Think Ahead

Matthew 27, Psalm 100

when Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he changed his mind ~Matthew 27:3

Today, in Matthew 27, we read about Judas’ victory. Or, at least, what Judas thought was going to be his victory.  He finally achieved what he set out to do.  There are two reasons, I surmise, for Judas’ choices.  One is money and the other is acceptance.

Consider first that Judas was the keeper of the purse for the apostles.  Not because he was specially gifted with finances, however.  No, Judas was concerned with the amount of money in the purse.  Not for the benefit of Jesus, or humanity, but for his own gain.  This is evident in John 12:1-8.  Judas was, in fact, greedy for monetary gain.  HIs relationship with Jesus was nothing more than a vehicle to gain wealth. Perhaps, that is why he was willing give up Jesus’ location for 30 pieces of silver.  Unfortunately, 30 pieces of silver is only about $600 in todays dollars.  There must be a secondary motivation for his choices.

Perhaps Judas was also looking for the respect of men.  Looking back to Matthew 26:14-16, Judas was hanging out with men opposed to Jesus.  Given his position, I imagine that they did not fully trust him.  Maybe they made fun of him for being with Jesus.  Maybe Judas wanted to be liked by them.  We all do stupid things when we are seeking the approval of men.  I imagine Judas puffing himself up with stories about Jesus and the Apostles.  Eventually, to build creditability, he chooses to make a grand gesture.  In this case, it was about selling Jesus’ location. 

Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Once Jesus was condemned, however, Judas rethought his choices.  In fact, he realized that he was on the wrong side.  I can only guess why.  Honestly, its like most things of this world.  We all choose things that will serve our wants and build our own credibility and not the kingdom’s.  Seriously, think about a time when you were tempted to compromise your values for something that you would gain.  Maybe its an oversight on your taxes or taking credit for work so that your boss will see you in a better light.  Maybe, like Judas, we are ok with your choices.  Until, you get caught and are able to see the bigger picture.  Perhaps we have all experienced what Judas felt in Matthew 27, realizing that our gain is actually a huge loss.  When that happens, don’t we do exactly what Judas did in verse 3?  We change our minds!  Sadly, for Judas, it was too late.  He could not see past his betrayal.  The only restitution he could think of was death.

We do have an option.  Today, and everyday, we can choose life.  Simply put all of my faith in Him and His goodness.  Nothing else.  Before, it’s too late.