Monday, May 26, 2014

30 Pieces

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?” And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. (Matthew 26:14-16)

It really bugs me. To read of the matter of fact way Judas went after Christ....

I want to find in him some wicked way not found in me, yet what charge can I make against him which does not, at some point suit me as well?!

Sometimes a question, all by itself is a committal, or perhaps in this case it may be better to say a betrayal, to a fact not yet apparent to the one asking.

Asking forces one to form an idea in the mind, an idea which may not be such a good one.  (On a side note, I am always the one asking questions in classes I attend... Yikes!)

And a question can be answered in ways that reveal the hand of both the questioner and the questioned.  In this case, the Pharisee's 'could' have rebuked Judas for such a wicked request.

Instead they played right into it.  Counting out the silver revealed that they were on Judas' side, against Christ.

Had they rebuked him, I wonder how he might have acted?  Perhaps he'd have played the hypocrite for a while longer and returned to Christ & the Apostles to see what more he might pilfer.

But now he returns, not to pilfer more - he's got 30 pieces of silver burning in his soul... To do nothing would be stealing, but to betray Christ...?!  What a dilemma he had... Yet he asked the question, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" betrayed to the Pharisee's (and to Judas, if he would admit it) that he knew from the start what he planned to do.  He was waiting for the price to be right.

Would the Pharisee's have paid anything for such a betrayal, if Judas had made such a request a year earlier?

And 30 pieces of silver - how did the Pharisee's come to such a price?  In Zechariah 11:4-17 there is the prophecy of the shepherds.  Most certainly the Lord, in His providential care established such a price.  John MacArthur says it was God's sarcasm which had this fulfilled in such a manner.

In the prophecy the shepherd asks what his wages are and the price offered was equal to that given in Exodus 21 for a slave who was gored by an ox.  Again MacArthur, "The Jews of Jesus day, who offered that amount, were saying He was worth no more than a common slave."

"Then I said to them, “If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.” So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.  And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord for the potter." (Zech 11:12-13)

All this from a simple question.

We have a saying - be careful what you ask, you might just get it...  


Lord - help me to be true with you and your people.  Amen.

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