Then I said to them, ‘If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not,
keep them.’ And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver.
Judas is probably the most infamous of the disciples, not because of any good that he did, but because of his act of betrayal. His name is often used to describe someone who has betrayed someone else – they are called a Judas.
We don’t know a lot about Judas. He is listed by all four gospels as a disciple chosen by Jesus. He is mentioned by John as a thief who both kept the disciples’ money and stole from it. As one of the twelve he had the power to cast out demons, to teach and to heal. He had an active role as a disciple. Only in John’s gospel is he set apart as the disciple who struggles with Jesus’s teachings. In Matthew’s gospel, Judas is one of the twelve who is promised a throne in the kingdom. For all that, we remember that Judas shared a final meal with his friends, knowing that he had already chosen a different side. He would later go on to betray his friend for thirty pieces of silver and with a kiss, perhaps influenced by evil. Neither version of his death is particularly pleasant.
Judas is a reminder to all of us, those who call ourselves Christian, that we can be called, we can choose to follow Christ, and be blessed – and yet still turn away, still betray God. This Lent I challenge us all to look over our own lives: are we still walking with God, or have we chosen a different path, the way of the world? Are there subtle thoughts, words or actions that we have that show we are not completely on the same path as God? If we find anything, we need to turn back to the path.
God of Judas,
we thank you for calling us, for choosing us;
help us to examine our own lives,
to be honest about our thoughts, words and actions,
to find anything that takes us away from you.
Help us to repent, to turn around,
turn towards you again and walk with you again.