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MATTHEW 26:14-16

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him."

JESUS' ARREST, USING A "PAID INFORMANT," JUDAS ISCARIOT

 

 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
II Timothy 2:15

 

 

 

LESSON ONE, INTRODUCTION:

This short paragraph tells about someone who literally "sold" Jesus to the highest bidder!

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him." Matthew 26:14-16

Today we will merely survey the passage, noting several primary facts I plan to emphasize.

First, see how Judas took the initiative. The authorities did not come to him with this treacherous idea! He went to them! He "sold" His Lord for a few pieces of money!

What might have been his motive?

Was it the money alone?

Was it some kind of "hurt feelings?"

Was it anger, even if temporary?

We don't know.

Secondly, with the resurging emphasis on Gnosticism today, we must note from our Text that Judas did betray Jesus! Many use the verb "deliver" in its mildest sense, saying that Judas just "helped" Jesus die on the Cross, our Lord's main Plan anyway! But the Holy Spirit uses that same verb a few words later for "betrayed!"

What Judas did was a sin!

He was not trying to help Jesus, but rather, kill Him!

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him." Matthew 26:14-16

Thirdly, the thirty pieces of silver.

John 12:6 tells us about Judas: "He was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein."

Sounds like the cash might have been part of his plan! But even that says a lot! The chief priests were willing to pay an "informant" for information about our Lord!

That at least means they could not build a valid case against Him, no proof of any wrongdoing existed, so a "snitch" was necessary!

Someone can always be found, if you're willing to buy information!

Fourthly, since sin always worsens as time progresses, Judas is soon "seeking opportunity" to betray Jesus!

Every day he looked for a way!

A way to hasten our Lord to Calvary!

For financial gain!

And Judah was successful, too! "And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they, and laid hands on Jesus, and took him." Matthew 26:47-50

Disloyalty to Jesus!

And what about us this Sunday Morning, folks?

What kind of life have we lived during the past week?

Have we loved our Lord?

Have we studied His Word?

Have we prayed?

Have we stayed "near" His Side?

Or, by our actions anyway, have we also "betrayed" Him?

That verb is "paradidomai." It literally means "to give," in Greek "didomai," someone to an enemy "alongside," in Greek "para," you!

To "turn them over" to wicked hands!

Preachers who no longer believe the Blood of Jesus saves, they have betrayed the Lord.

Christians who no longer live for Him, having forsaken the Bible and holy living and His church, have come pretty close to betraying Him too.

College Professors who have forsaken those old core beliefs, the fundamental issues of our faith, in order to "better" their positions in the academic world, have betrayed Jesus as well.

It's everywhere today!

Disloyalty!

Will anyone today love Jesus?

Will anyone stand with our Lord?

Will anyone go, as the old hymn says, "With Him, With Him, All the Way?"

Knowing our readers on these pages, I suspect the answer is "Yes!"

I can hear you now. "Preacher Bagwell, the last thing we ever want to do is forsake our dear Lord!"

And we all say, in unison, "Amen!"

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON TWO, VERSE 14:

That's what he is called, "one of the twelve."

"Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests," Matthew 26:14, today's verse.

Judas, he heard Jesus' Sermons!

He saw our Lord's miracles, many of them anyway!

He ate meal after meal with the Saviour!

Yet Jesus said of him, "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" John 6:70

Judah was a lost man!

Lost men betray the Lord!

The name "Judas" is a good one. It means the same as "Judah," the Old Testament patriarch. That is, "praise!"

But instead of praising the Lord, he sold the Lord, for thirty pieces of silver!

"Iscariot" simply identifies the area in which he formerly lived. It just means "a man from Kerioth." It was located in, where else, the tribal territory of Judah. That's according to Joshua 15:25.

A good background!

A good home-place!

A good environment, living near Jesus!

But something went wrong!

Badly so.

He felt comfortable enough around the "chief priests" to approach them about Jesus!

About betraying Jesus!

These men, these chief priests, were the powerful religious leaders of Israel in that day. "Archiereus" merely blends "arch," meaning "beginning or head," and "iereus," meaning "priests." You've heard of the "arch-angel," these individuals are the "arch-priests."

And they felt threatened by Jesus!

Their "power" was in jeopardy, they thought.

Their "prestige," too.

Their "reputations."

But, really, the only thing in danger was the welfare of their eternal souls!

Reject Jesus, which they did, and an eternity in Hell awaits you!

Accept Him, which they refused to do, and Heaven is yours!

How about you, reader, here today?

Are you saved?

Or, have you betrayed Jesus long ago?

Twelve Disciples.

One was a traitor.

Surely that is enough to teach us that, even among the best of crowds, there are a few "fakes" in the bunch!

A few imposters!

In John 17:12, Jesus calls Judas "the son of perdition." Look: "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled."

There is no doubt about it.

Judas is in Hell today!

Having rejected Jesus.

What a sobering thought.

Going to Hell from a church pew!

Worse than that!

Going to Hell from very near Jesus!

Be sure you are saved!

                                                                           --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON THREE, VERSE 15:

They do it yet today.

At least with "major" criminals.

The police make their arrests very carefully.

Often in the middle of the night, or approaching dawn anyway.

Often with numbers of officers involved.

Often with massive force being displayed.

And, as in our Text today, often with the use of a paid informant.

And this is exactly how they arrested Jesus!

At night!

With over 600 soldiers!

With many "swords" and "staves," an awesome force of arms.

And with a paid informant at hand!

"And Judas unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver." Matthew 26:15

He "sold" Jesus into their hands!

Now our verse today appears to suggest that money was a major factor. And it well may have been. Paul later tells Timothy: "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." 1st Timothy 6:10

"What will ye give me?"

