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)
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?
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.