Not For A Million Dollars

not for a million

Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, went to the leading priests and asked, “How much will you pay me to betray Jesus to you?” And they gave him thirty pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:14-15)

Read: Exodus 29:1-30:10, Matthew 26:14-46, Psalm 31:19-24, Proverbs 8:14-26

Relate: What would you do for a million dollars? There is a game where one person in the circle asks this question. The person who is to their right answers yes or no (and why if necessary) then asks the next. Some of those what would you do questions are:

1) Would you hug a cactus?
2) Would you punch a bear in the face?
3) Would you eat a dozen moldy Tacos?
4) Would you do a crazy dance in a mall for five hours?
5) Would you skydive without a parachute?

You get the picture. For the record, 1) Yes. I can use some of the winnings on medical bills. 2) No. I want to be able to survive and actually spend the million dollars. 3) Sure. See explanation for #1. 4) Yes, but I honestly don’t think I would be able to evade mall security while continuing the dance for that long. It sure would be fun to try. 5) No. Same reason as #2. (Side bar, I have actually climbed cliffs without gear for free so… perhaps if the plane were flying low enough it would be worth a shot.)

React: I really do wish that I would be able to say “no” to all sin related questions like these. The sad truth is, in reality all too often I am not just willing to commit such sins but I have already done so for far far less. Would you commit adultery for a million dollars? I wish I could say no but I have viewed porn in my past. I have even forked over money for porn in my shameful history. According to Jesus, that makes me an adulterer. Would I commit murder? How often have I become angry without just cause. I have already demonstrated that I am a spiritual whore. The rest is just haggling over price.

We are so quick to condemn Judas and he does truly deserve reproach. The priests didn’t come to him, he came to them. Even worse, he didn’t have a set price in mind. I’d be willing to turn Jesus over to you for x amount. No, he asked, “What will you give me if I betray Jesus.”  Judas had already betrayed Jesus, the rest was just haggling over price. The sad truth is, each and every time we willfully and knowingly sin, we are doing the same thing. What is the price I have set on my soul? A million dollars? A hundred? Less? How about you?

Respond: 

Dear God,
Forgive me for so cheaply selling my soul. Forgive me for betraying You for such temporary illusions. Help me to realize that whatever it is I gain every time I cheat or lie or steal to “make that sale” it is a waste. Nothing, not a million dollars or even a million millions, is worth the death of God. In light of eternity, even the most “profitable” of sins is nothing more than thirty pieces of silver that will be thrown away tomorrow. You are the pearl of great price. Help me to be truly willing to give up everything, even my chance at millions, to have You.

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14 thoughts on “Not For A Million Dollars

  1. Hi Beejai: I don’t have to worry about being asked those questions because I’m content with what the Lord has provided. Doesn’t that sound oh so righteous? ha ha Seriously, I loved the article and your answers. We all have sinned and fallen short but praise be to God He sent His Son.

  2. Praise the Lord for the atoning sacrifice of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His imputed righteousness because I fall short every waking hour of every day!!!

  3. Important to remember that Christ deals with sin by forgiving it, not punishing it. Acknowledging the truth of what we are and repenting is the ticket to forgiveness. As long as we are willing to own our own actions -even the pitiably, God-slaying sins- we are forgiven. It is when we recoil against that truth that we have an issue. In my view, God’s greatest care and interest, ultimately, is seeing the truth. I think it’s also useful to “not get upset” about sins, as this is part of our spiritual genome, as it were, and something we are born into without personally willing it to be this way. That is why some people get uptight and frustrated with sin, as we normally only want to own the things we have personally constructed. The bible says it our nature to sin, but we do not have to be ensalved to it, because of the option to stay with Christ. We still have the strongs winds of sin buffeting our way all the time though. It’s practically impossible not to get touched by these. But I was listening to something recently that says we should NOT be surprised or disheartened. We should just accept the truth of the situation. This acceptance is hard but bears solace. See this if you have time! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvHu5KstZ6w

  4. I have certainly sold my soul for far less…probably even for free. I would like to think I would not again for any price, but certainly have to recognize the “acceptable sins” I still commit on a regular basis, like anger, resentment, judgement, bitterness. Far less than a million it seems…

  5. I’m going in a strange direction with this today. I mean: why did they even need Judas? For Pete’s sake, Jesus had just busted up the Temple! I can hear the high-priest now: “How do we know which one is Jesus? All those Galileans look alike to me.” That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Maybe the deal included testimony, and Judas, coming upon Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane in the full glory of his grace, enough even to dumb-found the guards, took the only way out of the deal that was available. That sure left the priests out on a limb, having to shuffle Jesus around like a hot potato, eventually snaring every authority in the web of their plotting.

    But I wouldn’t do any of those things for a million dollars. I value my dignity too much.

      • Perhaps, but to have a denunciation from his inner circle would have undermined Jesus’s authority in the public mind. I don’t think that they were done with Judas, and losing him may have put them in deeper water than they had prepared to navigate. So where I was heading was to wonder whether there might have been divine inspiration and tragedy in presenting them with Judas as an opportunity, and then withdrawing it.

        It’s not how the story is typically read, and I can’t explain why I feel so compelled to elaborate it.

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