From brokenness to betrayal
Mark 14: 10-11
“Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
He was in charge of the finances and what he saw just happen pushed him over the edge. A woman had entered the house where they were eating and broke her life savings over Jesus. Worse than that, Jesus seemed to welcome this. Things were getting out of hand and Judas felt convicted to slow the ministry down in fact to end it.
From brokenness to betrayal.
Here is one of the Twelve disciples, a follower, who had seen miracles and transformations of people and was even given authority to be used in this way.
He goes to the chief priests, those appointed to serve around the Most Holy Place in the Temple. In fact one of them, the High Priest, was the only one permitted to enter that sacred space and only one day a year on the Day of Atonement.
Here they are negotiating a deal to betray Jesus who would atone for the sin of the whole world. The irony and sheer blindness.
The chief priests welcome him with open arms. Judas has pleased these holy ministers. They in turn promise him money. He will gain more than he thought.
So Judas from that moment is watching, not now for learning, but for an opportunity to hand Jesus to them quietly. There were scores of people in the city and they wanted this done as quietly as possible.
Lessons from betrayers:
- They are totally blind to the hypocrisy of their life. But they are also blind to the fact that God holds the bigger picture, they cannot fool Him.
- They will always find people who agree with their betrayal. They may even gain more than they had thought at first. They may thus feel justified.
- They plan. Betrayals don’t just happen, they are planned and organised. So careful attention, detail and observation from a follower may actually be a death plan for the mission by a betrayer.
And of course everyone remembers a betrayer!
Look at this again …
v 9-10 “Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her. Then Judas Iscariot …”
So this woman with her broken alabaster jar is continually preached around the world even 2,000 years later, just as Jesus said.
But so is the betrayer. In fact his name is the most hated name in the world. No one likes a Judas.
He will appear again in our readings over the next few days but it is the other gospel writers that speak of him the most. Matthew writes how Jesus said “My friend, do what you are here for” (26:50) when Judas kisses him. John says that Jesus said “do it quickly” (13:28). This isn’t to defend Judas in the slightest but it doesn’t seem to be condemning him either.
What we all know is that the gospel message is for betrayers, the Judas people of this world, for you and me. When the betrayers become soaked with the gospel message they can become alabaster followers.
From brokenness to betrayal and from betrayers to the broken worshippers of Jesus.
The power of the gospel of Jesus.