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The betrayal by Judas

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REFLECTION

Matthew 26:14-25

 

One of the Twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me if I hand Him over to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver, and from that time on he looked for an opportunity to hand Him over.

On the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Where do you want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” He said, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The teacher says, “My appointed time draws near; in your house I shall celebrate the Passover with my disciples.”  The disciples then did as Jesus had ordered, and prepared the Passover.

When it was evening, He reclined at table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, He said, “Amen, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” Deeply distressed at this, they began to say to Him one after another, “Surely it is not I, Lord?” He said in reply, “He who has dipped his hand into the dish with me is the one who will betray me. The Son of Man indeed goes, as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born.” Then Judas, his betrayer, said in reply, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He answered, “You have said so.”

 

Reflection

They paid him thirty pieces of silver. As Matthew tells the story, Judas asks the chief priests how much they are willing to give if he hands Jesus over to them, and they pay him thirty pieces of silver. The amount is sizeable enough in Jesus’ time, and Judas does not complain when it is given him. But the question remains: Can one really “sell” a friend? Can friendship be monetized? The expected answer is, “No!” But, in fact, it happens.

Thus, we understand Jesus’ very strong, curse-like words towards Judas: “…it would be better for that man if he had never been born” (v 24). No one wants to hear such words; imagine them being spoken to you! But these words perhaps mean to underline the fact that Jesus gives all that He has, that He loves them, His disciples and friends, to the end, and so does not deserve that response from Judas: “selling” his Master and friend. Jesus seems to be saying, “If one does not understand the real meaning of friendship and have the capacity to live it out, then one does not even deserve to exist.”

Have you experienced being “sold” by your friends?

Have you ever “sold” any of your close friends?

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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