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.
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?”
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.”
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.”
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
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
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 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.
Labels: Gospel of Mark, Jesus, Judas, last supper