On this day almost 2000 years ago, Jesus was spending time meeting people, healing them, teaching them, and connecting with them. Meanwhile, across town, Judah Iscariot is exchanging an opportunity of betrayal to make some money. His scheme is to hand Jesus over to the temple guard in order for Him to be tried by the religious elite, and put some coin in his pocket. In first century Israel, 30 pieces of silver was about a month’s wages. It was also equivalent to the cost of a slave or servant. Judas Iscariot, who had been with Jesus and his fellow disciples for almost 3 years at this point, uncovers one of the most common heart issues of followers of Jesus…that being near Jesus is somehow equal to knowing Jesus. You see, being with him 24/7 for that amount of time would mean Judas, and the other disciples, would know what type of fish he liked best. What type of trees he preferred to rest under. And maybe which baker made the best bread, according to Jesus. However, none of these things are equal to knowing Jesus. Those are simply facts gleaned from being near Him. Knowing Jesus is to look at His heart, His ministry, His calling, and His purpose. Based on what we see in the Gospel accounts, it’s fairly obvious that Judas had spent almost 3 years near Jesus without knowing who He truly was. Or, even worse, he did know and betrayed Jesus anyways. But in Judas’s mind, he valued Jesus so low that he was selling Him to the temple authorities at the same level as a slave. The good news is that this is not the end. It is just the beginning.
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