As the deadline for filing income tax looms at the end of next month, Ed my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, calls it paying blood money to the government. My old neighbour clearly states that asking him for money is an unpardonable offence, he sees it as a betrayal of his friendship. He considers his money sacred and has no intention of letting it slip through his fingers.
Everyone like Ed has their personal views on paying income tax and how much they treasure their money. One might say there are various degrees of how much folks love their money. It is interesting that Judas Iscariot is described in the Bible as a lover of money. As the disciple in charge of the petty cash for the disciples as a group, he was reported to have had sticky fingers.
Most folks know the name Judas as a symbol of betrayal. Judas one of Jesus’ twelve closest disciples was willing to identify Jesus to his enemies. Jesus’ opponents did not arrest Jesus in the daylight when he was surrounded by crowds of people. Judas was willing to lead the enemies of Jesus to where he could be found at night.
Judas knew the enemies of Jesus were plotting to arrest Jesus. He went to them and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I hand him over to you?” The chief priests counted out for Judas thirty silver coins. Judas waited for an opportunity to lead the enemies of Jesus to Jesus to arrest him without trouble.
Judas did it when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane after celebrating the Passover meal with his disciples. Judas led the group to arrest Jesus into the garden and went to Jesus and kissed him in greeting to identify Jesus as the one to be captured. Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
Judas helped the enemies of Jesus find Jesus and arrest him. That eventually led to Jesus’ death on the cross. The fact that Judas committed suicide after the crucifixion of Christ suggests that Judas felt deep remorse for what he had done. It could suggest that Judas thought that Jesus would not die if he were arrested. Did Judas’ love for money blind him to the possible deadly results if he betrayed Jesus?
Some have suggested Judas may have wanted Jesus to bring about a rebellion or revolution against the Romans. Did he feel if Jesus were arrested it would force Jesus to use his miraculous powers to set up an earthly kingdom? If Jesus became king his disciples would share in the king’s power and wealth.
Judas was focused on what is in this for me. How can I slip a little petty cash to myself as treasurer? How can I use the desire of Jesus’ enemies to arrest Jesus to my advantage? Tempted to do wrong Judas was willing to try wrong. Judas is an example of betraying God on purpose. The other disciples intended to protect Jesus or die with him, but they also betrayed Jesus. So, do we.
Temptation, betrayal, sin, guilt, and death can only be solved by God. Jesus was willing to be slaughtered like an innocent lamb to save us as sinners. Praise God.