THE BEHAVIOR OF GREED
Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests to arrange to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted when they heard why he had come, and they promised to give him money. So he began looking for an opportunity to betray Jesus.
Mark 14:10-11 NLT
We have an astonishing contrast in two passages of scripture. In the previous passage Mary comes and anoints Jesus with expensive perfume as a sign of extravagant worship. Now we have Judas, one of the chosen twelve, plotting to betray Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. The motive seems to be greed. We learn in John 12 that Judas was the treasurer of the disciples and had a habit of taking money for himself from the bag. We should note that none of the other disciples suspected Judas was a traitor. They didn’t know about him taking money from the bag until later. Even at the last supper when Jesus told Judas to go and do what he must the disciples thought he was going to take care of the poor. They had no idea he had arranged to betray Jesus. Judas started his journey as a follower of Jesus. Somewhere in the journey his motivation changed from seeking God’s kingdom to seeking personal profit. Perhaps he, like the other disciples, was expecting an earthly kingdom where the disciples would reign with Jesus. That scenario would afford personal privilege and benefit for the inner twelve. As things began to unfold Judas must have recognized Jesus was not going to be an earthly king. His dreams of personal profit were evaporating so he decided to get something for himself before everything collapsed. Our selfishness and greed can open the door to all kinds of behavior. I’m sure if you were to have asked Judas on the day he was selected as one of the twelve disciples would he ever betray Jesus he would have denied that possibility. But now he is laying out the plan for betrayal. When we don’t deal with our sins before the altar of God, we open the door for sin to grow and flourish. Step-by-step we begin to become something we never thought would be possible. We see a great picture in this small passage of divine sovereignty and human responsibility. God had a plan for the betrayal and crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus had to die for the sins of the world. But Judas chose to be the traitor. He had a choice, and he took that choice. He was responsible for submitting to Satan (check out Mark 14:21).
Holy Spirit please help me to examine my heart to see where I have left a door for sin in my life. Help me to walk away from compromise and anything that would open the door for destruction and bad choices.
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