By Klaus Döring
The phrase “30 pieces of silver” is a proverb in many modern languages. It refers to someone who has sold out and taken money, high office or personal gain in exchange for betraying a person or an important cause.
Have you ever been betrayed by someone you trusted? Perhaps even a friend? Using words like trust, betrayal, and friend in a sentence doesn’t paint a comforting picture. Yet, our savior was betrayed and sold for 30 pieces of silver. Today when we hear the phrase, it immediately brings to mind a traitor or someone who would sell out a friend. There is also a level of curiosity that surrounds the coins. What exactly did Judas receive to betray Jesus? Was it worth it to him?
The apostle Judas, probably also called Thaddeus or Jude, being a brother of James and Jesus, started as a fervent follower of Christ. Then, suddenly he changed. He felt that Christ didn’t satisfy his worldly expectations. The church, like Christ, is always loved by its true followers and is always hated by its apostates. Till today – no matter what belief you are in…
Judas didn’t leave the apostolic community to become a Pharisee or a critic of Christ. He leaves to become a traitor! Such a traitor will always find fault or a misinterpretation of human teaching. Judas gathered reasons that he, himself, had heard and witnessed to justify his betrayal. Yes, we all also know such people who betray us and sometimes a whole nation.
A Jewish mob tried to throw Christ down a cliff, but nothing happened. Soldiers tried to arrest Him, but nothing happened. The Pharisees tried to entrap Him to no effect. It needed a friend -maybe a good friend! – to betray Him. He escaped from all, but not from the treason of a friend. “It would have been better for that man if he had not been born!” No such sentence was hurled, for example, to Pilate or Herod.
The lesson for all of us is very clear. A bad politician or one of our neighbors can be the foulest thing on earth. A bad pagan cannot be 1/10 corrupt.
“Do not betray another man’s confidence!” the bible teaches us. But Judases can be found everywhere. Just as fire is not born from snow, so is the seeker after worldly honors not seeking heavenly ones. or have you ever seen the snow catch fire?
The maladroit politician named Judas betrays his voter and elector through beautiful soft promises while corrupting a whole nation. The neighbor, who declares how much he loves his family while going on unhindered destroying the environment is also named Judas.
Judas’ sins are really not rare. We commit it every day. Someone who has changed his ideals away from the ideals of the church and declares it to the world, anyone who leaves the church or the religious order and proclaims it to the world, “night had fallen on his soul”!
When Julius Caesar was being assassinated what hurt him was not the stabs of Caius but the presence of his friend Brutus. We might never know it, but we could be carrying on our lips the kiss of Judas or very ready to pay the thirty pieces of silver.