And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
Judas’ act was just as deliberate as Mary’s anointing of Jesus. The chief priests didn’t come to him, but he sought them. He went purposefully to make a deal with them. And then when that was done, he went out looking for an opportunity to do the wrong thing. And the truth is, so many things in our lives simply come down to choices. Do we do the right thing or the wrong thing? Do we help someone or do something that will hurt them? Do we seek good or evil? Will we honor or betray? Will we love or hate? Do we seek our own benefit or the best for others?
A lot of times, these kinds of choices will be dictated by where we go and who we associate with. If Judas had stayed with the other disciples, he never would have been able to make this deal with the Pharisees. If he had been with Jesus, he wouldn’t have been able to do such a horrible thing. And if we make choices that take us to questionable places, we’re more likely to do something regrettable. If we’re not sticking closely by Jesus, we’re likely to end up making a wrong choice. If we’re seeking to please sinful man, we’re going to end up doing something sinful.
What Judas did hurt everyone that he was closest to. The sting of that betrayal and all that resulted from it cut deep into the hearts of Jesus and His other disciples. And our wrong choices often affect those closest to us. If we’re only making selfish choices, someone we love is bound to get hurt. If we don’t care about anyone but ourselves, we’ll have no problem betraying a friend. And even if what we choose to do only affects us, surely those who love us most hurt when we are hurting whether what we’ve done directly affects them or not.
We must be very careful about the things and the people and the opportunities that we seek out. We must weigh carefully the decisions we make and consider what is likely to result from them. Will we be like Judas and choose that wrong path? Will we allow ourselves to get caught up in planning and plotting these evil deeds? Or will we seek to make better choices, ones that honor and glorify the Lord, ones that bring good, ones that demonstrate love and selflessness?