September 14

Text: Matthew 26:14-16

Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests, and said, "What are you willing to give me to deliver Him up to you?" And they weighed out to him thirty pieces of silver. And from then on he began looking for a good opportunity to betray Him.   (NASB)

How does a person discern between a “nobody will get hurt” opportunity and the potential for causing harm?  What harm is there in making a little money if no one is hurt?  Those are not good questions for most of us!  Our answers usually lead to results that were not anticipated!  The situations produced often end with the sorrowful statement: “I never intended for anyone to get hurt!”  Many discover “the hard way” that a little greed can go a long way in unexpected directions!

Judas was a greedy man who stole (John 12:6).  He was confident that he knew a good opportunity when he saw it.  Was he not skilled at deceiving?  Did he not steal from the 12 without their knowledge?  Did not the 12 trust him (John 13:27-29)?  Sure, Jesus knew what he did, but Jesus did not stop him.  Jesus did not boot him out of the 12 or reveal his actions to the 12.  In fact, the 12 trusted him implicitly!

Had not Jesus raised the dead?  Had not Jesus recently resurrected Lazarus?  Had not Jesus experienced an incredible week in Jerusalem?  Had Jesus not defeated the Jewish leadership publically?

Who would be able to hurt a man who had the power to heal the sick, cast out demons, and raise the dead?  Jesus was certainly beyond their reach!  Jesus would not be hurt—in fact, it could be interesting to watch them try!  The Jewish leadership would lose money—they could afford it!  Judas would have the money, Jesus would be his usual untouchable self, and life would continue as usual for the Jewish leaders.  Nobody would be hurt!  What an opportunity for greed!  It was ripe for picking!

Does the reasoning sound too familiar to be comfortable?

Suggestion for reflection: How powerful is rationalization in your life?  (Read Isaiah 5:18-23.)

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