by Shayla Asselin
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
A couple of Sundays ago, we started studying the lives of the twelve disciples in the teen Sunday School class. It amazes me how Jesus took 12 very different men with very different personalities, talents, and backgrounds and united them to fulfill His will. Some of the disciples, like Simon the Zealot, are very obscure. There is very little known about him and he plays no particular role in the Gospels. All we really know for certain is that he was close to Jesus and in the end maybe that’s all that really matters.
Although there are a few disciples we know little about, there are some disciples that play very key roles in the Gospels. One of the disciples we learned about Sunday was the infamous Judas Iscariot. The man whose name is now synonymous with the word “traitor.”
According to historians, Judas Iscariot grew up in the town of Kerioth, which would have made him the only disciple from Judea (the others were from Galilee). John chapters 12 and 13 tell us that Judas was appointed the disciple’s treasurer. The Gospel of John also tells us that prior to Judas betraying Jesus, he was also a thief. John 12:6 explains that he used to help himself to whatever was put in the moneybag.
Although Judas had some serious character flaws, nothing defines his life more than his betrayal of Jesus. Matthew 26:14-16 introduces us to Judas’ plot:
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.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
It’s hard to comprehend how someone who had a front row seat to the life of Jesus could ever betray Him. Judas witnessed the miracles, the compassion, and the love. Even on the night Judas betrayed Jesus, Judas participated in the last supper. I wonder what was going through Judas’ mind as Jesus washed his feet and gave him food to eat that night. How could he experience such a love and still turn Jesus over to His killers.
The tragic ending of Judas’ life is recorded in Matthew 27. After seeing the consequences of his choices, he was filled with remorse and tried to return the silver. The chief priest and elders mocked and ignored his request. Filled with regret, Judas fled the temple and hung himself.
Nobody understands it. How could Judas betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver? He was foolish. Trading his soul for silver. We would never...
Although we may never give literal pieces of silver away for our soul, how many have traded their souls for much less?
Like bitterness. Or selfishness. Or pleasures. Or lust. Or pride. Or addictions. Or promotion.
Anything we trade for Jesus, leaves us empty and leads us to an eternity without Him.
Don’t be Judas. Go back to Jesus.