September 13, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him.
Money motivates. It did Judas. He was promised money to betray Jesus. The promise of money motivates individuals to actions that can either be good or bad. The problem is not that money motivates, that is a given. But to what action does it motivate? That is the real issue. For example, to offer a financial bonus for increased production motivates workers to increase production; there is nothing wrong with that. But to offer money for some unlawful or injurious action, that’s just downright wrong. Yet it happens all the time.
Evidently, money motivated Judas to betrayal more than love motivated him to faithfulness. May we beware.
On a side note, concerning money. On one hand it didn’t seem to be “unlawful” for these religious leaders to pay money for the betrayal of Christ. But when Judas returned the money (thirty pieces of silver) these same leaders said …It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. (Matthew 27:6) They knew it was blood money, To pay for betrayal accomplished their purpose of ultimately eradicating Jesus from society, or so they hoped. But to not receive it back again, this they must have hoped to accomplish the appearance of fidelity to the law, thereby being seen as loving God and being righteous. As the long established and very insightful saying says; they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.
By the way: this “thirty pieces of silver” was not random. Zechariah prophesied about it over 500 years earlier in chapter 11 verse 12 of his book. Even the fact that this money would be used to buy a potter’s field was prophesied. There is much more to this story than just the money aspect, but suffice it to say for today’s Bible Edge, make no doubt, money motivates. Either for good or for evil.
It may be true that money motivates, but love also motivates. The one that moves an individual to action is the one that reigns supreme in their heart. Consider the illustration used earlier about the financial bonus for increased production. The person who loves the Lord, which is always seen by obeying His Word (John 14:15), that person would maintain the highest level of production because of verses like Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;. They are motivated by love, which is constant, not by mere money which at best only offers a temporary motivation.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.