“Then I said to them, ‘If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages; and if not, refrain.’ So they weighed out for my wages thirty pieces of silver.”
As the time of His death drew near, Jesus asked His disciples two very probing questions. First He asked, “What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul”(Matthew 16:26)? The question itself reveals that the soul is of infinite worth, and all the world’s wealth, honor and power would not be worth giving up to gain eternity. Since no man will ever gain all the world, Jesus asked a second question, “What will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Sadly, many people have sold their souls for pocket change. No one more infamously than Judas Iscariot.
Scripture declares, one of the twelve apostles, chosen by Jesus, to carry on the work of His ministry after His resurrection, was a man from southern Israel named Judas. We know little of his backstory, but can assume he was drawn to Jesus through the ministry of John the Baptist. (When choosing his replacement, one of the requirements was the person must have followed Jesus since the baptism of John). Judas spent three years training with Jesus and the others. He spent long walks, private meals and special, behind the scene, encounters learning from Christ. He was given opportunities to serve, and power from heaven to accomplish the work of God on earth. Tragically, this was not enough for Judas, and he began to allow covetousness to fuel his thinking and later his actions. It was not long before he plotted to sell his soul for 30 pieces of silver.
I have often wondered what 30 pieces of silver could purchase in the 1st Century. Could he have bought a new chariot, remodeled a room in his home, or taken a fancy vacation with that unholy cash? Whatever it was worth, it was not worth his soul. Even if he hadn’t been overcome by guilt and thrown the money away, it still would have been gone in a matter of time, and he would have been left with nothing.
Judas is not alone in selling himself off, for that which has little or no value. People are doing the same thing today. A person might trade their relationship with Christ, for a relationship with someone else. Instead of remaining faithful to God and His word, they compromise, fearing that if they don’t, they will lose the other person. Another, might take a job where they are forced to compromise, because it pays a few dollars more per hour, or comes with the promise of better “tips.” Soon, this compromise leads to other compromises, and they find themselves far from God, living the same life from which Jesus had set them free. Others, lose sight of the value Christ has placed upon them, and desire to find their worth in how the world views them. Soon, they are dressing like the world, attempting to fit in, or even buying into the world’s value system, so as not to face any form of persecution or ridicule.
Allow me to remind you, you are worth more than that. No dollar amount is worth the exchange of your soul, because no relationship is more valuable than your relationship with Christ; no job is worth the cost of compromise. Instead of selling out, let’s try being more fully committed to Christ than we have ever been. Those 30 pieces of silver bought nothing that lasted, but those who committed themselves to Christ, have had an impacted upon the world that has lasted for 2,000 years.