Jesus was at the house of Simon the leper in Bethany when Mary anointed His feet with ointment. Judas questioned, “Why wasn’t this ointment sold and the money given to the poor?” John 12:6 says, “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.” Judas was hoping to get his hands on some easy money. Because he was in charge of the money, he knew that he could take some without anyone realizing it.
Then, Judas went to the chief priest to betray Jesus. When the priests heard Judas was willing to betray Him, they were glad because they had sought to kill Him because the people followed Him and believed on Him. They worked out a price for Christ and promised to pay when Judas delivered. Judas then went out and tried to figure how he could betray Him.
Was Judas upset at the teachings of Christ? No, he had been with Him for 3 years. He could have left if he wanted to. Jesus even asked the disciples if they would leave when many others did. (John 6:66-67) Was he angry about the healings on the Sabbath? We don’t see that anywhere either. Judas didn’t betray Jesus because of anything He said or did; he betrayed Him for money.
Not even willing to work for it, Judas “sought how he might CONVENIENTLY betray Him.” Judas wondered, ‘How can I make this money without having to adjust my schedule?’ Judas knew that the Passover feast was coming, and when he discovered Jesus would go to the Garden of Gethsemane afterwards, he went to the priests to tell them.
Just as Judas was willing to betray the Lord because of greed, we, too, can allow things in our lives to turn us against our Savior. Even though we may go to church regularly and appear spiritual, our hearts can be far from Him. Let’s purpose not to allow anything we desire to become more important than Him.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder