball career. The talk show hosts alluded often to Clemens’s finger-pointing at others, especially those who were once close to him.
There was a curious phrase that came up numerous times on that show: Clemens, as well as others, “threw [someone] under the bus.” Someone not acquainted with American idioms might react in horror: “He threw someone under a bus?! Why isn’t he being tried for murder?” We’re dealing with imagery, of course. Two people are envisioned standing on the curb of a busy city street. As a speeding bus approaches, one pushes the other into the path of the bus. There’s also the implication that the one who pushed was supposedly a friend. That’s what makes the act so reprehensible.
Job experienced the feeling of being thrown under the bus. Following his awful trials, he had to further endure the judgment and abandonment of those who were once close to him. He expressed this frustration in Job 19:14,15 “My relatives have failed, and my close friends have forgotten me. Those who dwell in my house, and my maidservants, count me as a stranger; I am an alien in their sight” (NKJV). Where were his loved ones when he needed them most? Job found no one to stand by him; it was as if salt had been rubbed into his wounds.
But has anyone felt betrayal to the extent Jesus did? When soldiers came to arrest him, they were led by one of Jesus’s closest followers. The words of our Lord as Judas approached must have pierced the hypocrite deeply: “Friend, why have you come?” (Matthew 26:50). Jesus knew, of course, why Judas had come: He was fulfilling prophecy: “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Psalm 41:9). Judas threw the Son of God under the bus!
Jesus is no longer physically present on earth, but his followers can still betray him. One writer tried to warn against that: “Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29). Trampling Jesus under our feet is the ancient equivalent to throwing someone under a bus. Can a person do anything worse?
Our hearts are filled with scorn toward those who would betray their friends. Do we really think God feels differently about those who betray his son?
by Tim Hall