Lifted Up His Heel Against Me

Psalm 41:9  

Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

In Psalm 41 David again asks for God’s mercy and for deliverance from his enemies. Verse 9 describes a particularly hurtful attack that came from a formerly close friend. Several such betrayals by friends and family members were part of David’s traumatic life experience. But this verse was also prophetic of what would occur to Jesus Christ.

“The fulfillment of this verse in the experience of Jesus and Judas is remarkable. Not only did the two eat a meal together (Matt. 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21), but Jesus also called Judas a ‘friend’ at the moment of betrayal (Matt. 26:50)” (Nelson’s NKJV Study Bible, note on Psalm 41:9).

Even before Judas’ betrayal kiss, Jesus quoted this verse to help His disciples understand what was about to happen, and to help them afterward make sense of it all. Understanding the fulfillment of this prophecy would help them “believe that I am He” (John 13:19).

After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus said, “I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me’” (John 13:18).

For more about Judas, see “After Sin: Lessons From Judas and Peter.” For more about Jesus Christ, see the articles in the section “Who Is Jesus?”

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