Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to give Jesus up to them. When they heard it, they were delighted and promised to give him money. So he started looking for an opportunity to turn him in. Mark 14:10-11 (CEB)
JUDAS THE BETRAYER
Why would Jesus invite Judas to be his disciple knowing of his future betrayal? Because Judas always had the option of not betraying Jesus. He could experience Jesus’ love and come to understand what Jesus was trying to do for the Kingdom of God.
One assumption is that in order for Jesus to be crucified, Judas’ betrayal had to happen. It didn’t. The religious authorities knew what Jesus looked like as well as his followers. He had spent enough time in the Temple revealing himself and teaching his message. It would have been easy to take him captive.
However in bribing Judas to take part in their plan the eliminated one of the major threats against them when they came for Jesus. The one who’s name told them he was armed and willing to fight against them, Judas the Iscariot, a member of the sicarii, assassins armed with knives, willing to kill fellow Jews who conspired with Roman authorities.
In the end Judas does not turn down the thirty pieces of silver and betrays Jesus with a kiss. Jesus, neither his disciples nor his followers could reach Judas’ heart. His definition of the Kingdom of God was too different from that of Jesus. Jesus had come to bring about the Kingdom of God, not through armed insurrection, but self-sacrifice and servanthood.
Unable to reconcile himself to God’s plan, Judas’ disappointment causes him to turn on his savior.
Dear God, let us never act from a place of disappointment. The consequences could be too great to endure. Instead remind us of how blessed we are, how much we are loved by You and let that determine our interactions with one another. Amen.