Betrayal for 30 Pieces of Silver
"What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matthew 26:15-16)
For most of the last 2000 thousand years, being called a Judas has been considered an insult by the western world. Even today, the thought of turning Jesus over to death by crucifixion for 30 pieces of silver would strike Christians and Non-Christians alike as repugnant.
Reading this Gospel, I am moved by the vulgarity of money being used to bring about the death of Christ. Yet, out of that vulgarity, God has drawn the ultimate good: the redemption of mankind.
As we contemplate Matthew 26:15-16 a giant BUT hangs in the air from the verses, paraphrased below, in the 25th chapter of Matthew.
- Did not Jesus say, 'where I see the poor man, I see him.'
- Did He not say, "When you feed the hungry, you feed me.'
- Did He not say, 'Give drink to the thirsty and you give me drink.'
- Did He not say, 'When I clothed the naked, I clothed him?'
Do I have my own "30 pieces of silver" over my Savior?
Have I ignored the "hungry, naked and thirsty" Jesus has placed in my path?
Taking that contemplation a step further, consider what are the ways we have betrayed Christ? Today, in a world where good is betrayed as evil and evil as good, it has become easier to "go with the flow" instead of being good in the way Jesus described in the Sermon on Mount.
What are our "30 pieces of silver?" Gossip, calumny, pornography, inappropriate personal or business relationships, an attachment to wealth or money, materialism? With the world at our finger tips, the list could be endless.
On our path to perfection in Christ, we must pose these questions to ourselves, "Am I willing to give up my "30 pieces of silver" for Jesus of Nazareth, our Savior and King? Am I willing, from the depth of my heart, to put Jesus first in my life?
Only through His grace can sin be put behind us. This gift of grace is the perfect gift. It is our gift to freely choose or reject.
JMJ, pray for us.
God is good,