Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday: Conspiracy, Coins and a Choice



The Pharisees had had enough.  They had to find a way to get rid of Jesus...for good.  He had become a threat to their very being.  He had openly mocked them and made them look foolish.  Their credibility was being jeopardized.  And NOW, Jesus was saying something about tearing down the temple!  On top of that, Nicodemus, one of their very own, was even acting a bit weak.  He even seemed to want to defend this Nazarene.  Yes, he had to go.  But...how to do it?

There was a problem.  They had to get to Jesus at night.  During the day would not do.  With Passover approaching, there were too many people around that might cause a riot.  Yes, they had to catch Him at night.  The Pharisees themselves, could not be there.  It would cause a scandal.  They had to use guards to bring Jesus to them.  But their guards that didn't know what Jesus looked like.  Hmmm....Judas did!  He was one of His disciples, but they could tell he was frustrated.  They had witnessed him disagreeing with Jesus, in the courtyard.  He was the perfect person to hand Him over to them.

 ~ ~ ~

Judas was discouraged.  What was Jesus thinking? Judas was only trying  to do what was best for the group...money was important.  Couldn't Jesus see that?  He needed to listen to him. After all, didn't they entrust him with the pocketbook?  Sure he dipped in it, from time to time.  Being a man of importance had it's pressures....and perks.  No one ever questioned him.  He had a pretty good set up.  Judas detested listening to Jesus' philosophy of peace, poverty and holiness.  The more he thought about it, the angrier and more dissatisfied he got.  He began to find fault with everything that Jesus did.  It seemed that it had been a long time since he had been truly happy.  All he felt was hatred and envy. His heart felt cold and hard.  If he didn't know better, it didn't even feel like his own heart anymore.

Judas knew the Pharisees hated Jesus.  It embarrassed Judas, how Jesus was so disrespectful to them.  He had seen them murmuring and through a little bit of eavesdropping, he heard how they wanted to get rid of this troublemaker.  He wondered if they would make a deal.  But the only deal that Judas was interested in came with a price.

He went to see the chief priests and scribes.   He listened, as they told him that they were concerned about Jesus' views on life.  "Exactly!", he exclaimed.  Sure, he wasn't being altogether loyal to Jesus, but finally he found some people who saw things as he did!  They proposed the offer to Judas.  It was quite simple actually.  Judas would show the guards which man was Jesus.  He would think of a signal to let them know.   In return, they handed him thirty pieces of silver. Silver...of his very own!!! He smiled widely and shook their hands.

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