14 Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him. 16 From then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Jesus.
I’d like us to take this passage and instead of looking at Judas as the antagonist in this scenario, let’s put ourselves in his shoes. You probably just cringed at that idea, maybe as much as I did, but try to follow me on this one.
This was Judas’ last straw. He was sick and tired of this Jesus guy who he decided to follow preaching the Kingdom of God and all this goodness and peace toward men but He sits there and rationalizes wasting this money to “anoint” Him and “prepare Him for burial.” Is this guy serious? I get it, we think differently in the Kingdom, but how can you go ahead and rationalize wasting all this money when we could spend it on the poor. Heck, give me the money and I’ll make better use of it than you just did! Then you have the audacity to say this woman will be memorialized with the preaching of the gospel. How blasphemous! If this good news is all about God, how then could you dare say this woman will be a part of it?
Do we see how easily the devil ensnares us and blinds us? Maybe because we know how the story plays out or we are so pious we believe we would never or have never thought this way, but we are not impervious to this line of thinking. How often have we thought this way towards Kingdom principles? How often have we felt this way towards other Christians, pastors, leaders…anyone we look up to? I think sometimes our problem is that we ask the wrong questions. Other times our problem is that we as the wrong people for the answers to these questions. Surely, if you are beginning to lose faith in someone, you aren’t going to be as ready to ask them directly because you might not believe their response. But that doesn’t make us less responsible for the paths of thought we allow our minds to travel.
I believe we disassociate ourselves from Judas to much. We respond like Peter, “I will never betray you, my Lord.” Then we turn around and do it anyway. At least Judas had the courage to do so openly! I can imagine that when this interchange happened between the disciples and Jesus, Judas got up and walked away in frustration. The bible tells us that he went and found the chief priests. How did he know where to go and who to talk to? Judas might have been overheard some murmurings but we can see that the chief priests weren’t necessarily open about their plot to the public. Just as much as the woman who anointed Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit, Judas was led by an evil one.
Our spiritual enemy constantly works to twist and turn things in our head and heart until we finally give in and allow ourselves to be manipulated to do his bidding. We can listen to evil spirits just as much as we can the Holy Spirit. The question is: which spirit will we allow to influence us? If we seek our own way and allow our pride to be the driving factor in our goals for life, then the enemy has an open door into our hearts. If, however, we instead humble ourselves and submit ourselves to God’s authority, we let His Spirit reign and we tend to follow Him. This isn’t an easy process and is a constant battle we must recognize every moment of our lives. However, we must be aware of the battle that rages not just for our souls, but also for our allegiance.
The enemy promises us pleasure and power and control right now. God promises eternal joy and peace now and forever. The enemy gets in when we act selfishly. God reigns when we realize it isn’t about us. To some degree we have all been Judas at one point in our lives. Maybe that is where you are today. As Proverbs 29:23 tells us:
We must humble ourselves and recognize that we are not God and since we are not God, we do not know everything happening in all the world in all the times and should probably trust His judgment over ours, even if we don’t agree with it.