September 18, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money.
The “they” were the religious rulers. The “him” was Judas Iscariot. It was time. The one who lived with a total and complete absence of money would be betrayed for money. This is ironic is it not? He who was worth no money, was sold for money. Truly, money is the root of all evil. The famous author, Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote, “It is my opinion that a man’s soul may be buried and perish under a dung heap, or in a furrow or the field, just as well as under a pile of money.” Meaning that money can cover up a dead soul like dirt can cover up a dead body. This was so in Judas’ story. His life ended the moment he took the money to betray Jesus. Even in trying to return the money Judas could not eradicate his guilt.
Interestingly enough, in the very moment that Judas betrayed Jesus the Lord did not blame the money for His betrayal, but a kiss. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? (Luke 22:48) How many over the past two millennia have done the same? They kiss Jesus only in betrayal of Him. They feign love for profit. They attend His churches, read His Word, hear His messages, sing His songs, and may even pray to Him for their wants, but love Him more than money? Sadly no.
Money does many things, it can buy many things, it can be used for good or for bad. In and of itself it has no moral standing. The way it is used determines its morality. In a world that seems to embrace the idea that “the end justifies the means” the way money is obtained is often overlooked by the glitz and glamor it purchases. The houses, the show of opulence, even the benevolent use of money overshadows the way that money was obtained. But not to God. He knows. The kiss could not cover up the wrongness of the motive; the motive was money.
Judas was not alone in his betrayal, for there were those who were all too glad to give him money to do so. The edge however, the Bible edge for this story is as simple as it is sublime. Which is, a kiss may only be camouflage against the love of something else that is bigger than the love for the one being kissed. For a believer in Jesus Christ, love for Him is to be greater than the love of anything else. Even money. After all, which is more satisfying, a kiss based on simple love and appreciation, or a kiss based upon receiving something in return for the kiss? It could be put like this. Are the Lord Jesus Christ, the Father in Heaven, and the Holy Spirit loved purely for who and what they are? Or are they loved (kissed) based upon that which we hope to gain from kissing them? Like many of the stories in the Bible, Judas’ story is a physical picture of a spiritual nature. None can betray Jesus physically like Judas did. But spiritually? Probably happens every day in the lives of many. They kiss Him while in betrayal of Him for something they value greater than Him. This is the cautionary tale of Judas’ betrayal of Christ.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.