HAVE YOU EVER heard someone say that Judas betrayed Jesus for a mere thirty pieces of silver?
It is true that the chief priests paid Judas thirty pieces (Mat. 26:14-16). It is also true that his was the Old Testament price of a slave (Exo. 21:32). What is it, however, that makes Judas’ action so tragic?
Is it that he sold Jesus? Or, is it that he sold Jesus for such a small amount?
It sometimes seems that what people find so shocking is that Judas betrayed the Lord for so little. Indeed, some might feel that Judas sinned in selling Jesus too cheaply. But would his crime have been less heinous if the reward had been greater? Could we be more understanding if he had gotten a million dollars instead of a mere thirty pieces of silver?
Judas Iscariot was not the last to betray the Lord for a certain price. Whether the value received seems more or less than the infamous thirty pieces matters not.
The shameful and damnable crime is in selling Christ at all, not matter what one receives in return.
Many who have marveled over the enormity of Judas’ crime perhaps have not considered that there are other ways to sell Christ. What of the youth who compromise principles to be accepted by friends? What of the woman who leaves the church to please her husband? What about the man who accepts dishonesty in business because there is money to be made? What about the one who returns to the world because it’s easier than being faithful to the Lord?
We have thought that Judas was a unique person.
The sad truth is, however, however, that the evil that ruled in the heart of Judas rule in much of humanity. Judas, no doubt, had the same kind of yearnings, made the same excuses, and rationalized his actions just as do others who betray the Lord.
The bottom line is not how much or what kind of payment one receives. What is significant is that Jesus is “sold” at any price. (David Pharr, The Voice of Truth International, Vol. 36, 11-12)
“Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that he had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders” (Mat. 27:3).