< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Betrayed! Mark 14:10-21

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Betrayed! Mark 14:10-21

Mark 14:10-21 10 Then Judas Iscariot, one of the Twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Jesus to them. 11 They were delighted to hear this and promised to give him money. So he watched for an opportunity to hand him over.

12 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, when it was customary to sacrifice the Passover lamb, Jesus’ disciples asked him, “Where do you want us to go and make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

13 So he sent two of his disciples, telling them, “Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him. 14 Say to the owner of the house he enters, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 15 He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.”

16 The disciples left, went into the city and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover. 17 When evening came, Jesus arrived with the Twelve. 18 While they were reclining at the table eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me—one who is eating with me.”

19 They were saddened, and one by one they said to him, “Surely you don’t mean me?” 20 “It is one of the Twelve,” he replied, “one who dips bread into the bowl with me. 21 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

Passover feast is like our Christmas: very important. It’s a little surprising that Jesus and the disciples hadn’t prepared for it until that morning. But really, Jesus did have it planned. He told them exactly what to do. Telling them to find the man in the city carrying a jar of water wouldn’t have been as hard as it sounds. Men didn’t usually carry jars of water. And the room was already set up. This would be the setting of the Last Supper. And this part of the story is about Judas.

Unlike Jesus, who was born in poverty and had to flee the country with his parents to avoid being killed by Herod: Judas was born into a religious family of means. His parents gave him his name after Judah one of the most important of the twelve tribes of Israel. They wanted to honor their religious heritage. Judas was proud. He was pro-Israel: a nationalist. He would have grown up looking for the Messiah who would overthrow the Romans. Judas would have heard of John the Baptist first, stirring everyone up about the coming Messiah. Then he would have heard about Jesus healing and preaching. And when Jesus told him to follow Him, he did so.

He was enthusiastic in the beginning. In John 6 Jesus told His disciples that one of them was a devil and they ALL wondered who it was. He was singled out to carry the groups’ common purse. They trusted him. And Judas saw all the miracles: Jesus walking on water, feeding the 5000, raising people from the dead, etc. But his initial enthusiasm had soured.

Jesus kept turning away the offer to make Him king. All of the disciples were confused, but Judas was becoming bitter. From unmet expectations. In John chapter 12 we see that Judas was the one who complained the most about Mary “wasting” the perfumed oil. And this finally pushed him to act. He went to the Jewish officials and offered Jesus’ life for a price.

He felt like Jesus owed him. After all he had given up everything to follow Him nearly three years ago. And for what? He’d been stealing from the common purse here and there to “make up for some of it” but that wasn’t enough anymore.

30 pieces of silver was only a few hundred dollars. But Judas took it on Wednesday night. Then all day Thursday he hung around with Jesus including at the Passover meal where Jesus washed all His disciples feet.

At the dinner Jesus said “one of you will betray me”. Again everyone wondered and even asked “Rabbi it’s not me is it?” But this time he knew! And so did Jesus. He told John it would be the one who dips his bread into the bowl with him. And then he told Judas, “What you do, do quickly.” And Judas left.

Judas would have known that Jesus liked to get away and pray in the Garden of Gethsemane and he told the Jews they could find Him there. In the garden Jesus asked Peter, James and John to stay awake and pray with Him, but they fell asleep only to be awakened by the noise of an entire Roman cohort (600 soldiers) and the Jewish leaders and Judas coming toward them.

Judas gives the signal by kissing Jesus who is taken into custody while the disciples fled.

That night Judas’ conscious attacked him. He had SOLD Christ for 30 pieces of silver! And he knew that Jesus was innocent. Early Friday he tries to get the money back, but the priests won’t take it, so he throws it on the floor at their feet and runs to hang himself at the edge of a cliff. The rope breaks and he falls down into a field bursting open. Later the priests used the “blood money” to make this land into a graveyard for strangers.

What can we learn from Judas? Judas started with a favorable impression of Jesus. And he had faith in what He could do. But that didn’t equal salvation. It takes more then believing in the miracles. He expected the wrong thing from Jesus and that led to disillusionment.

There are people today who believe the facts about Jesus, but they are disillusioned because He’s not doing what they want Him to do. So they turn away from Him and to the world for their help. This leads to rebellion and then to ruin.

We think that Judas was the worst betrayer ever. But he wasn’t. We are worse because we know more! We’ve seen that Christ died and rose for our sins. And yet we betray Him with our disobedience and lack of faith, our judgment of what He does or doesn’t do for us, every single day.

But the good news is, Christ will forgive us at any step whenever we ask. We need to trust Him, His will, and His work completely.

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