Ready for the weekend? I am. Hopefully we will have more spring-type weather too. Please remember me in your prayers this weekend too. My faith is being tested here lately, and I just need a little spiritual boost. Thank you in advance!
Yesterday, in our study at Pizza Hut, we discussed this chapter of Matthew's Gospel. We spoke of the great honor the Lord had bestowed on Mary for anointing Jesus with the precious oil, and all that may have motivated her to honor Him so.
With today's Scripture we must now ask ourselves what may have motivated Judas to betray Him.
Matthew 26:14 "Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, 15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver."
We are never told about the circumstances surrounding Judas' call to be a disciple; he is just suddenly named, and not even until the 10th chapter of Matthew. The name Iscariot is said to mean "man of Kerioth," which is a town in the tribe of Judah. He was the only disciple who was not a Galilean.
Matthew did not tell us who it was that objected to Mary anointing Jesus, but John points his finger squarely at Judas who was in essence the treasurer for the group. John 12:6 "This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein."
Many speculations have been made as to what motivated Judas to betray Jesus. Some assumed it was because he was from Kerioth and not Galilee and therefore resented being told what to do by them. Some say Judas' idea of what a Messiah was supposed to be was not being fulfilled in Jesus. Maybe he looked for a Messiah that would exert His authority and power over Roman. Some say he was so taken by his love of money that the rebuke he received from Jesus when Mary's motives were questioned was the final straw. Some even say that he was trying to force Jesus' hand to become the mighty warrior Messiah he envisioned.
I personally don't believe any of that to be true. This was all God's plan. There had to be a Judas; there had to be a crucifixion. The prophecy about this is eerily given by the prophet Zechariah. We will refer to this Scripture later in our study too: Zechariah 11:12 "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." The exact price Judas was given; prophesied at around 487 B.C.! Further evidence is given by Jesus Himself when He said in John 6:70 "Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve." Jesus knew exactly who and what Judas was, and it came as no surprise when he betrayed Him.
Matthew 26:16 "And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him."
This was not a random act fueled by greed. Judas did not act in haste. He was unwittingly following the plan God had set in place before the foundation of the world. The rest of the time Judas spends with the 11 and Jesus, "he sought opportunity to betray him." He plotted against Him even as they had fellowship, ate, and slept together. He was cold, calculating, and devoid of feeling toward the Savior even though he had been with Him for 3 years. Judas had seen the miracles and heard the Gospel from the Son of God's own lips, yet there was nothing in him to respond. And that, my friend, is a scary thought to me!
In our study for Monday, Jesus will point His righteous finger at Judas as well.
Be blessed this weekend!