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Thirty Pieces of Silver

Updated: May 29, 2022

When Jesus had finished sharing the parables, He said to His disciples, "As you know, the Passover is two days away and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified". Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. "But not during the festival," they said "or there may be a riot among the people."

Matthew 26:1-5, The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

"What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?" Judas Iscariot asked the chief priests. They counted thirty pieces of silver, and from then on Judas watched for an opportunity to betray Jesus. As I'm writing, I can't help but wonder about Judas' reason for becoming a disciple.

Not all who say Lord, Lord, will inherit the kingdom, and that's evident in this world as some claim His name but do not walk by the fruit of the spirit just like Judas. There were many prophecies about Judas' betrayal. Zechariah predicted the betrayer would be paid a ransom of thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-14); in psalm 41:9, the words of David described a close friend with whom he shared his bread, turning against him similar to Jesus' description of his betrayer.

"I do not speak concerning all of you," said Jesus, "I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at a table at Jesus' side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. Some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, “Buy those things we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night."

John 13:18-30 NKJV, Zechariah 11:12-14 ESV, Psalm 41:9 ESV The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Judas Iscariot had to do what he did. God was not surprised, for all this was written and had to happen to help bring salvation to His people.

At the end of supper, they went out to the Mount of Olives where Jesus prayed for God's will to be done. After His third return from prayer, he said to Peter, James, and John, the disciples who went along with Him, "Are you still sleeping? and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!" (Mark 14:41)