Read: Luke 22:1-6
Luke describes this disturbing scene with a few words that should stop us in our tracks:
Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. Luke 22:3
What has been going on in the mind of Judas for this seminal moment? What would be that last straw that convinced him that he would give into Satan’s plan?
Jesus knew this would happen, that it must happen, yet He did nothing to prevent it. That alone should make us stop and wonder when non-believers ask us to explain why God allows bad things to happen.
Matthew’s account (Matthew 26:14-16) includes the price that was paid, though this is trivial and certainly insignificant compared to the cost for humanity. Yet this is important. Money is involved. Satan entered Judas.
They could have offered Judas a seat on the council, or a private parking spot for a month, or any number of honors, but somehow this came down to a payment. John’s gospel is much more critical of Judas in reflecting on his behavior. We’ll discuss that in the coming weeks, but it makes me wonder about this chink in Judas’ armor.
Another thought about the use of money by the chief priests is that it reveals their heart towards managing the offering. Just a few verses ago Luke reminded us of the poor widow’s offering, of how those in lofty places looked down upon her. The chief priests’ demonstrate their misuse of temple treasure here, to put it mildly.
Seth Godin’s blog this morning, The Moment of Maximum Leverage, reveals the myth about the tipping point,
that split second where a little effort can make a big differenceSeth Godin
It seems like a split second, but it’s really the result of much preparation, perhaps years of work.
Betrayal is at its worse when it comes from a close friend. The word alone is the epitome of disloyalty, but though the moment of the action is a fleeting few minutes, when we look back, it’s the result of much preparation, as Godin describes above.
One other note here: this happens before The Last Supper. The arrangement was made and Judas was poised to look for that moment when the crowds would be absent to deliver Jesus to the authorities. Lots of planning and preparation by the elite of Jewish society to maintain their perfect order.
He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present. Luke 22:6