Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot —went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.
Have you ever wondered why Judas betrayed Jesus, a man he spent three years with? The passage we read today suggests his motivation might have been greed because he sold Jesus out for thirty pieces of silver, a significant sum of money at the time. Besides, Gospel writer John described Judas as a thief, saying that "as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it" (John 12:6).
However, other factors may have also played a role in Judas's betrayal. For instance, Jesus may not have been the person Judas wanted him to be. Judas may have been disappointed with Jesus' leadership and teaching, especially if he had hoped that Jesus would lead a political rebellion against the Romans. In this scenario, Judas may have believed that by betraying Jesus, he would force him to reveal his true power and establish his kingdom on earth.
Another possible motivation for Judas's betrayal may have been jealousy. Judas was one of Jesus' twelve closest followers, but he may have felt neglected or overlooked in some way. The Gospels suggest that Peter, James, and John were among Jesus' closest and most trusted disciples and were present for several important events in his ministry. Although there is no indication that Jesus played favorites among his disciples, Judas might not have liked this and sought to teach everyone a lesson.
Regardless of the exact motivations for his actions, it is clear that Judas's betrayal had significant consequences. It led to Jesus' arrest and eventual crucifixion and resulted in Judas's own tragic end. The story of Judas serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of greed, ambition, and betrayal. It highlights the importance of staying true to our values and convictions, even in the face of temptation and adversity. Let there be no Judas' among us, who bite the hand that feeds us.
May the Spirit be with you.