For the longest time I wondered why they paid Judas to betray the Lord. They were willing to pay 30 pieces of silver, enough money to buy a plot of land in those days. Those religious leaders were also willing to spend money people had tithed the Lord, in order to get it done. The problem was they feared “taking” him in public. The crowds that surrounded Jesus on a daily basis were way too large. He was teaching and healing, and people were amazed by this. They would not have gotten very far grabbing him during the day time, the crowds would have protected Him… so they looked for a way in to His inner circle. They needed a spy. A spy that was willing to take them to a more private spot where they could grab Him and then execute their plan to have Jesus put to death.
Judas was willing to play this role.
A lot of theories have been proposed to explain why Judas decided to do this. However, they are just theories and not Biblical. The Bible says clearly that Judas was a lover of money and being around Jesus, listening to His teachings and seeing all the miracles did not change the fact that the god he really served was the “pocketbook”. This opened wide the door to his soul and Satan was able to easily enter it and lead Judas to do his will. Using Judas’ love for money he easily set him on a course to do the wrong thing.
The scariest verses in the Bible are found in Mathew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’
Any of us can serve in the church and look like we are serving Jesus with all we do when in reality we are serving something else. Today is a great day to reflect on why you do what you do. Is your main focus Jesus? Is your main focus to glorify Him or is he just a side job for the god you are really serving? This is what I know, whatever you are serving will betray the other that you say you are serving. This works well when it is God that you are worshiping and focused on, but when it is something else, money, a good time, a good reputation, being the life of the party, being cool, etc… those things will betray the One who loved you so much He laid down His life for you.
The stakes are high, so do some soul searching today and make sure you really know and love Jesus more than anything else in your life.
Today’s Bible Readings – Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10-11; and Luke 22:1-6