So asks the traitor.

John has already told us: "Not that he, Judas, cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein." John 12:6

Money!

That verb "will deliver" is critical this morning, too. What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?

It's a future tense form of "paradidomai," meaning "to give over" a person into the hands of others.

To "sell" Jesus to His enemies!

To "betray" the Lord!

Today some liberals and revisionists try to tell us that "paradidomai" just means the Judas was "helping" Jesus reach the Cross!

Aiding our Lord in the completion of His major Goal in coming to earth anyway!

But if we let the Holy Spirit translate the verb, "paradidomai" still, He says it means "to betray," not merely "to hand over" or "to help!" Out Text here this week offers clear proof of this fact. Watch: "And Judas said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver ("paradidomai") him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray ("paradidomai") him." Matthew 26:15-16, with our verb underlined as it appears twice in the King James Bible. It means "betrayed!"

To this day "betrayal" carries a sinister connotation.

It's a bad thing.

Judas was not a good man.

So, the authorities were quite willing to "pay" for information about Jesus' whereabouts on the morning of His upcoming arrest!

Gladly they did!

"And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver."

Can you hear them bargaining?

The chief priests and Judas?

The verb "covenanted" is "histemi," strangely so! The word normally mens "to stand," but I have found several places where it also medans "to fix" a certain day of action and "to pay" or "to count out" certain sums of money!

They "stood" in agreement with the traitor, the money for the Saviour!

Those who study the value of metals say that 30 pieces of silver in first century Palestine would have been worth a little less than a thousand dollars. Judas sold Jesus for a thousand dollars!

Adjusted for inflation, over 2,000 years or inflation, the value rises to around $250,000.00, so say the professionals!

Money!

Money!

Money!

Would I sell Jesus for money?

Would you?

Our answer is, surely, NO!

But many have done so!

They have sold Him for a little popularity!

Or pleasure!

Or earthly gain!

Or love of self!

Or autonomy!

To place anyone or anything ahead of Jesus ... is to betray Him into the hands of the enemy!

But, wait a minute.

Judas aside now.

What about Matthew, the writer of our account today?

History says he died for Jesus' sake!

What about Thomas?

He did too, died for His Lord!

And Paul?

Another martyr!

Here's my point.

For every person who "sells" Jesus to the highest bidder, surely there are ten real Believers who keep Jesus first place in their lives!

Surely!

Where do you place on this scale of loving Jesus?

Where do I?

Sold out to Him?

Or selling Him out?

Think abut it today.

The old hymn writer said: "I'd rather have Jesus ... than silver or gold!"

Judas just did not feel that way!

But we should.

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

Tell the dear Lord ...

Tell Him right now exactly what He is worth to you! And, as you do so, remember, that's the exact definition of "worship!" In the English language, anyway. To express someone's true worth, from the depths of your heart! "Lord, you are my Everything! My All! My Saviour!"

Amen.

 

 

LESSON FOUR, VERSE 16:

We are told of Judas the Disciple: "And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him." Matthew 26:16

Looking to sell Jesus for thirty pieces of silver!

Two words in this short verse demand our attention!

The nouns "time" and opportunity."

"Time" is "tote" in Greek, pronounced "tot'-eh." It is a temporal marker, a blending of adjectives and adverbs, that most often means "then." In the King James Text it is reproduced as "then" 149 of the 159 times it appears.

The financial "deal" had been arranged, and Judah then started looking for just the right time to harm our Lord.

The other noun, "opporunity," is "eukairia," meaning a "good" (in Greek "eu") "block of time" ("kairos"), a "window of possibility" in which he could commit his crime!

Just the right moment!

When the City was sleeping.

When Jesus was at the best possible place!

Secluded, in a garden.

When the "targets" were naturally less alert, rather than more so!

In the middle of the night.

Arrests yet today are often conducted under these conditions.

Judas, we are told, "sought" such an occasion!

The verb "sought" is "zeteo," to actively "go about looking for the thing!" To crave or even demand it!

Judas meant to earn his money, as soon as possible too!

"And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him."

And here again is the verb "betray," a blended term just meaning "to hand over" Jesus to His enemies. "To give" our Lord "away!" It is spelled "paradidomai."

This wicked act reminds me of something Paul wrote.

Twice, in fact.

Both Ephesians 5:16 and Colossians 4:5 say, "Redeem the time." That's what we must be doing!

That particular verb, "exagorazo," means "to go down to the market place and make a transaction, bringing your purchase out and putting it to immediate use."

Treat time like a commodity!

"Buy" each hour as from the Lord, making it "count" for His Glory!

After all, no one has more than 24 of them each day!

"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Ephesians 5:16 again, this time the whole verse.

And Paul also uses "kairos" for "time" here. Buy up every single "opportunity" you have, every "open door" God sends your way, and use them for Jesus' Sake!

Well, Judas redeemed his time all right, but for an evil purpose!

We are to redeem our time as well, but for the opposite reason.

Paul again, "Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."

To keep from committing evil!

And "evil" here is "poneros," the most potent and active and vile word to which Paul had access!

"Watch every minute ... to keep from sinning!" That's Paul.

"Watch every minute ... to betray Jesus!" That's Judas.

And the difference between the two is eternal!

One is in Heaven today, the other in Hell.

Have you yet taken "opportunity" be be saved?

Only God can give you that privilege.

And when He does, you had better "seize it" immediately!

Today let's "use" our time wisely!

And, lest you missed it, here's the worst possible way to "spend" your day. "And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him."

No!

Instead, love Him!

Adore Him!

Worship Him!

He is worthy of all that and a whole lot more!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

Let's love Jesus with all our hearts!

 

 

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