Matthew 26:14-16 John 12:1-8
As a Christian, I have difficulty understanding how Judas Iscariot could agree to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. Matthew 26:15a suggests Judas does it out of greed and seeks to negotiate with the chief priests to get a good price for his betrayal.
You probably have experienced the betrayal of a close friend. My brother broke my trust by stealing thousands of dollars from me to feed his drug addiction. I had a hard time being around my brother, because all he wanted was money for his next high. It was devastating for my mom and me to watch because he was out of control.
You may be asking yourself how Judas Iscariot knows to approach the chief priests. Remember that yesterday we discussed two groups: 1) those with Jesus and 2) those against Jesus. The crowd against Jesus cannot be very far from where Jesus entered Jerusalem; they are gathering information for the chief priests. Any one of these individuals could have run into Judas Iscariot and asked him questions regarding Jesus Christ. Or Judas could have heard the chief priests want to put Jesus on trial and need an insider to help them. Who better to help the chief priests?
Now we know from the Gospel of John that Judas Iscariot is greedy. When Martha and Mary give Jesus a dinner after he raises Lazarus from the dead, Judas Iscariot objects to Mary anointing Jesus an expensive perfume (John 12:3). Judas objects on the grounds that extravagant purchases take food out of the mouth of the poor (John 12:5), but the Gospel of John says Judas does not actually care about the poor (John 12:6a). Rather, Judas routinely steals from the moneybag and is concerned that such purchases will cut into his stolen stash (John 12:6b).
Do you know individuals like Judas? These individuals always have something to say but do the opposite. My brother was a lot like Judas when he was using drugs. He was smooth talker when he needed money for drugs.
The momentum of Holy Week is building. We know God sent Jesus knowing he would die for our sins. This conflict has to happen, just like my brother needed to be caught and evicted in order to hit rock bottom and make the decision to go into treatment[ED1] . I rejoice in the sobriety my brother has found.
But for Jesus, there remains a long and difficult path through Holy Week. Please continue to join me on this journey.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for showing us that even a disciple can fall into the greed trap. Help us to not fall into the greed trap and to overcome the devil. Remind us of your plan during difficult times. Guide us through the darkness and into the light. Thank you for giving us your peace and your love. Amen.
Please feel free to answer the reflective questions through comments. Please agree to disagree and be respectable to each other. Please take a moment, if you have not already, to sign the covenant. You can answer all or just one of the questions.
- Do you know people in the crowd with Jesus?
- Do you know people in the crowd against Jesus?
- Where do you fit in the crowd?
- Do you know a Judas Iscariot?
My brother has been clean for three years and three months. Thanks be to God!