Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
In the end, what did those 30 pieces of silver amount to? What was their value? How did they enrich Judas’ life? His pursuit, apparently, had been riches, silver and gold. He was the thief who kept the bag. He was the betrayer who would do anything for some easy money. But where is satisfaction found in always wanting more? Where is fulfillment in never being fulfilled? What can money really offer to us when it comes down to matters of the soul?
Judas, eventually, found it very empty indeed. And as he tossed those coins back at the Pharisees, he didn’t even have those to show for himself. They had lost their value when he realized how much his greed had really cost him. What he’d lost in his selfish pursuits was much more significant than 30 pieces of silver. He’d literally exchanged Jesus for something that had more value to him but was absolutely worthless compared to what he could have had.
The things we value in life will become the focus of our pursuit. Judas appeared to be a follower of Christ, and he had every opportunity to be. But walking with Jesus as he did and truly dedicating himself to Christ and His cause are two different things. We can easily go through the motions and establish an appearance of following Jesus, while all the while we’re really sneakily seeking after something else. We can pursue our own ambitions under the guise of being a disciple of Jesus.
But is it worth what we end up sacrificing in the end? Will we pursue some goal or some thing at the expense of our relationship with Jesus? Will we exchange something with eternal value for some earthly treasure? It can be easy to become distracted by things this world has to offer, to follow our hearts toward some lesser thing, to realize too late that what we care about so much doesn’t really matter at all. May we be willing to take an honest look at what truly matters most to us, what we are seeking in life, and make some changes if necessary.