Judas was a thief and he was angry with Jesus who accepted the anointing of his feet with costly ointment which he regarded as a waste. Jesus rebuked Judas for his complaints against this anointing. Matthew 26:6-13. This may have hurt his feelings. Did he then set about to get even with Jesus? During this time frame, Jesus had completed some detailed and disappointing doctrine and prophecy about the Kingdom, which may have aggravated Judas, Mt. 25:1-46.
Judas Iscariot, is a peculiar name, which signifies (but doesn’t prove) that he may have been a ‘southerner’, when all the other apostles were ‘northerners’, it’s possible Judas felt like an outsider from the start. For whatever reason or reasons, he went and communed (conferred) with the chief priests and captains. He initiated the betrayal before the paschal meal, Lk. 22:4. Judas talked with the leaders in a personal way, the same verb is used of Jesus talking to Moses & Elijah during His transfiguration. With one of the apostles on their payroll, the leaders of the Jews now revised their strategy and opted for a public trial and execution instead of an assassination. Judas did this because “Satan entered into Judas.” Judas devised a plan in consultation with the chief priests to deliver Jesus to them. What are you willing to give me for delivering Jesus to you? Did Judas take the chief priests’ first offer? It does not appear that Judas was a very good negotiator or he may have just been in a hurry. The chief priests weighed out for him thirty pieces of silver. They were glad to hear Judas’ offer and covenanted (promised) with him without delay, Mk. 14:11. This probably happened on the Wednesday, while Jesus was out of Jerusalem and in next door Bethany. The KJV consistently translates the Greek word as “promised” and it is usually used in reference to God making a promise. Luke, Paul, John and the Hebrew writer all talk of God’s promise with the same word as what the Jewish leaders do when they make a promise to Judas, (Heb. 6:13). The significance of this, is to teach us that whether or not Judas was faithful, the Pharisees were faithful to pay Judas!
God’s promise of faithfulness is not dependent on what we do, His type of promise to Abraham was a one way street and good as done without any merit on Abraham’s part. From that time on Judas, having consented, (agreed), Lk. 22:6, struck a deal with the high priests, and sought a convenient opportunity to deliver Jesus unto the chief priests, which turned out to be during the paschal meal. The word for “consented”, from the Greek, is usually translated CONFESSED. Why? Because, sometimes when we make a promise or agree to do something, we are really actually identifying our self as the kind of person, who by nature wants to fulfil the promise. In other words, Judas was publicly showing himself to truly be the kind of person that would want Jesus killed for money. Do we see the progression of a thief turning into a murderer? This is the nature of sin, it grows to destroy our desire for what is right. The chief priests were looking for an opportunity to arrest Jesus when the crowds were not around. Judas knew the place on the mount of Olives where Jesus spent his nights in essential solitude. Judas used his personal knowledge of Jesus against him.
How did Jesus feel and react to what Judas was doing? His own physical brothers labelled him as ‘insane’ Jn. 7:5-10, Mk. 3:21. Jesus wasn’t the first King to be betrayed. King David’s life was filled with betrayal, he started his reign wrestling with it, he warns those who had deserted him for Saul: “the God of our fathers look thereon and judge” (1 Ch 12:17). Later still, the pain of betrayal was to come personally to him by his own son Absalom. To feel the inward piercing of treacherous lies was the deep consequence of deception God warns us about in the Proverbs 25:9-10, and that is what Jesus felt before he was beaten, scourged & crucified. It’s worse to be tortured when you know that even a ‘friend’ is against you. If we know the reasons for betrayal, we may avoid committing it ourselves. God pleads, do not grieve His Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:30. In the betrayal, God’s Spirit in Jesus must have sunken to a depth unknown before. John 3:31-34.
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