Monday, September 10, 2018

Blood Money

Blood Money
September 10, 2018
Matthew 27:5  "So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself."

The story of Judas betraying Jesus is slightly confusing if you study it in depth. It takes several epistles to explain the whole story and then you have to piece together the parts to see the complete picture.  The Jewish leaders were the ones who wanted Jesus to go away. That was no secret. They just wanted Him to go away. There were some Jewish leaders who respected Him, but an elite band of leaders wanted Him out of the picture. Judas agreed to help the Jewish leaders capture Him. There were countless opportunities to nab Jesus, but they wanted to do it in the dark, in the secret, to make it all just go away quietly. Judas agreed to help that happen. 

Judas was tempted. It is baffling that someone can spend so many months and years in a relationship with the person of Jesus and decide to do Him wrong, intentionally harming Him. Judas knew who Jesus was; He understood Jesus was the son of God. How, then, could Judas conspire against Him? Were they not at least friends? Was the money really worth selling out someone you once considered your friend? Evidently, the money was good enough to sell Jesus out. Judas originally worked with ministry money, keeping the books. That was part of his giftings and service. Satan tempted him in the area of his giftings. The money was good, for whatever Judas needed it for and he fell for it. The price for Judas to sell out Jesus was 30 pieces of silver.

Judas took the money, turned over Jesus, and then felt the regret. The Jewish leaders who conspired with Judas did not truly need his help; they could have done without him, but it sure was easier with an insider. Judas became a part of the story and for that he felt regret. Judas knew what he was doing, and Satan helped him. Judas gave in to the temptation as put before him by Satan and his own fleshly desires. We judge Judas wondering how he could do that, but the reality is, we all might have our sell-out point. There might be a sum of money or temptation large enough for you to walk away from your relationship with the Lord. Judas regretting taking the money, in retrospect and threw it back on the Jewish leaders who conspired against Jesus. The Jewish leaders who took it back called it blood money and couldn't take it into the temple. They were a part of the conspiracy and blood money, yet they recognized what was wrong about the entire situation. They recognized it represented someone conspiring against the innocent. They also realized it was wrong, in retrospect.

It took 30 pieces of silver to sell out Jesus; what is your price? At what point would the money be good enough for you to walk away from the Lord? There are many opinions but the range of worth for 30 pieces of silver today is one to four months of income. Look at your income and calculate four months' worth of pay. Would you sell out Jesus for four months of your pay? It made sense to Judas at the time. You may not be willing to sell Him out for four months of income, but what about 400 months of revenue?  Would you do it for a million dollars? Would you do it for fame or status or privilege?  Maybe you would sell out in order to live without hardship. I've seen many Christians retain the name but have figured out how to remove anything difficult or uncomfortable about being a Christian. Many have a sell out point, maybe it is torture. Maybe if you were tortured you'd be willing to renounce your faith in Jesus? Blood money does not always come in the form of silver. There is much this world has to offer and Satan has all different types of currencies. He will tempt you in the area of your giftings and you might end up accepting a sum to turn away from Jesus. You might be surprised at the low price people accept to sell out Jesus. Take it from Judas, no amount is worth it, and in the end it is all blood money. Blood money is useless. He tried to return it but in the end it was too late.

Don't take my word for it; look it up: Matthew 26:1-5 & 47-50 , Matthew 27:1-10, Luke 22:1-6, John 13

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