Monday, August 11, 2014

Judas Agrees To Betray Jesus

Matthew 26:1-16

“And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.” (Matthew 26:1-2)

Late Monday night or Tuesday before his crucifixion, Jesus again announces his impending betrayal and crucifixion after making his prophecies about the second coming.  He would be betrayed during the day of the Passover.  Once again the Jewish custom of officially starting the day at sundown affects our dating of these events.   He had just come from Galilee  a few days before and been welcomed into the city by the people.

“Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him.  But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.” (Matthew 26:3-5)

After his repeated rebukes of the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees for disobeying God’s law and being unfair, all three groups were looking for a way of silencing him and united in an effort to silence him as soon as possible.  Because people would be preparing for the Sabbath, going to the temple to offer sacrifices and getting together with friends and relatives, it would be difficult to keep any action against Jesus secret.  Because the people had so openly supported him on Palm Sunday, they were afraid it might set off a riot against them.  

By waiting until the people had eaten the Passover and gone to bed, they could have several hours to arrest him and prepare their charges against him before anyone knew it had been done.

“Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?  For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.” (Matthew 26:6-9)

That night, a little more than twenty four hours before his arrest, a woman came with and expensive cream or perfume in a hand carved stone container, and poured it on Jesus’ head in a show of appreciation and love.  Judas Iscariot got upset about wasting such a valuable ointment.

John 12:4-6 describes his reaction.  “Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?  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.”  As John points out, Judas’ interest was in getting control of the money.    He was not concerned about Jesus, or about the poor people.
“When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.  For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.  For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.  Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.” (Matthew 26:10-13)

When Jesus heard what had been said, he scolded the for bothering the woman when she was trying to do something nice for him.  No amount of money would ever resolve the poverty problem, and the price of the ointment wouldn’t make much difference, but Jesus would not be with them forever and her display of affection was quite meaningful.  By giving it before he was crucified she was showing her love while he could enjoy it.  She wouldn’t be like people who assume they have plenty of time and end up wishing they had taken the time while the person was still alive.  The entire world would know how much this woman loved Jesus. 

“Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.  And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.” {Matthew 26:14-16)

Judas didn’t like being told he was wrong, and he didn’t really believe in Jesus anyway, so he went to the chief priests offering to lead them to him.  They agreed to pay thirty pieces of silver if he could arrange a time and place where they could arrest Jesus without too much publicity.  Judas spent the night and all day Wednesday looking for an opportunity that wouldn’t attract too much attention.  


  1. The hardness of men's hearts amazes me nonstop. Judas was with Jesus from the first, more or less, and saw the miracles and listened to His teaching. He was remorseful of what happened afterward, but there is no evidence of genuine repentance. Had there been, doubtful he would killed himself as he did.

  2. Exactly. He was sorry for the consequences, but did not repent of the rebellious attitude that caused him to betray Jesus.