Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. It was a decent sum of money, enough to buy a piece of real estate (Matthew 27:3-10). It certainly wasn’t enough to set him up for life. He still was going to have to work for a living. Perhaps it would be easier to excuse his actions if he had been paid millions of dollars to betray his friend, not to mention the fact that this friend just happened to be the Son of God. Yet it only took thirty pieces of silver to convince Judas to turn away from the one he professed as Lord. We turn up our noses in disgust that such a small sum would entice Judas. It’s easy to say that we would never have done such a thing. Until, of course, we look at our own price for betrayal.
When we chose to follow Christ, each of us swore our allegiance to Him as our Lord and Savior. We proclaimed that everything we had was His, and from that point forward we would only follow Him. At the moment of our salvation we were convinced that nothing could turn us away from worshipping Him and putting Jesus first in all we would do and say. We swore our allegiance, and we meant it.
As time went by, life happened to us. The culture infected us. We became wrapped up in our daily responsibilities and Jesus became nothing more than a convenient diversion that was useful in times of trouble. A shiny new car we couldn’t afford became more important than heeding the Biblical warning that the borrower is slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7). A bigger flat screen TV was deemed more important than caring for orphans in some far off country you’d never visit. Sponsoring a child for a year through an organization like Compassion International or World Vision costs considerably less than the value of 30 pieces of silver; we’ve sold out our obedience to Christ for the temporary pleasures of this world.
The truth is it has cost considerably less for us to betray Jesus than it did for Judas. We sell Him out for an hour of our time. We turn our backs on Him for the price of a movie we shouldn’t watch or a book we shouldn’t read. We betray Him for a bottle, a needle or a pill. Every time we choose pleasure over devotion to Jesus, we have betrayed Him as the Lord of our life. Compared to us, Judas had quite a high standard.
It’s so easy to read the Biblical narrative and assume ourselves above the foolishness of those who surrounded Jesus. One look into our own life reveals that we are no better, and perhaps far worse, than those we mock. We betray Jesus for petty baubles and pledge our allegiance to material gain and satisfaction. We swore we would serve Him forever but our actions prove we have walked away from Him. Thirty pieces of silver caused Judas to commit the unthinkable betrayal. What’s your price for doing the same?
What have you foolishly chosen over obedience to Christ? Let’s come clean, repent, and recommit our lives to Christ today. Share your journey with others by joining the conversation and leaving a comment below.