14 Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests 15 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. 16 From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. Matthew 26:14-16
Judas’ betrayal of Jesus has always intrigued me. Was it the money? After all, in today’s wages, scholars say it would have been the equivalent of $350-500. Even if the number were ten-fold that figure, was it about the money?
What’s intriguing is that Judas was in charge of the disciples treasury (John 12:6). Was he skimming that money box all along?
Judas walked, sat, ate, prayed, and ministered with Jesus. They then did it all over again the next day and probably close to 1000 days.
How could he betray this man, the man who would be willing to sacrifice His life for Judas’?
Yesterday we discussed what it was like to be the unsung hero pouring expensive perfume over Jesus. Today, the man who betrayed Jesus would be written about, discussed, and ridiculed until the Lord returns. He’s more well known than the unnamed woman, but certainly not in a good way. No one would name their children after Judas because he was not someone many people would want to emulate.
His betrayal more than like began with the little things, the tiny bits of dishonesty and corruption. Much like a spy who gives the enemy a very tiny portion of information, the next time it’s a bit more. By the time the traitor realizes that he’s way over his head, it’s much too late.
Similarly, Judas compromised in the minuscule things at first and it snowballed from there. It’s how betrayal happens. Sure, betrayers want to be known for how smart and wise they are for outsmarting people, but in the end they betray the people who trust them the most.
Judas didn’t set out in ministry with the Son of Man to ultimately betray him.
We can certainly learn what NOT to do in this case, but I think the bigger point is that betrayal begins small.