My name is Judas; you may have heard of me. Yes, I attended the “last supper.” But my mind was elsewhere. How desperately I wanted our promised land back! Because of that, three years previously, I’d been drawn to Jesus. I was so tired of the Roman rule that I was ready to do anything to foster rebellion.
Jesus seemed such a great candidate to lead that rebellion. His ideas were new and He constantly talked about His kingdom. Everywhere He went, people followed Him. They listened to His every word, ready to follow wherever He might go.
But He didn’t go where I wanted Him to go. I didn’t hear him preach against Rome. I didn’t hear him call people to arms and action. I started wondering if I had followed the wrong man.
Fortunately, He trusted me, and He put me in charge of the group’s treasury. Dutifully I gathered all the coins donated for His cause. With that money I purchased food and other necessities for the group.
But as I carried those money bags, something changed. With every step I took, that money jingled. It called to me. “Jingle…jingle…jingle. Judas, just think what you could do with all this money!” The longer I managed the money, the more it called to me.
I began stealing from the group treasury, just a few coins at a time. No one would ever notice. A few coins here, a few coins there, and suddenly I had acquired a great amount of money.
No longer would I waste my time watching Jesus heal the mobs of people who followed him wherever he went. No longer did I hang on every word Jesus spoke.
All I listened to was the jingling call of the coins. “Judas, Judas, take me. Take me! Think of all you can do with just a little more money.” Before long I had gone to the high priest and offered to betray Jesus. In exchange, he would give me thirty beautiful, jingly silver coins! I couldn’t wait.
During that “last supper” I had trouble concentrating. My mind kept wandering to the clink of the 30 pieces of silver dropping into my money bag. I knew just the time and place to betray Him, when no crowds could surround and protect him. Oh, I could almost hear the jingle of that money falling into my hands.
Jesus’ voice pulled me from my reverie. He was saying something about betrayal. All the other men started babbling at once. “Is it me?” “Not me, Lord?”
He looked at me and I quickly said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?”
He answered, “Yes, it is you.”
Clearly, Jesus knew. I gathered my money bag and left the room, hurrying toward my silver and my future.
Matthew 26:21-25 And while they were eating, he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.
They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”
Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”
Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”
Jesus answered, “You have said so.”
Food for thought: Like Judas, am I allowing the things of this world to become more important than of the creator and savior of the world? What things am I allowing to distract me from Jesus? Money, fame, power, beauty, pleasure? In what ways do I betray Jesus by my actions or lack of action?
Father God, reveal my innermost thoughts. Show me the ways that I betray my Savior. Forgive me and cleanse me. Enable me to serve and worship you with a clean heart.