14 Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, “What will you give me if I betray him to you?” They paid him thirty pieces of silver. 16 And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.Matthew 26:14-16
Matthew’s gospel records that at the conclusion of Jesus’ anointing with costly oil at a dinner party, Judas had seen enough. Besides the woman who anointed Jesus, perhaps no one else had a clearer picture of Jesus’ immediate future and his goal. It was not to overthrow Rome and set up a new government…it was to die like a martyr and leave nothing to his disciples except chaos. Judas obviously wanted more than to be empty handed after giving three years of his life to following this man from Galilee to Jerusalem.
Judas was determined that Jesus would provide for him one way or another. And so he chose to take matters into his own hands instead of waiting any longer. What a life changing, indeed world changing, mistake.
Have you ever grown impatient with Jesus to answer a prayer or provide relief from a situation or vindicate you from false accusations? Yeah, me too. Judas stands forever as the reason why waiting on God’s plan is indeed a gift that keeps on giving. For when we take matters into our own short-sided, self-centered hands we find that the results match.
On this Tuesday of Holy Week, may we continually remember that God’s will is perfect in all respects including timing. Any attempt to speed up the process simply ends up creating the very chaos we so desire to avoid in the first place. May the historically fatal lesson of Judas give us the wisdom that is needed for all our days.