Luke 22 Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching,2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus.5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
Big Idea: Petty, selfish actions can have eternal consequences.
Jesus and the chief priests and teachers had just been in a very public disagreement that ended with the proud pharisees humiliated. They had been angry at Jesus before, but now they were ready to have him killed. He was undermining their authority and power, which Christ pointed out, was the only thing they really cared about.
Judas, being the “businessman” of the group saw this as an opportunity! Here are some wealthy, powerful people who would probably pay pretty good to have an inside man. It isn’t clear if Judas really intended for Christ to be crucified. He might have genuinely thought that Jesus was too popular and powerful to even suffer real consequences and Judas could work both sides. He could get paid by the pharisees to spend time with the inevitable winner. Or maybe Judas really thought the pharisees were going to put an end to Jesus eventually, and he should join up with the winning side before it was too late.
Either way, Judas didn’t understand who Jesus really was. He was unable to see the bigger picture. He made the same mistake that the pharisees were making but on an even smaller scale. He agreed to a shady deal to make a little bit of money. He missed out on the more valuable “currency” that God actually cared about. His petty actions led to the greatest betrayal in history and ultimately to his own death.
Application: Small moments count for big things. We are immortal beings created in the image of God. The lives of most people will never feature a world changing decision. But each person’s life is a composite of all the decisions they make, big and small. Each decision will impact eternity. No kindness is small, because once it enters into existence, it flows forever. No silly pettiness is inconsequential because it will outlast the sun. The good news is, that those lifetimes of pride and sin are forgiven by a supremely divine act. What Christ did on the cross altered the course of the universe and made our lives worth living. Now we are free to live lives of kindness and love. Jesus took the 10 commandments, a list of things NOT to do, and turned them into one great commandment… DO love your neighbors. What small, eternal kindness will you show today?