Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

TTE Advent Calendar Day Thirteen – December 13th

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TTE Advent Calendar Day Thirteen – December 13th.

Thank you for reading our sixteenth installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.

This is a very hard article to write, the first twelve articles have been nice and easy to write as they have been about the birth and young life of the messiah, and now we will be look at his adult life, death and resurrection.

What makes this hard is that we know that Jesus hand-picked twelve men to disciple and feed into during his ministry time on earth. Today’s prophesy deals with the prediction that one of his trusted twelve will betray him. Let’s look at Psalm 41…

Psalm 41:9 (ESV) Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.

This verse is quoted in the Gospel of John chapter thirteen:

John 13:18 (ESV) I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19 I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” 21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”

We could close the article there and say “that proves it” but that has never been my style. I love that in the verse in Isaiah he speaks of his own circumstances before and after this verse and this small pearl of prophecy is hidden and spoken by our LORD to verify the validity of the prophecy. I think it is awesome and I am blown away by the inerrancy and infallibility of the bible.

In the passage in John, Jesus had just finished washing the disciple’s feet and had sat down to his final meal prior to the crucifixion that we now know as “The last supper”. Can you imagine the sorrow in his heart as he knows already that one of the twelve that he had chosen (v18) that he had washed his feet and that he was sharing a meal with had already taken money to send him to his death.

Don’t think for a second that Jesus was not tight with Judas, if you did a report card of the disciples Judas would score high. He said the right things, he looked after the money and he seemed like one of the most solid of them all. He had 3 years of training with the greatest biblical teacher the world has ever known and when it came down to it, Judas sold out his friend for a few silver coins.

Knowing Jesus, his troubled soul was not for himself, but compassion on his friend. The phrase “lifting up his heel” and “betray me” have similar meanings. He knew that the man sitting within touching distance was the one who was a fulfilled prophecy in the worst possible way. We read further prophecy in the book of Zechariah in chapter eleven…

Zechariah 11:12 (ESV) Then I said to them, “If it seems good to you, give me my wages; but if not, keep them.” And they weighed out as my wages thirty pieces of silver. 13 Then the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD, to the potter.

Interestingly in the book of Zechariah, we have the price of the transaction which was thirty pieces of silver. This was the price of a slave. I find it remarkable that Judas could have sold out someone who was his kin for at least three years for the price of someone who you would buy to work in your field or vineyard. Such a small price for such a large amount of sin.

Because that is the point of all this. Jesus knew he was coming to this world to sacrifice and be a ransom for many. He knew that he would be doing this for those who would accept and those who would reject him. Not everyone would take him up on his offer.

A wee parable if you will indulge me…

I am a book guy, biographies, history and theology is my preferred reading materials, and recently I was gifted over 150 books, I was blessed because I took that person up on their offer. Now having those books in my possession will not make me more historically or theologically aware unless I actually pick them up and read them.

That is what it is like with Christianity, simply knowing about Jesus love for us and knowing that he died for us is practically useless unless you make your own individual commitment. You have to open that book and learn to live the life that God intended for you.  Don’t take that silver and sell out your savior, let’s look at how this all happened in the twenty sixth chapter of the book of Matthew…

Matthew 26:14 (ESV) Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.

This is heartbreaking but glorious at the same time. This guy was hand-picked by Jesus, he served with him, saw miracles, saw dead raised, lame healed and the blind saw in his presence. He saw more than we would in ten lifetimes.

God used him to betray Jesus. Judas made that decision all by himself, he used his free will to ask that question “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” and those who wanted rid of Jesus offered him a slaves wages and Judas accepted the price.

Judas was paid on the spot (verse 15) and he began looking for an opportunity to betray the LORD. A lot has been made of Judas repenting after the fact and throwing the money down in the temple. These verses share with us that there was a time elapse between Judas being paid and Judas betraying Jesus. He had opportunity before the money became “blood money” to return it but he chose financial gain over spiritual.

Tomorrow we will look further at Judas (LORD Willing) and what happened afterwards.

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.
TGBTG
TTE

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