“What will you give me if I hand him over to you?” (Matthew 26:15)
How much would you sell Jesus for?
Would you betray him for money?
Would you betray him for a better job?
Would you betray him to keep the job you have?
Would you betray him to save your own skin?
Would you betray him because he didn’t live up to your expectations?
Would you betray him because you thought he let you down?
Would you betray him if you thought you could win the favor of important people?
Judas does us a favor if his story causes us to rethink our basic commitment to Jesus Christ. You call yourself a Christian. But are you a true follower or are you just going through the motions? Are you a pretender or a true believer? Have you truly turned from your sins and trusted Jesus Christ as Savior? Are you a fair-weather friend of the Savior?
These are searching questions that may be easier to ask than to answer. I ask you not to take them lightly. The one main lesson from Judas’ life is lost unless we at least ask ourselves the questions.
After all, if one can be an apostle of Christ and still be lost, what about you and what about me? Perhaps we may conclude the matter this way. One apostle was lost, that none should presume. Eleven were saved, that none should despair. In the end, most of us who call ourselves Christians will search our hearts and conclude that although we fail him in many ways, we do love Jesus and gladly claim him as our Savior. That is as it should be. The story of Judas is in the Bible for many reasons, not the least of which is that before we take anything for granted, we should ask the question the other apostles asked that fateful night: “Lord, is it I?”
Still as of old,
Man by himself is priced.
For 30 pieces Judas sold
Himself, not Christ.
Search me, Lord Jesus, and see if there be any Judas in me. Would I betray you, Lord? Reveal the truth and then heal my soul lest I for thirty pieces of silver should betray you again. Amen.
Put yourself in the shoes of Judas for a moment. Why do you think he betrayed Christ? In what ways are we tempted to betray Christ today? How can we stay strong so that we will not fail when the moment of temptation comes? What should we do if we think we have somehow betrayed the Lord?