"For it might have been sold . . ." Mark 14:5
We all have a breaking point. It's at the intersection of disappointment and disillusionment. Where the heart cries out, "I can't take this anymore!" Too often, deep disappointment sends us looking to make a deal with the world. While our price may not be thirty pieces of silver, there are other things we are willing to take in exchange for God letting us down.
Judas’ act of selling Jesus out is legendary. Judas was a man concerned with his own interests. When his ambition for material wealth and political power were crushed and he realized Jesus was not going to establish a political kingdom, he then decided to turn Jesus over to the authorities.
An appetite for material gain over spiritual gain can trigger a lot of Judas-like behaviors. Believers look at Judas with disbelief, but all of us must be honest about our own betrayals. When we rushed ahead of God to get our own way, or the moments we operated in the deceit of sin over the truth of God’s word, are the seasons we ran into the arms of the world to indulge our flesh.
It's obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time –repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness; trinket gods; magic show religion; paranoid loneliness; cut-throat competition; all-consuming, yet never satisfied wants; a brutal temper; an impotence to love and be loved; divided homes; divided lives; small-minded, lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival; and uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions.
Judas knew the market price, but not the value of things. He missed that all of life is meant to be a sacrament; that when anything in life, a passion or perfume, is touched by the divine, it takes on an eternal value that exceeds its price.
And so, Judas with his market price mentality and his mental mathematics, was not an intruder, he was an outsider. The fact that he priced the gift proves that he never saw its value. He never learned there are some things that are too beautiful to be sold.
What's your thirty pieces of silver?