March 30, 2005

The Sin of Judas

The Luster of Gold leads to dimness in the soul

Many do not understand what the sin of Judas was. We are told in the Bible that Judas held the money bag for Jesus and his disciples. He was in charge of the purse. Seeing that Judas was given this duty and important responsibility, we can draw some conclusions

1. Judas most likely had a knowledge of money - making it and keeping it.

2. Would it not be a possibility that he was known as a trustworthy and honest man if he was given the responsibility of holding the money for the group? I would think so.

3. It would seem a moot issue that Jesus himself gave Judas this charge.

We know that one passage in the bible includes a portion about Judas and money. When Mary brought the alabaster box for Jesus's burial, Judas commented "This could have been sold and the money given to the poor", but was Judases concern for the poor genuine? Or was Judases true concern the money which he would be entrusted with should the master agree with him about selling the ointment?

John 12, 3-8

3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.

4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,

5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

In verse 6, we see that Judas said this not because he cared for the poor, but rather

1. He was a thief

2. He had the bag *of money*

3. He had control of what was put in that bag *of money*

The strongest evidence of Judases love for money is gathered from the betrayal story in the Bible. Judas met with the chief priests and made a covenant that in exchange money, he would reveal to them where Jesus was staying in order that they could seize him.

Mark 10 and 11

10 And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them.

11 And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.

Matthew 26;15

And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

What would compel a disciple who had witnessed the love, compassion, miracles, as well as the great ministry of the messiah to betray him for any amount of money? One word friends, GREED.

I am of the personal opinion that Judas was most likely torn between his love of money and his desire to do the will of God as we can readily see from the following scriptural account:

Matthew 27;3

3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

In the end, Judases lust for money not only led him to betray Jesus, but it also cost him his very life.

And isn't it just like that today? The considerable power of greed will ultimately end in US betraying OUR master and cost us our very lives. Do not flinch at this thought my friends, Jesus is betrayed because of the greed of his children everyday.

There is nothing in scripture that tells us from the get-go that Judas was like this in the beginning, when Jesus chose him as one of the twelve.

I take from this that it is very possible that Judas may have started out well and somewhere along the way allowed greed a place in his heart and from there grew the seed that would flourish into the full blown account of betrayal we read about that took place in the garden of Gethsemane.

Judas, a foreshadow of things to come

If there's any truth to the old adage, "history repeats itself", then the story of Judases greed that culminated in the betrayal of Christ would be one such case.

Today we have those who claim to be Christ's disciples, and though they may have started out well, they are now being driven by Greed and the love of money that has taken up residence in their hearts. Their eyes WERE on the prize, that prize being a crown of righteousness laid up for those who endure to the end, but somewhere along the way their focus shifted from Christ to money and there was the seed that pushed them toward the sin of greed.

Just as Judas betrayed our Lord in the garden with a kiss for thirty pieces of silver, we have those in the Christian Church who betray the Lord at random because in their heart, they care more for money than they do about pleasing God and Christ. These very people should be forsaking all ties that would take the place of Christ in their lives and return to him - their first love while it has not cost them their lives as of yet.

The key sin of Judas? He betrayed the Christ because of his love of money.

What do we have a world full of in these days we live in?

Well we have brother going against brother, all because of the love of money.

We have lawyers being retained by people from all walks of life who are looking for the slightest injustice to be done to them so that they might sue and recover big bucks.

We have spouses hiring hit men to knock of their spouse because they've grown tired of them and can collect on a big life insurance policy.

We have police, judges and political officials gladly accepting financial bribes from those who can benefit from having them in their pocket.

1 Timothy 6;10

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.