1 Kings 12-13 Luke 22:1-30
“He agreed and watched for the best time to hand Jesus over to them when he was away from the crowd.” (Luke 22:6 NCV)
Motivation. Criminal cases will often hinge on what the motive of the criminal was. We don’t understand the motive of Judas in human terms. What we read earlier in this passage is that Satan took control and Judas agreed to betray and identify Jesus to those who’d arrest Him. It would be easy to imagine that everyone would know who Jesus was, but not everyone had the opportunity to sit around and listen to Him teach. Not everyone could take a day off to watch Jesus walk by. Those who arrested Jesus were most likely Temple guards and Roman soldiers who might not have had the opportunity to see Jesus. Thus, the betrayal of Jesus was necessary if the Jewish leaders were going to arrest Jesus at a time when there were no crowds around.
Judas gave into the temptation to betray Jesus, but that temptation was offered by the Jewish leadership. They were willing to pay Judas good money so that they could arrange to have Jesus arrested in a way that wouldn’t provoke a riot. Jesus would have been teaching, probably in the Temple, the next day. It would have been easy to point Jesus out to the guards there: “That’s Him. The one teaching.” Instead, they wanted to arrest Jesus at night when there were no crowds. They didn’t want a riot. They wanted to arrest Jesus out of fear that He would lead a popular uprising, or perhaps you could call it a riot, that would bring the wrath of Rome on the Jewish nation. In short, their motivation was to maintain the status quo in safety. As followers of Christ, we shouldn’t seek to maintain the status quo, we should seek ways to share the gospel and disrupt not only their status quo but also our own. We should not be living in safety but taking risks to share the good news of Jesus Christ in a hostile world.
Lord, Jesus didn’t play it safe when He came down to earth and went to the cross. He gave His all. Give me the strength to give my all to show Your love to others.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.