Bethesda News

Holy Week Devotion 2019 – Day 4

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Matthew 26: 14-16 (ESV) Judas to Betray Jesus

14 Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

Reflection by Shelley Brooks, Director of Women’s Mission

The Way of the “J”

“What will you give me?” Sounds reasonable doesn’t it? Isn’t that what most of us use as a response when someone asks something of us: What will you give me? What’s mine? It’s all about what I want, isn’t it? We always want something in return, don’t we? Judas was already upset because he lost out on skimming a portion of what he had planned to be a good sale from the oil in that fancy alabaster box. Instead of dealing honestly with his feelings and responsibilities, he allowed anger to grow into arrogance; arrogance into jealousy; jealousy into lies; lies into betrayal as he dealt with the high priests in selling Jesus’ whereabouts for 30 pieces of silver. What will YOU give ME!

It gets worse for Judas who is still concerned about what he is going to get out of all of this. Judas kissed Jesus as he handed him over to the high priests. When he realized his deeds brought an innocent man suffering, Judas became remorseful and selfishly thought he could undo his sin by giving back the 30 coins. The priest didn’t want anything to do with Judas—he was alone. Isolated. What will you give me? He got what he wanted and his emotions and selfish choices brought him to a place of death, literally. What will you give me? What did I get!

On the other-hand, Jesus knew who would have betrayed Him. Jesus even called him “Friend” as Judas offered his ultimate betrayal with a kiss on Jesus’ cheek. The uproar of anger and violence when Peter sliced off an ear of a soldier didn’t move Jesus to retaliate. Instead he stopped, he healed, yet allowed for the hurl of verbal and physical insults against him to continue. They carried Jesus away and tormented, beat, and crucified him—they killed an innocent man. Jesus never asked “what will you give me?” He only knew that pouring out His life unto death would be the catalyst for others to live.

Both Judas and Jesus died. One wanted a return for his life and was ransomed sorrow and death. The other offered his life unto death and through the power of resurrection and gifted humanity new life, eternally.

We have choices this Easter. We can choose the “J” way of a life of selfishness, arrogance, jealousy, fear and die alone, or we can choose the life of “J” that produces repentance, salvation, and love. We will still die unto ourselves, but because of Jesus, our death is transformed into life eternal and our being remains in Him forever. So! The question for you to ponder when someone requires or demands something from you—especially on this last Wednesday of lent, the day that Judas sold his life for a mere 30 pieces of silver—demands a response. Will it be “What will you give me?” OR which “J” way will you go?

Reflection Questions

  1. Do you usually expect something in return when someone asks something of you?
  2. What is holding you back from living like Jesus did and dying unto yourself?
  3. What would it be like to give freely of yourself and not expect anything in return?

Prayer Guide

  1. Thank Jesus for loving us even when we turn our back on him.
  2. Pray that you would be more like Jesus, dying unto yourself and giving yourself freely for the sake of others.
  3. Pray that the staff and board at the Mission would be good stewards of all the funds given for the poor.

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