March 20, 2013

Thirty Pieces of Silver

Matthew 26:14-16

They counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.


—Matthew 26:15-16

Have you ever been betrayed by someone you trusted, perhaps even a friend? Using words like trust, betray, and friend brings out emotions, especially if you must answer yes to this question.

Jesus experienced that kind of pain. John 13:21 describes it: “Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, &lsquoVery truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.’” Jesus knew Judas’s heart of deception. He knew Judas would betray him as soon as he had the opportunity.

Was Judas motivated by money? We learn in another passage that he was “keeper of the money bag” for Jesus and the disciples, and that “he used to help himself to what was put into it” (John 12:6). When Judas asked the religious leaders, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” was it silver he had in mind or something bigger? They counted out thirty pieces of silver, and Judas began watching for an opportunity.

As a disciple, Judas had heard Jesus teach about trust and friendship. They’d traveled together for three years as Master and disciple. Judas had watched Jesus heal people and calm a stormy sea. What happened?

Whatever motivated him, Judas betrayed his Master. But Jesus was faithful, motivated by love for us and his Father. He won’t betray us; he’s a trustworthy friend. Let’s trust him as well.

Lord Jesus, help us to trust and follow you, no matter what the cost, with you as our example. In your name, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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