The Betrayal of Judas   4 comments

Judas' Betrayal

Judas’ Betrayal

I was wondering why Jesus used this word “betrayal” to express what Judas did. I saw in a dictionary, that the name of Judas was even used to define this word “betray”. Why did he earn this bad reputation throughout the millenniums? What has he done that it led authors of the gospel tag Judas as a traitor?

The reason the bible gives is this:

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. From that time on, Judas began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.” Mat. 26:14-15

First of all, the fact that he went to the leading priests to make a deal was the betrayal. The money was a secondary issue. Jesus loved Judas. Did not Jesus wash his feet with much love?

We read in John : “He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.” John 13:1

Peter said about Judas : “He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.” Acts 1:17

Jesus did not love Judas less even though He knew what Judas would do. He considered Judas a closed friend. Friendship and a loving relationship cannot exist without trust. Giving one’s trust is a prerequisite for a healthy relationship to build. Jesus gave Judas His trust, unconditional love and affection even though He knew what would Judas do. I had a friend whom I loved dearly and for whom I invested myself a lot. This friend never realized my commitment and love. Though I felt this rejection, I continued to help that person in times of need. Until today, this friend never realized the sincerity of my friendship. Don’t you think Jesus was sincere?

When the leading priests sent a crowd of armed people to arrest Jesus, we read:

The traitor, Judas, had given them a prearranged signal: “You will know which one to arrest when I greet him with a kiss.” So Judas came straight to Jesus. “Greetings, Rabbi!” he exclaimed and gave him the kiss.Jesus said, “My friend, go ahead and do what you have come for.” Mat. 26:47

Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” Psalm 41:9

This is how Jesus felt. “How could you do that my friend Judas“? You are destroying our friendship and betraying my love?

Judas called Jesus Rabbi or teacher, he did not call Him Lord or friend. His kiss was as poisonous as the bite of a snake.

Imagine that you did your very best to love your spouse. You sacrificed yourself and worked hard to please him/her. Your spouse kissed you before leaving in the morning and in the afternoon, you see her/him coming with a concubine  and a  mob of bandits to murder you because you were a rich man/woman. How would you feel at that instant? The Pharisees often insulted Jesus and gave Him a hard time. Jesus also rebuked and condemned them many times. Were not these people the same ones who accused the holy one of heaven of being demon possessed? Jesus never called them friends.

How could you, Judas, go and meet such evil people” ?

Judas’ presence among these people was itself a betrayal. He served as a guide to those who arrested Jesus (Acts 1:16). Judas never loved Jesus even though Jesus did. He did not understand who Jesus really was and His love for him.

When Mary came and anointed the feet of Jesus with an expensive perfume, we read:

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said,“That perfume was worth a year’s wages.It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.” John 12:4-6

For him Jesus was not worth that perfume. Money is the root of all evils the bible says. Judas was blinded by greed that he even stole from the contributions of the disciples. The devil used this weakness of Judas to lead him to betray Jesus. Did not Jesus many times teach about the danger of the love of money? Judas loved money more than Jesus.

No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money” Mat. 6:24

I think Jesus would have been crucified even if Judas did not participate. Most people knew Jesus and it should not have been difficult to find someone to lead the priest to arrest Jesus.

But what was Judas’ role in this plot?

We read: “The leading priests and elders were meeting at the residence of Caiaphas, the high priest, plotting how to capture Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the Passover celebration,” they agreed, “or the people may riot.” Mat 26:3-5

Judas knew the times the meetings with the disciples were going on and where. He was trying to find the perfect opportunity to lead the priests to arrest Jesus secretly in order to avoid a riot. Judas did it late at night while Jesus was praying in agony in the garden Gethsemane away on Mount Of Olives. So Judas proposed his help to capture Jesus secretly and kill him outside the Passover celebrations.

This greed of money made Judas lose his senses. This was spiritual adultery. It took not much time when he realized what he did. But it was too late. When he got that money, he was filled with shame and disgust. He betrayed an innocent man, someone who loved him. Maybe at this time he looked back at all the loving scenes Jesus did and his eyes of love. No one could help him face this guilt. This very thing he loved more than His master, he threw away. His love for money broke his relationship with Jesus and caused him to commit suicide.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he was filled with remorse. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the leading priests and the elders.“I have sinned,” he declared, “for I have betrayed an innocent man.”“What do we care?” they retorted. “That’s your problem.”Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.” Mat 27:3

The priests themselves saw this payment for betrayal an unholy thing. They would not even put that money in the temple. They said:

The leading priests picked up the coins. “It wouldn’t be right to put this money in the Temple treasury,” they said, “since it was payment for murder.”After some discussion they finally decided to buy the potter’s field, and they made it into a cemetery for foreigners.” Mat. 27:6

Many times we behave like Judas by associating ourselves with people who do not honor Jesus. We want to ignore Jesus’ love and teachings. We are ready to sacrifice our friendship and relationship with Jesus because of money, work, family or desires.  Judas had weaknesses. It is easy to point the finger to Judas, but what about us? Do we value the love Jesus has for us or shall we turn away from Him?

Jesus radically said: “Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.” Mat. 12:30

 

The scripture also says about Jesus that “He is ready to separate the chaff from the wheat with his winnowing fork. Then he will clean up the threshing area, gathering the wheat into his barn but burning the chaff with never-ending fire.” Mat. 3:12

Jesus will also separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left. Mat. 25:31

Many claim to know God like the Pharisees but their way of living, speaking and thinking deny their profession:

Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good.” Titus 1:16

 

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Posted February 8, 2014 by Cedric in My writings (English)

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4 responses to “The Betrayal of Judas

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  1. Judas is an important lesson for us to not let our hearts grow cold. If I’m honest, I’ve always felt rather sorry for Judas as, in order for Jesus’ sacrifice to happen, someone had to act as betrayer and it was Judas. I always wondered if he actually had a choice or was he just pre-destined to be the betrayer. That said, one can’t avoid his actions, he did betray and in the worst way.

    Whatever my confused thoughts towards Judas, I love the encouragement to examine ourselves to see if we are sacrificing our relationship with Jesus by placing things or relationships above knowing and following Him.
    Thought-provoking post my friend.

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